Saturday, June 12, 2010


I had to laugh when I saw the picture above. Not so much that someone chose to wear socks like that, because I'm sure he was doing it to make a point, but because it is a very creative and practical idea for using up all the single socks we accumulate from losing them in the wash/dry process...

...which reminds me of two episodes in my recent past that beg for a reason besides mind-slippage from aging.

Jerry and I had a funeral to attend. It was for a very close friend , and after the formal service we all went to the gravesite for the lowering of the casket into the ground. It was a gloomy day in winter and we were bundled against the cold. The cemetery was lush and green, very lovely because of all the moisture in the air. Just as lovely were the tributes of friends and family members being shared around the casket. A young child's tribute was in process when Jerry nudged me and pointed to the ground at his feet. I looked but saw nothing that would cause him to call my attention to the ground, no grass or bug or whatever. I resumed looking and listening at the speaker, and then came another nudge. Thinking it must be very important for him to interrupt me again, I looked down where he was pointing - and then I saw it. He had on one black shoe and one brown shoe.

How I managed to hold it all together I'll never know. There is such a tight space between laughing and crying that I wasn't sure which was going to happen. All I knew is that it would not at all be appropriate if I unloosed a shriek of laughter or sorrow. I wouldn't have been able to guarantee what would have come out of my mouth. I took a deep breath, told myself to get a grip, and I managed to compose myself outwardly. Inwardly was harder, but I just had to make myself think of how ugly those skinned sheep heads in Turkey looked when I tried to take a picture of them -- and I got through the rest of the service without embarrassing myself. Luckily it ended shortly and I'm sure anyone seeing me in the front seat of the car with a hankie at my eyes assumed I was crying. However, they would have been very surprised to see Jerry sitting beside me laughing. We laughed for a long time.

But what made the incident especially funny was at a funeral we had attended several months prior to this one (yes, at our age we do have lots of funerals to attend), I discovered, also at the gravesite, that I had worn a black dress and black shoes but had inadvertantly put on navy blue pantyhose. I did not find this funny at all. I was SO embarrassed and as soon as we left the gravesite, on the drive to the family gathering at their home I insisted that we stop at the nearest drug store where I could run in and buy a pair of black pantyhose. Then I made Jerry drive (I usually drive) while I shimmied out of the offending navy pantyhose and shimmied myself into the black pair. All this transpired on Ventura Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley. I tried to accomplish this switch very unobtrusively and I had to camouflage this personal procedure when a bus or a truck or a big SUV pulled up beside us. It was not easy. But I did it and was able to walk into the family home with my confidence restored.

So this earlier episode was lurking in the back of my mind when I looked down at Jerry's feet and saw a black shoe and a brown shoe. On the one hand it was going to even-up the score, because Jerry got a lot of fun out of teasing me about my faux pas. I could understand how I could make such an error - black and navy are not all that far apart in shading. But for Jerry to mistake black and brown? And then I remembered that he is "color-inhibited" - not color blind but he has a difficult time discerning light shades from each other. Light grey, lavendar, beige, light blue, sea-foam green, soft gold - they all look the same to him. So I am sure that both of us had a good reason other than old age to account for these momentary slips.

You can be assured that we check each other over very carefully now before we walk out the door - especially to funerals, because that is the one place you don't want to get into a laughing fit!

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