The Shrinking Jacket.

I’ve recently lost a bunch of weight; enough that people are beginning to notice and make comments which is always nice.  When I got to work this morning, Dot and Joe were sitting at the kitchen table finishing their breakfast.

Dot said, “Whoa somebody is looking smaller!”

I was thrilled with the compliment of course, so I told her that I was so excited because the jacket that I wearing (of course I modeled it for them) was way too small for me this time last year, and when I tried it on last week I was amazed because I could actually zip it up.  (I had never been able to zip it before; I always had to wear it open.)

Dot:  “Well that’s just great!  We are so proud of you, aren’t we Joe?”

Joe looked up from his coffee at me for a moment:  “Who are we proud of…?”

Dot:  “We’re proud of Whitney!”

Joe:  “Who’s Whitney?”

Dot pointed at me.  I smiled and waved.

Joe grinned back:  “What are we proud of HER for?”

Dot:  “We’re proud of her for being able to fit into her jacket!”

Joe looked at me:  “What happened?  Did your jacket shrink?”

I laughed and said:  “Nope, I’m the one who shrunk.”

Joe:  “Oh, well I was just wondering because there’s something funny going on around here with the dryer.  My shirts all seem to be shrinking!”  Joe pointed at his long sleeved t-shirt that was fitting very snug over his middle, “SEE?!”

Dot was about to say something to him (about how much ice cream he’s been eating I’m sure) and I interrupted her to say, “Well, I’ll be sure not to put my jacket in the dryer here then!”

Joe:  “Yeah, that’s probably smart.  You wouldn’t want it to go and shrink on you.”  He went on to mutter under his breath, “goddamned dryer” before he went back to reading his newspaper and drinking his coffee.




When I finished cleaning up after lunch, I noticed that Joe was a bit teary-eyed.  I sat next to him on the couch and rubbed his back a little bit while I asked him what was on his mind.

Joe:  “Well, I just realized that I haven’t seen my Mom and Dad in a really long time and I think that they might be dead…”

Dot walked into the room then and Joe asked her, “Hey Dot, are my parents dead?”

Dot:  “Yeah, they died a long time ago.”

Joe:  “Is that right?!  How’d that happen?”

Dot:  “They got old.”

Joe:  “Oh.  Well that sounds about right.”

Dot went into the kitchen then and Joe started crying big, alligator tears.

I started to rub his back again and I said, “I’m sorry that you’re so sad today, Joe.”

Joe:  “I’m not really sad so much as…I just feel lost.  Totally lost.”

Me:  “It’s going to be okay Joe, you’re safe and sound in your own home and you’ve got Dot around to keep you company.  You have nothing to worry about.  Nothing at all.”

Joe started to relax a little bit then and I gave him a Kleenex to wipe his eyes and nose.

Me:  “Is there anything that I can do to make you feel a bit better?”

Joe shrugged.

Me:  “I think I know something that might do the trick…”

Joe:  “You do?”

Me:  “Yep, just wait here a second.”

I went into the kitchen to see if there were any cookies in the cookie jar, but it was empty.  However, I noticed that there was a bag of fun size Snickers bars so I quickly grabbed one before Dot turned around.  Dot was busy writing out a birthday card at the kitchen table.

Joe was still pretty teary when I returned, so I hid the Snickers bar behind my back.

Joe wiped his nose again:  “What do you got there?”

Me:  “What?  Where?”

Joe:  “Behind your back.  What’s that behind your back?!”

His eyes got big when I showed him the candy bar.

Joe:  “Who is that for?!”

I smiled:  “It’s for you of course!  I thought that it might make you feel better.”

Joe:  “Well, I don’t know if it’s gonna help…but I’ll try it.”

I took off the wrapper for him and he took a big bite.

Me:  “How are you doing now…any better?”

Joe was still chewing on his chocolate bar when he said, “Yeah!  I DO feel better!”

I patted him on the back:  “Oh good, Joe, I’m so glad that you’re feeling better.”

Joe:  “What did you put in this?”

Me:  “In the candy bar?”

Joe:  “Yeah, why did it make me feel better?”

Me:  “Because it’s made of chocolate…and full of love.”

Joe grinned:  “I thought so!”

Spikey Things.

Dot told me this morning that she likes my “hair-do”.

She said, “I like the spiky parts they look real good on you – don’t you think so Joe?”

Joe (not looking up from his bowl of Cheerios):  “Oh yeah it’s pretty good.”

Dot:  “Do you even know what we’re talking about?”

Joe: “Yeah.”

Dot:  “What are we talking about then…?

Joe:  “Spikey-things…”

Pork Chop.

Joe’s wife, Dot, has moved back home and she bosses him around like nobody’s business (bosses me around too).

I had to listen to them argue for 10 minutes over whether or not Joe was taking his evening pills at dinner.

She’d say, “Joe, take your pills!”

And he’d spear a bite of his pork chop with his fork and say, “I am taking them!”

Dot:  “Those aren’t your pills – that’s a pork chop!”

Joe:  “A what?!”

Dot:  “A PORK CHOP!”

Joe:  “Oh.”

Dot:  “So take your pills!”

Joe:  “I AM!!”

Dot:  “Those aren’t your PILLS! That’s a PORK CHOP!”

Joe:  “Oh.”

Dot:  “So take your pills!”

Joe:  “I AM!”

Finally she shoved his pills in front of him and said, “Take THESE!”

Joe looked at them and said, “Oh ok, why didn’t you just say so…?”

The Gypsy.

Dot asked me where I’m going on my days off this week and I told her I’d be staying with friends this week in Portland and next week I’d be driving to Seattle to stay with family

“I’m basically a gypsy right now” I told her.

Joe got a big kick out of that and giggled:  “So you just go wherever it’s most exciting! Man i sure wish I could do that…”

Dot said, “Oh Joe…just drink your coffee!”

Joe winked at me.

The Caveman.

I helped Joe with his shower this morning, got him dressed and seated at the table for breakfast. When I left the room to get the laundry started, I heard Joe ask Dot: “Who is that girl?”

Dot: “That’s Whitney. She helps take care of you.”

Joe: “Do I know her?”

Dot: “Yes, you do. She’s been working here for quite a while.”

Joe: “Well I don’t need any help.”

Dot: “Yes you do. How do you think you’d take a shower and get dressed if she didn’t help you…?”

Joe chuckled: “Oh I think I’d manage all right. How do you think the cavemen did it?”

Dot: “You’re not a caveman.”

Joe: “How do you know?”

Dot: “Because I know. For starters, you cut your hair and shave your face.”

Joe: “Well that just makes me a good lookin’ caveman.”

Dot: “Plus she helps you when you have an accident in your pants.”

Joe giggled: “How the hell do I have an accident in my pants? Are there a couple of cars in there that I don’t know about?”

Dot: “Not that kind of accident.”

Joe: “I don’t know why I ask you about stuff. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Dot: “I know more than you.”

Joe: “No you don’t.”

Dot: “Yes I do.”

That was my cue to intervene. I walked into the kitchen and said, “Am I going to have to separate you two?”

Joe cracked up and pointed at Dot: “She started it…”

The Doorbell.

I was helping Joe get into the shower the other day, and he was so confused as to why he had to take his clothes off.

Joe:  “But…if I take my underwear off, I’ll be naked.

Me:  “Yep, that’s true.”

Joe:  “Well…what if we get visitors?”

Me:  “I will holler out the door to them that we’ll be out in a minute.”

Joe:  “What if the doorbell rings and I have to answer it?”

Me:  “I will answer the door since I’m the one with clothes on.”

Joe:  “Oh…well, ok.  I guess it’ll all work out then.”

Me:  “Yep, it will all work out just fine.”

Joe:  (grinning) “Well then…Here I go…gettin’ naked…”

I turned the shower on and adjusted the temperature while Joe was taking off his Depends.

The next thing I knew, Joe had opened the bathroom door and was headed out to the kitchen.  Dot was sitting at the table eating her Raisin Bran…

Joe:  (big grin)  “Hi Dot…”

Dot looked over at him and said, “Hi Joe.”

Joe: (with his hands on his hips and swaying from side to side) “Notice anything different about me?”

Dot:  “Yeah, you’ve gained some weight.  You’re eating too much ice cream.”  Then she went right back to eating her Raisin Bran.

Me:  “Come on, Joe, it’s time to get in the shower.”

Joe looked so disappointed when he said, “Dot didn’t even notice I was naked.”

Me:  “Oh I’m sure she noticed.”

Joe:  “She didn’t seem very surprised.”

Me:  “Well that’s probably because you weren’t showing her anything that she hadn’t seen before.”

Joe:  (laughing)  “Yep, you’re right about that.”

He looked around to make sure that no one was listening and quietly said, “We’ve got 4 kids you know…”

(Actually, they only have 3 kids…)

I laughed and said, “Yep, I did know that.  How about you get in the shower now?”

Joe:  “Oh yeah!  Now I remember why I was naked!”  And he happily stepped into the shower.

Then the doorbell rang…

The Tractor.

While we were eating lunch today, how do I say this nicely…

Joe passed a little gas.

In hopes that Dot didn’t hear it (since her bad ear was nearest to the event) I pretended like I didn’t notice.

Apparently Joe needed some recognition in that moment, because he giggled and said, “Yoo-hoo!”

Dot looked up at him: “What do you need Joe?”

Joe grinned from ear to ear and said, “Did you hear that Dot?”

Dot craned her head to look outside the window: “Was that the tractor?”

Joe, still grinning from ear to ear shook his head “No”.

Dot said (and I wanted to die laughing): “It sounded like James (their son) just started up the tractor…”

I was trying so hard not to meet Joe’s eyes, but then I thought better of it and tried not to smile when I gave him a look that said: “Don’t do it…!”

Joe was practically bouncing on his chair with excitement when he said, “Nope. It wasn’t no tractor…”

I practically buried my head in my bowl of soup at this point to keep from laughing. It was too late to stop him.

Joe:  “Wanna know what it was Dorothy?” Joe was smiling so big when Dot looked at him that I’m pretty sure she figured it out before he announced proudly: “It was a FART!”

It took everything that I had in me to keep my taco soup from shooting out of my nose, but I managed to hold it in.

“Oh Joe…” Dot shook her head in disapproval and went right back to her lunch.  Joe started laughing so hard that his whole body was shaking, but once he realized that Dot was determined to have no reaction to what he just said, he quietly went back to eating his soup.

Of course, just when I thought I was safe, Joe made eye contact with me and winked.

I quickly excused myself from the table, and headed to the bathroom where I could shut the door and double over with laughter. Once I composed myself I walked back to the table.

Joe was sitting there with the proudest look on his smiling face. “See Dot? That girl thought it was funny…!”

Dot made a noise that was something between a grunt and a chuckle before she said, “Joe, just stop playing around and eat your soup!”

Skip to the Cookie.

Dot: “Joe, eat your sandwich!”

Joe: (stares at sandwich in silence.)

Dot: “It’s grilled cheese – your favorite!”

Joe in quiet defiance:  “I don’t want to…”

Dot: “If you eat your sandwich I’ll let Whitney give you a cookie for dessert.”

Joe grinned:  “How ’bout we just skip to the cookie right now?”

Dot: “Just eat your sandwich!”

This goes on for 10 more minutes, until I say, “Dot, he did eat most of his soup…”

Dot looked into his soup bowl:  “Oh alright then. Take his sandwich away and give him half a cookie.”

Joe downed his cookie while grinning at Dot the whole time.

Dot: “Too bad you only got half of a cookie…”

Joe winked at me:  “Half of a cookie is better than no cookie at all!”

Nice Teeth!

Joe has a partial upper denture, and one of the teeth broke off of it a few weeks ago so we’ve been going back and forth to the dentist to get it repaired.

After going the first week so that the dentist could make a molding of his entire mouth, and then going the second week to have it fitted; by the third week we were finally able to go and pick up his new dentures.

Joe was pretty proud of his new teeth, and on the way home he kept grinning and grinning at Dot and I to show them off.

“Nice teeth!” We told him about a hundred times.

Once we got back to the house, I got our lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade minestrone soup put together, and we all sat at the table to eat.

Joe took one bite of his grilled cheese sandwich and shouted, “What the hell…?”

He looked at Dot and I suspiciously, “Who the HELL put a ROCK in my lunch?!”

He then proceeded to spit one of his newly remodeled teeth into his hand.

I looked at Dot, rolled my eyes, and said with a grin, “Seriously?!”

She sighed and said matter-of-factly, “Well, we’re not gonna do anything about it today…”

Then she looked at Joe and barked, “Joe – finish your sandwich!”