Interstellar Adventures

October 18, 2007

A New Spin on Date Night

Filed under: Family & Friends,It's Me, Lass,Married Life,Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 9:29 am

I’ve got two men at home that love to take me out. Yesterday Nick called me at work yesterday and slightly painfully asked if we had any plans for the evening. Suspicious, I said “No, Why?” “Dad wants to go to Penney’s to buy new underwear.” Oh. Well, we can do that. Last Wednesday we gave up our ‘free’ night to take him to Target and Walgreens to look for some reading glasses that have a little more magnification. I could tell that Nick didn’t want to give up our night this week either, but Pop needed skivvies.

So, we went to dinner, then to Penney’s. Nick procured a wheelchair for Pop, courtesy of the lovely service desk lady, and at the cost of his driver’s license. And we proceeded to shop. Nick was pushing Pop, and we were mostly staying on the main aisle, with me wandering in between the clothing racks and stands. Because there just wasn’t a lot of room to maneuver the wheelchair. It’s been at least 5 or 6 years since I shopped with a stroller, and longer since I shopped with a full-size stroller. (Ah, the day when we could move to the umbrella stroller! What bliss that was!)

First, we located some new ‘lounge pants’ for Pop. This cracks me up, because he’s really wearing Joe Boxer-type pajama pants. But he wears them like they’re real pants. And I can see why. They’re light weight, comfy, have an elastic waist and are easy to pull on and off. He doesn’t have to fuss with a belt, and sometimes, the bathroom is a last-minute dash. He’s 86 years old! He’s allowed to wear whatever the hell he wants. Nick and I aren’t sure that he really realizes that these pants are pajamas, but we’re certainly not going to tell him.

On to the skivvie department. Doesn’t anyone wear Y-front, full-cut briefs anymore? While I would hope that these would be constrained to the over-70’s crowd, it seems that perhaps a lot of men do, because there was a dearth of that product on the shelves last night. We finally found one end-cap with 5-packs on sale, buy one – get one for 88 cents. Jackpot.

Next item on the list were dress shirts. He doesn’t do well with pullovers, so long-sleeved button-down dress shirts were the item. These were also on sale, buy one – get one for 88 cents. JCPenney does have good sales. I found one in the light blue he was looking for. Then I tried to convince him to spice it up, perhaps with a strip or a small check. But no, solid is what he wanted. “I’d really prefer another one of the first kind you picked.” he politely admonished me after a couple of showings. OK then.

He also decided he wanted a throw. One like what I have, because it’s soft and doesn’t have any tassles for him to trip over. After discovering that Penney’s didn’t have much to offer, we broke the rules and took the JCPenney wheelchair into the mall area. Rebels we are. Brookstone was just around the corner. Really just bending the rules a bit. And so Pop got his cuddle blanket, in camel, just like me.

Thinking we were done, Pop chimed up “Hey, think we could find some of those Croc shoes for my shower?” I groaned a little. I know there are tons of Croc lovers out there, but I’m not one of them. I was also concerned that they wouldn’t provide enough support for his ankles, and that they would be slippery in the shower. So we checked Famous Footware, no luck. Back to the Penney’s men’s shoes section. They didn’t have any either, but they did have those plastic-y sports sandles. He liked them a little, but not a lot. Then we then figured out that he didn’t want shoes for actually IN the shower. (It’s so much fun trying to communicate with a deaf, 86-year old when he doesn’t sign.) So I went over to find him some slippers. He was just looking at the shoes though, and not trying them on. I wanted him to try them on and walk around so that we could see that they’d be supportive enough. These slippers had a full back, weren’t fuzzy on the inside, and also had a firm rubber sole on the underside. After he almost tipped the wheelchair trying to put the shoes on, I knelt down and took his tennies off, and put the slippers on him, and then made him walk a few steps. “I like these. They’re perfect for what I need.” he said. :Grin:

Finally, we were done. Except we had to pick up Pop’s thyoid medicine from Target, and he wanted donuts and coffee. I think it was just after 9 by the time we got home. We were all tired, but Pop was pleased as punch with all of his purchases, and I was happy to help the old man out.

Nick knows that we’ve made the right choice by bringing Pop to live with us. But it has been disruptive to our lives. All the work we’ve been doing to the house, Elle not really having ‘her’ bedroom, giving up our date night to take Pop shopping, never having ‘alone time’. He’s always there. But really, he doesn’t have anywhere else to go. Nick’s brother isn’t in good enough health himself to take care of Pop. Nick’s sister is the CEO of a hospital, and too busy to provide the care to him that he needs, so he’d be in a home if he went to live with her. We’re young enough, have the time, and have the energy (sometimes) to take care of him. Nick really was dreading taking him shopping last night, but fortunately I have enough patience to deal with the both of them. And I actually had fun. We had a few laughs – joking with Pop that were were going to buy him a Romo jersey, laughing over the leopard-print novelty boxers, joking to the lady that held the door for us after she commented ‘boy, he’s quick’. “Yeah, we’ve got to watch him, or he gets away from us.” I felt good about helping Pop last night. And date night is about being closer to the one(s) you love. I’m a lucky girl.


  1. Good for you! Don’t forget to keep some date nights, though. We just learned ourselves that letting those slide for too long isn’t too great on our marriage, even when we give them up to spend time together with friends. There’s just something about time alone together that really makes a difference! Have a great week!

    Comment by Jenny B — October 18, 2007 @ 12:50 pm |Reply

  2. What a cute post. Pop is sure lucky to have you all. See ya.

    Comment by Kellan — October 18, 2007 @ 2:15 pm |Reply

  3. You guys are all sweethearts. Really.

    Comment by Marie — October 18, 2007 @ 7:03 pm |Reply

  4. Pop is lucky to have someone to help him out. Just think about the old folks that may not have kids or the kids don’t care and can’t get out on their own. That makes me just want to cry. It’ll be all worth the disruption in the end. Hang in there!

    Comment by carnealian — October 18, 2007 @ 7:37 pm |Reply

  5. I know it’s not exactly date night, but that is just so awesome that you care about Pops.
    You’re definitely building up Good Karma points, too!

    Comment by annie — October 19, 2007 @ 11:36 am |Reply

  6. It’s a beautiful thing to have him in your home. I am trying to picture him pairing the button down shirts with his pj bottoms. That’s awesome.

    Comment by Jay — October 19, 2007 @ 4:40 pm |Reply

  7. You and Nick are the bomb.
    That you show this kind of love to Pops is a beautiful thing. It really is.
    Funny story too, Lass.
    Funny how life changes us, huh?
    You guys are blessed. And deservedly so.

    Comment by ~m — October 19, 2007 @ 7:05 pm |Reply

  8. You really are such a caring person, don’t think I could cope with an elderly relative. (Especially as we’ve only got a one bedroom flat).

    PS. Good to see you’re still blogging, I’m back on the blog today.

    Comment by Culfy — October 20, 2007 @ 9:33 am |Reply

  9. You guys are sweetie pies. Good for you. You were brave to take him on and you both need to take unabashed pride in yourselves for doing so.

    Comment by raehan — October 22, 2007 @ 11:22 am |Reply

  10. This was a great post, Lass. I felt so bad for him as well. He sounds like such a great guy, and he’s so pollite? that’s really cool. At the end of our own lives, I hope our kids will be able to help us out if we need it, much the same way that you’re helping out Nick’s Dad. And Elle and Zed are learning so much from just watching all this. He probably came home excited with his purchases, much the same way we come home from a shopping trip with great clothes… or books, or music! 🙂

    Comment by Laura — October 22, 2007 @ 12:41 pm |Reply

  11. Man, what a wonderful post, Lass. I grinned at the part where he only wanted the solid colored shirts 🙂

    I know it can’t be easy all the time, but I think it’s wonderful what you guys are doing. And it sounds like these are times and memories you’ll always cherish.

    Comment by Bone — October 22, 2007 @ 9:57 pm |Reply

  12. Date night is not allowed to be on Tuesday nights any longer…nip/tuck is coming back beginning this Tuesday…Oct. 30. And from what I’ve heard, Dr. Christian Troy is a bad, bad boy. Julian told me. We’re dating now. 😉

    Comment by carnealian — October 23, 2007 @ 3:20 pm |Reply

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