About six months ago, I finally convinced Dad that he had to get rid of his car. It was so utterly broken that it was not worth fixing. It had rusty holes all over, no paint left on the roof, the hood was bent and refused to close, plus the battery was dead because Dad couldn’t remember how to turn his headlights off one night, draining the life out of it. I called a nice man who towed junkers for free and resolved to take my dad grocery shopping, and other necessary errands once a week.
Of course, this didn’t work out as planned as my father is a impatient, manipulative, conveniently senile old man with a lazy streak that defies measurement. We’d settle on a day and time for the running of his errands and he’d call and whine that he wasn’t feeling up to it. Then the next day he’d call and demand that I take him out immediately. This, as with everything associated with my father, has been a constant source of stress resulting in headache, nausea and bitter feelings on my part. I have no clue if Dad is affected by any of this in any way.
So a few months ago, he started demanding that I take him car shopping. I put it off using one excuse or another (I really don’t think he should be driving). Finally, I told him that I cannot take him car shopping because my back just won’t hold up and that if he really wanted to go car shopping he should call my sister and ask her. At first he refused, claiming that he’d ask someone over at the Wawa to take him. Yeah, right, Dad, people shopping at the convenience store really love it when dirty old men ask them for favors. You go for it!
I suppose that plan of action didn’t go well, because he eventually asked my sister and her husband to help him find a car. Of course he pulled his usual tricks on them canceling their scheduled dates and then calling and asking when they could take him to buy a car. He’s much nicer to my sister than he is to me, so he *asks* her where with me he demands.
(yes, the above has a bitter ring to it–i am ashamed)
My sister starts lamenting that she wants to get him a car right away because she didn’t want this hanging over her head. I thought she was on board with the plan to take him out and discourage him with the high prices on used cars. Guess she couldn’t take the pressure. So last week she and Gordon find a cheap car that was in pretty good shape and call me about it.
So the next day, I pick Dad up and drive him to Lori’s house and then we all go to see the car. Not a bad deal — a 1989 Chevy Celebrity wagon for $1200. The car drives okay and is relatively clean. Dad likes it and buys it then and there. The guy who’s selling it says he’ll deliver it the next day when we’ll finish up the paperwork and transfer the tags. I promise to meet him at Dad’s the next morning.
So the next morning I get to Dad’s at the scheduled time and I wait and wait and 40 minutes later I finally call home. The seller left a message that his ride was lost and could I meet them at the K-Mart. So I go to the K-Mart, find the guy, they all follow me to Dad’s, we do the deed and I go home.
That night Dad calls and says, “My car isn’t in the parking lot.” I said, “Yes it is, Dad. You just don’t remember which car it is.” Now, I must tell you, I wrote down the year, make, model and color of the car so that Dad could look for the right car, but I guess that wasn’t enough. The next morning I go to the hardware store and buy those sticky, metallic letters that people put on their mailboxes and spelled out Dad’s first name on the front and back of the car. Now, no matter where he parks the car, he should be able to find it.
Unless he forgets what his name is.