When I first started to take care of Joe, Dot was recovering from a broken pelvis in an assisted living facility, so it would just be Joe and I at the house.

He was not happy about Dot being gone and it really confused him.  He would ask about her every five minutes, and I would explain again and again that she would be coming home once she got stronger.  The nights were pretty rough especially because he’d wake up and realize that Dot wasn’t there and he’d try to go looking for her.

One night, at about 2am, I heard Joe open the front door of the house.  I jumped out of bed and took off running to find Joe outside, in the rain, in only his Depends, t-shirt and slippers (this was in the middle of winter).

Joe was trying to take off through the field to head to town.  I hollered out at him, “Joe!  Get back here!”

He stopped and turned around.

Me:  “Where are you going??”

Joe:  “I’m going to find Dot.”

Me:  “It’s the middle of the night and pouring down rain!  We’ll go visit Dot in the morning.”

Joe:  “Well you can do what you want, but I’m heading there now…”

I realized that I needed to try a new tactic.

Me:  “Joe, if you don’t come back here in 5 seconds, I’m calling the police!”

Joe stopped in his tracks and turned around slowly to look at me.  “You wouldn’t do that…”

I went and grabbed the phone so that I could show him.  “I’m calling the cops right now, Joe, if you don’t come back inside.”

Joe laughed, “I’m not doing anything illegal!”

Me:  “Yes you are.  It’s against the law for a man to run around in public in his underwear!”

Joe looked down at himself:  “Is that right?!  What the hell…?  Where’d my pants go??”

Me:  “3 more seconds til I call the police…”

Finally Joe relented and started to walk back.  As he came through the door, he looked me square in the eye and said, “You really think they’d throw an old man in jail for running around on his own property?”

Me:  “If he’s running around in his underwear and all soaking wet they would.”

Joe came to his senses and said, “Yeah, you’re probably right about that.  Well we might as well go back to bed then.  It’s cold in here!  Turn the heat up, would ya?”

I think I must’ve scared him about calling the police, because he never pulled a stunt like that again.  Thank God!

No Such Luck.

Dot went out clothes shopping with her daughters a couple of weeks ago, and when she came home she was just dying to show me what she bought.

Joe was napping in his chair, so we sneaked past him with her Nordstrom bags in tow.

Dot whispered, “Don’t tell Joe that I got new clothes.  He always hated it when I went shopping…”  I assured her that I wouldn’t say a word.

When we got back to her bedroom, Dot started to pull out each item and hold it up to herself, explaining which shirt she could match with which pants. It was very cute to see how excited she was about it all.  She specifically had to show me which outfit that she would be wearing to her grandson’s wedding.  Of course I ooh-ed and aah-ed over everything.

When she got to her last bag she said, “All that’s in here are my undergarments, and you’re probably not interested in seeing those…”

I replied, “Not unless you’re dying to show them to me.”

She giggled like a school-girl and said, “Well, there is one thing…”

The next thing I knew, Dot was holding up a pair of silky leopard print underwear.  That’s right, I said LEOPARD PRINT underwear.

My eyes got big and I said, “Wow!  Now those are something!”

“A girl’s gotta do, what a girl’s gotta do to keep her husband’s attention…”

I just about died from shock when she said that, and Dot laughed at the expression on my face.  That was when I heard Joe walk up behind me and say, “What’s going on in here…?”

Dot stuffed her underwear back in the bag and said, “Oh nothing…”

Joe craned his neck in the bedroom and said, “Looks to me like somebody did some shopping…”

Dot pointed at me and said, “SHE did it!”

Joe looked at me and I just smiled and said, “Yeah, it was time for me to go out and get my summer wardrobe.”

Joe smiled from ear to ear.  “Oh, ok…  Can one of you girls point me to the Loo?”

“It’s right behind you there, Joe.”  I said.

Joe:  “Funny, that’s exactly where the bathroom was in my other house…”

Dot and I both smiled at him and nodded.  We both knew that this was the same house he’d lived in for over forty years.

After he went into the bathroom, Dot said, “That was a close one!”

“It sure was.”  I said, as I tried to erase the image of the leopard print underwear from my brain.

No such luck.