Monday, August 10, 2009

Spidey Man and Key Privileges

Monday, August 10, 2009....

From reading the comments on Thursday's post, it seems as though I've created a mystery with how I lost my key privileges to my parents' home.

I initially emailed two people with a very, very brief explanation and realized my email explanation sucked -- so, I decided to try to capture it in this post.

First, I need to set the stage....

1... I never was asked to give back the key I had for decades. I surrendered my key because an extra key was needed (either a sibling was visiting for an extended stay, or one of my parents lost their key). It was trying to getting a key back a decade later that I realized my privileges were revoked.

2... For purposes of all future posts, my dad will now be known as Spidey Man.

Second, you need to know a bit more about Spidey Man.....

1. Both parents grew up during the depression and lived a frugal lifestyle.

2. He worked till the age of 75 because he LOVED what he did and LOVED commuting into NYC everyday. Up till this age, he had a wallet. A few weeks after retirement, he traded the wallet in for a rubber band to secure his cash and carried a little notebook to record each and every purchase made (God bless my mom).

3. Spidey Man was a friend to all, but stubborn and ALWAYS believes he is right (this becomes crucial fact).

4. After retirement, Spidey began to donate to everyone - nuns, Indian reservations in TN and I bet even foundations that supported midgets water wrestling [okay, he didn't, but he did donate to groups that sent him lovely items to thank him for his generous support, a.k.a. crap (favorite is the hand-crank paper shredder that he tried giving me this past Christmas. It stood about 2 ft high and I wondered what 3rd world country was exploiting children to make this)].

Between the ages of 75 and 87, Spidey began to become more and more paranoid about dispensing personal information (maybe not such a bad thing since I've had my credit card # stolen twice) which perpetuated his need to sign up for "FREE" credit screening services.

During this same time, my mom started to go further and further into the deep end. Spidey wasn't really ready to see it, but I think she knew something was amiss. At one point, she stopped eating. He couldn't coax her to eat so my sister and I would go to the house and convince her to eat. My sister took the dinner shift, me, the lunch shift as I worked from home.

Although mom was always home, I asked for a key. I figured since Spidey was out frequently, mom might just lock the door and I wouldn't be able to get in. Instead of Spidey saying 'sure', I got the response, "we'll leave the door unlocked, don't worry, no need for a key."

Hmmm...okay. Didn't give it much thought because I was focused on getting mom to eat lunch. Eventually, things got back on track and I forgot all about the key brush off. Alright, I didn't forget, just didn't feel it was worth it to find out why no key for me.....

Fast forward Fall 2008....two things happen:

1....My hubby and I go over to look at his lawnmower. Lawnmower outside and not of interest to me. I decide to stay in, but the way Spidey kept asking me to come out with them, you'd think he was afraid to leave me alone in his house with his valuables (a bunch of old romance novels, Emily Post Etiquette book and the free crap from many charities). I refused and stood my ground. I could tell he was unsettled and really didn't care. On the way home, I asked my husband if he noticed Spidey's behavior. He said 'Yeah, it's as though he acted like you were going to rob him.' So, it wasn't just me.

2....Two weeks later, Spidey calls me about some charges on his credit card bill. He asks if I signed him up for anything and I said no. I think he thought I stole his credit card while in the house and signed him up for .....wait for it.... "discounted prescription drugs offered to Senior Citizens".

Besides the fact I wouldn't do that, how do I get passed his rubber band wallet?

After saying no, I explained that credit card companies offer their customers special services at a reduced rate - did he get a call? No. Of course not. What was I thinking? The man probably did, but refusing to admit he has a hearing a problem would mean he screwed up.

I think he asked me several times. If he weren't 86 at the time, I could be offended. Instead, I backed up his plan to take it direct to his bank for a new card and explain the charge was fraudulent.

He goes. He obviously gets the right person because I have the following phone conversation with the bank teller:

bank teller: Ms. LMB, your father is here with me and I need to ask you a question.

LMB: Are you wondering if I made a charge with my dad's card?

BT: Why, yes. How did you know?

LMB: Because he can't believe he could. I went further to explain, he keeps the card and all financial information close-to-the-vest and I have never even touched his credit card (rubber band has made that impossible for anyone to). Please remove the charge, cancel his card and we'll set up a plan to ensure that this will not be happening in the future.

Things with my dad changed after that. My sister really began to look at his finances and I helped clear a bunch of stupid items my dad charged on his card.

Spidey will never admit he screwed up. I will never correct him. I'm flattered that Spidey thinks I could pick his pocket, master the rubber band makeshift wallet and put everything back in place without him noticing (I should mention, I think he has his notebook and rubber band wallet are on his person 24/7). I also know how important it is for him to have some dignity while growing old.

However, I don't tolerate certain behaviors that I know really help him anymore. Hearing aid must be in when around me and if I need something, he now gives it to me -- like a key to the house. :-)

Okay, that's my story. Not sure if funny, but trust me, if you saw the rubber band wallet, you'd laugh.


La La La Leah said...

So I guess a sliver monogrammed money clip is out of the question for Christmas. I would Just buy him a bag of rubber bands from The Costco.

I totally understand this because my mom lives with us. She is only 55 but your story is me in 20 years. =( I am not ready to deal with this. Wishing you the Best of luck in all you do!

a neske said...

HA hA HA!! That's a fabulous story!

I love the Adventures of Spidey Man plot series you have going on. It's great!

Keep on postin!

Heckety said...

Well, it is funny and it isn't..I've mentioned before that I am thankful to have got back to Ireland to enjoy several years of my parents in good health and strength before they go downhill and need minding. You've just reminded me of my thankfulness!

Life, Love And Lola said...

Good Story! Can't believe you picked your dad's pocket...LOL!

lacochran said...

It's so hard to watch your parents fail.

JennyMac said...

Oh, there is no question this is funny. Rubber band wallet alone made me laugh out loud. But I also appreciated #3 factoid about him. My Dad is one of those in category #3. Although he still carries his gun at all times (retired police) so there is no way I can pickpocket his wallet and do all the tomfoolery YOU apparently are capable of...LOL! Loved this.

Optimistic Pessimist said...

ha that is funny! My grandmother can be the same way sometimes!

otin said...

Why am I picturing Uncle Junior from the Sopranos! ha!

kk said...

Um, it IS funny. I can't get past the rubber band wallet. and writing down every purchase. oh. my. god.

Sunshine Mama said...

I got one about my dad. He used to read meters on the side, but he worked for the railroad. After he retired recently, I just found out that he reads his meter every day to see if he can use as little energy as possible. It's like a game to him. He even keeps track on a notebook. Now my husband knows where I get my spend thrift-ness from.

But it's good of you not to take it personally with your dad thinking you charged something on his credit card. You're a very loving and mature daughter to be able to do that. And you dad does sound extremely lovable.

Living and Loving In L.A. said...

I think it's funny! Families are like that. Sad, hilarious, questionable, all at once! And don't worry, I once dated a guy for a hot minute who had a wallet made entirely of duct tape. Yikes. That's why it only lasted a hot minute!

Patty said...

Hi I'm new to your blog. Visiting from SITS. I think your story is too funny. Kinda sad too because I can relate. Even though my dad is only 64 he's starting to forget little things. I'm a HUGE daddy's girl so the thought of my dad not being the same person one day terrifies me.

I'll be sure to be back and visit.

Midtown Girl said...

This reminds me of something my mom said to me when I went with her to do a living will.

Mom: "You know, I may be leaving you the house, but I'm still alive so, it's still mine ok."

Uhm. WTF?

Enter my 1 yr anniver. giveaway, when you have a chance ok! XOXO

The Cottage Cheese said...

It's great that you have such a sense of humor when dealing with certain difficult family situations and behaviors. My grandparents are 89 and 90, and it hasn't been easy. Heck, even my parents, who are 61 and 64 seem like they are already losing their grip on reality at times! Not jedging them, I'm sure that I too will be this way...

Thanks for your great comments on my blog! I love your profile. You had me at "money pit" and "obscene amount of cookbooks". I knew we were kindred spirits!

Anonymous said...

hahahahahahahahahaha am so glad we were all able to get this out of you!

your dad sounds like such a character and i love it.i can see my parents like tht in 20 years cos my grandparents were like tht and i watched my parents go through this with them and it made us kids laugh soooo much!

ModernMom said...

Have to love a man with a rubber band wallet. Ever wonder what we will all be like at that age? Spidey Man sounds great:)

Live.Love.Eat said...

Very cute story! Sounds like you have a great relationship. It makes me grateful to have both of my parents close and able to spend time together while they get older.

inkOBSESSIONdesigns said...

That is a fab story!

The Peach Tart said...

perhaps you could resurrect the rubber band wallet as a fashion statement

LiLu said...

Oh my lord. I am SO coming over for Thanksgiving dinner...

Little Ms Blogger said...

La La - My sister tried giving him some sort of money clip for father's day - he wanted no part of it.

a neske - Spidey Man is a great guy and does get into many adventures.

Heckety - You're right. It is and isn't funny. But, I try to find the humor in most situations I'm involved in.

Life, Love & Lola - Too bad I couldn't get passed his security system of notebooks and rubber band wallet.

lacochran - And that's why I won't point it out to him.

JennyMac - Even if you could pick his pocket, if your dad had the rubber band wall, it'd be too much to get through it.

OP - How fun

Otin - More like Andy Griffith as Matlock without the bowtie and jacket.

KK - Yeah, I can't keep a stupid food journal, but this man can tell you what he bought a year ago.

Sunshine Mama - My dad was similar. He recorded all the bills on a spreadsheet during the 70's, 80's and 90's. Hadn't a clue what the spreadsheet was growing up and in awe that he kept track of this stuff for 20+ years (again a total appreciation of my mom's ability to ignore this).

Living & Loving - A wallet of duct tape??? WTH... I guess you either paid for dinner or were in the restaurants till closing waiting for him to be able to open the wallet (fyi - I wrote an entry on a duct tape condom. Hope it isn't the same guy).

Patty - What is SITS?

I'm glad you visited and I'll come check you out.

If you dad is active, then you have time - my dad was 86 when he began slipping.

Midtown - OMG, that is PRICELESS!

Definitely going to try for the cosmetic's bag.

Cottage Cheese - Your parents are probably just under a lot of stress. It's hard when the parent becomes the child.

Love the Donald Duck bike and think you should have gotten it.

miss rambles - my dad does remind me of Winnie the Pooh - always getting into something.

Modern Mom - I hope I have 1/2 his energy @87 (he golfs, walks organizes senior events, etc.). he truly has embraced the meaning of enjoying life.

Live, Love, Eat - Enjoy them while you can.

inkOBSESSIONS - thanks

PeachTart - only if I had duct tape or paper clip shoes to complete ensemble.

LiLu - You are more than welcome. I host which means I would be able to give you all the crappy free give-aways I've accepted from dad over the years.

edder said...

What a great story. Those Depression-era parents and grandparents can be hilarious in a sad sort of way. I remember my grandparents' laundry room was jam-packed with paper grocery bags and rubber bands. Hundreds of them. Just in case.

BTW, I gave you an award. Just showin' some Bloggy Love (if you don't mind the exercise).

Cheryl said...

Not easy, dealing with aging parents. I'm thinking of ways not to end up the only one stuck caring for mine (my sister and brother refuse to speak with my dad). Your dad sounds charming and quirkily funny, though, unlike mine.

Little Ms Blogger said...

edder - So true. I grew up with lots of tuna fish in the house. Funny thing, I'm always checking to see if we're well stocked with tuna fish.

Cheryl - Wow. That is hard. For me, I have 4 siblings and can't imagine being an only child.

cottage farm villa (cottagecharm) said...

Definitely Funny!!!