Monday, November 19, 2007

My genes. Her jeans.

Not many of you know that Alzheimer’s runs in my family. (Gee, great.) Anyway, Nana is afflicted with this disease. I’m truly learning that if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry, so I continually look for bright spots in otherwise dark situations. (Typically this is in the form of humor laughing at people. I’m mean. Deal.)

Back to Nana – growing up, and until she started developing dementia, she was always very anti-naked. A point of pride with her was that Popi never saw her fully unclothed. She held the concept that sex was only for procreation and never fun. (And you people wonder where I got my body/sex issues. Exhibit A: Nana.)

Knowing this, the next part is really kind of sad and amusing. Earlier this year, my cousin (who is Nana’s caretaker) would come downstairs in the morning to get coffee started and there would be Nana at the counter, reading the newspaper wearing a turtleneck, socks, and … that’s it. (Granny ass isn’t the first thing you want, or need to, see without at least one cuppa in you.) Apparently she LOVES her new-found freedom from pants.

Sunday my cousin calls and tells me, “We have to change Nana’s name.” I’m thinking something’s wrong, or we have to do it for legal purposes or something, so I hesitantly ask, “Whhhy?” It seems that good ol’ Nana has been stripping in the dining room. And I don’t mean stripping wallpaper. The woman is taking off ALL her clothes and not wanting to put them back on. (She will, but it takes some persuading from what I understand.)

My aunt thinks we should call her Bubbles La Rue. Any other “granny stripper” names come to mind? Another friend said Nana Rose Lee. I was going for imMoral Millie. (I’m afraid of what I will do when I’m her age. Run around wearing undies on my head?)

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