Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday morning

I just got back home from driving one of my old-timey customers to IAH. I mean, OLD-timey! (Not in terms of how old she is, but how long it had been since I last picked her up.) I had forgotten who she was even yesterday when she called wanting to be picked early this morning!!

Then we got to talking and pretty soon there I was, screeching my head off (I'm like that ... Chuck and Whalechaser will attest to it!) when I realized who she was.

ANYhoo, I stopped by Kroger's on the way back home to check out any grape salad activities. Sure enuf, there was grape salad on display @$7.99/lb, but you should have seen the grapes! Less than pitiful!! No one was waiting on me, not that I was interested in purchasing any. I mean, they looked awful!!!

I looked around for a familiar face and saw one close by who, unbeknownst to me, had been surreptitiously watching to see what I would do. (Everyone at that deli, just about, who has been around for any period of time knows me and how much I love their grape salad.)

She came over and asked, with a semi-twinkle in her eye, "Is no one waiting on you?" I answered, "You've got to be ******** me! Why EVER would I want to be waited on? Have you seen those grapes?!?"

"Why, yes," she said, "is something the matter?" After what I was afraid would turn out to be just an interminable period of silence while we stared each other down, we both burst out laughing. I mean, it was funny! (As in a "if you don't laugh, you'll cry" kind of way.) Then she extended our mutual hilarity by calling over a co-worker for a 'customer service consultation'.

Well, time for frivolity was over and we got down to the more serious question of what's going on with the grape crops this year. She told me they'd tried the big fat grapes with seeds, but then customers had complained so much that they had discontinued that option.

She whispered in my ear another place she wanted me to try. Well, I might try that other place tomorrow after I deliver my six-month car insurance premium, but I'm not liking that option, I'll be the first to tell you! More later.

Meanwhile, I'd like to share with you a story my customer told me. This is not a joke. You should not be preparing to laugh.

Seems she got a call a couple of weeks ago from her mother, who lives in Indiana, saying that her dad was having a stroke. (At this point, I interrupted her discourse by saying, "Your mother must have been in a panic. Otherwise, why would she be calling you?!?" "Just wait," she says, "to hear the rest of the story.")

"When will the ambulance be there?" she asked her mother. "That's the problem," said her mother, "he won't go in an ambulance. He says he doesn't need to go to the hospital. In fact, he doesn't even think he should see a doctor."

[Just me now, OK? Why are men - and I realize that not every single one is - like that? God bless their hearts. I mean, we love them dearly, but why oh why oh why are they like that? Can someone please give me even a semi-reasonable explanation?!?]

My customer got her things together in one **** of a hurry while her husband called the airlines to make sure she could be on the next flight north. Meanwhile, back in Indiana her mother was calling yet another of her children - this one living in Florida (a son) - to see if he could persuade her husband to get into an ambulance should one arrive. No luck that direction, either!

[I'm sure all y'all know that the sooner a stroke victim can be properly attended to the less likelihood there will be of permanent damage.]

So what happened?

Well, the ambulance arrived. The husband (my customer's father) refused to get in. The attendants administered such aid as he would accept (mainly Aspirin), and then followed the wife (my customer's mother) as she drove her husband to the emergency room entrance at the nearest hospital.

My customer was told that 50% of all stroke victims refuse ambulance service ... 50%! !!!

She (my customer) and I talked almost non-stop all the way to the airport and I never did get my wits together enough at the time to ask if the percentages differed between the sexes, so I have no further information to pass on in this regard.

The upshot is that her dad is actually doing pretty well. He's home from the hospital and crotchety as all get out ... not his time yet, obviously! The stroke affected the back side of his brain and his vision is affected. Cranky as ****, or so my customer said.

And so there you have it ... the story of my day so far. How are you doing?


Tammy said...

Oh Goldenrod...I'm not quite sure weather to laugh or cry about you and your grape salad dilemma...

Strokes...scary things. My mother in law had one in her eye in December and she can see very little out of it. My aunt had one in her spine and was fairly well paralyzed for many months (she is pretty much back to 100% now). Scary, scary things...

And yes, ALL men are that way. Sorry (wink, wink) I know you have many male readers, lol. I just have to laugh at how big of babies they can be, then so DARN stubborn at other times!!!! :) (all said in humor)

Craig Peihopa said...

Hang on, here Tammy and Goldenrod! I feel I have to step up to the plate and refute the cry baby scenario! lol

As you said Goldenrod, not All men are like that, and I agree that many men refuse this sort of care and Goldenrod asked for a reasonable explanation. Here goes.

I suspect that men have an inbuilt perception of what THEY think others think of them. Most men would hate to feel compromised or weakened to "admit" that something could be wrong. There is a reasonable amount of feeling that may wish to suggest that if a problem is ignored, it will go away.

I accept that notion is flawed, but at it's very heart, men want others to see them as strong, a provider and the one who steers the ship. But as a friends house has a sign that says, "I am the captain of this ship, my wife the admiral gives me permission to say so" and for men they have so many layers of generational conditioning that would indicate men should have no emotion or feeling and if they do, they are gay or weak, (not tht there is anything wrong with that - Seinfeld episode) and no man wants to be weak or weakened even by perception.

That said the bubble of ignorance is never burst. It is only a rare few of us who still don't wish to be weak, but recognise there are things that happen that are beyond our control and in order to remain a provider or Father, Husband or friend one needs to take steps to ensure the longevity of the experience. I find watching other men a a very interesting thing. Machismo is a strange thing, and when you put a man with other men, forget it, they are shockers!

oops I am a man does that mean I am a shocker too.....nah! Couldn't be, lil ole me.

Craig Peihopa said...

Oh and I am thinking if the lady who whispered to you another establishment to try the grape salad's boss finds out she will be jobless!

Glad she was honest with you though. You have me so intrigued Goldenrod. You have made me want to come to Texas and get you to pick me up from the airport and drive around and show me the touristy spots and the spots that you know and most tourists would never see! Then I will shout you for Dinner and we have to have a grape salad! deal? This grape salad sounds intriguing.

Craig Peihopa said...

shout in this country means treat you to dinner. Sorry, felt explanation necessary!

Goldenrod said...

In addition, Tammy, the attendants told her that a stroke victim gets very belligerent and angry, but 50% refusing service?!? I found that number almost unbelievable! Can you imagine what the wife was doing all this time? That she was able to keep from hyperventilating and drive her husband to the hospital is almost miraculous!!

Well said and argued, Craig. I've heard it all before, but you've put it very neatly in a nutshell with many ramifications included.

As for your wanting to "shout me" for dinner? I accept. However, I know of no restaurants that serve grape salad. I'm VERY particular about my grape salad now that I've become accustomed to the best. I could probably make it myself (assuming I can locate ripe, plump, and luscious grapes), but I don't keep vinegar, honey, or cracked pepper in the house.

"Shout" = "treat"? LOVE it! You used a phrase recently that, in this country, would be considered very old-fashioned and out-of-date. It was, "Well, I never!" Is that a common Australian expression, too, or is it a Craig-ism?

It's fun learning about some of the various idiosyncracies from around the world via this thing we call the blogosphere!

Craig Peihopa said...

yep, an old expression here as well, but it seemed to fit. we say Oh dear a lot to Denzel as well.