Sunday, March 9, 2008

Anger Management

There is a man, who I used to be 'involved' with, and was just about to break off with when he got very sick. We can call him Mr. Cranky, although he would prefer DOCTOR Cranky. He is very possessive of his PhD. It's a long story, but I continue to take him to doctor appointments, to bring him food, and to get him out of the house several times a week. I even feel guilty when I can't go to help for a few days in a row. This weekend I got his medications ready for the next week, cooked him a pot of soup, and drove him on several errands. He is old (about ten years older than he admitted to me when we were a couple), and sick (4 cardiologists told me he would be dead within the month . . . three years ago), and nearly blind, so I would feel surly to dump him altogether.

Tonight he wanted me to drive him to a nice little trattoria because, he said, he wanted to buy me a nice, relaxing dinner with a glass of wine. Sounds good, said I. I dropped him at the door, parked the car a block away, and slogged back to the restaurant. When I got inside, he had been seated, and there was a strolling musician at the next table, singing 'Fly Me To The Moon' to a smiling couple. I no sooner sat down than Mr. Cranky shouted, above the music, "[Lord's name in vain!], that [expletive] music is so [expletive] loud!" I shushed him and he sat quietly making dramatic faces to express his displeasure. No problem, I am not a stranger to drama.

As soon as the music stopped, though, he turned to the musician and said loudly loudly loudly that the music was TOO LOUD, that the musician's voice was FLAT, that he had never heard such [expletive] in his life, and the restaurant had clearly gone to [expletive]. The musician said something pleasant and strolled away. We had not yet ordered. The diners at each and every table (I did not imagine this) were looking our way, and the young busboys who should have been bringing bread were lined up against the wall wondering which of them would draw the short straw. I told Mr. Cranky quietly that I would wait in the car for him because it would be a shame for him to spend money on a dinner I could not enjoy.

He came out to the car a short while later and I drove him home (more or less) without comment. When he climbed out of his seat, just before he slammed the door, he turned and said, 'well, you certainly woke up on the wrong side of bed today!"


Snowbird said...

Oh wow! Does Mr./Dr. Cranky have any family? I would turn him over to them pretty darn quick. I'm sure you feel like you need to continue taking care of him, but dang, that would have about done it for me.

gpc said...

Mr. Cranky has one son in New York who can't be bothered. Truly a chip off the old block. Oddly enough Mr. C seems to have few friends (hard to imagine, huh?) I try to see the humor and the sadness in it all, and I try as hard as I can to be patient - this was a minor incident in the big picture. In some ways he is nearly helpless, and he cannot travel alone. I've been the driver/companion when he was banned from four restaurants (one on Sanibel!) and warned on airplanes that he would be removed by security. I was also the one they called to pick him up after he pulled out his IVs in the hospital and berated a little nurses aide. I am way past being done with it, and yet it goes on. Sometimes though, like this time, it just wears me out, and so I afford myself the luxury of whining about it!