Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April 20, 2016--Dinner at the Yale Club: New Outfits

"You, I mean we really should do some shopping."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because we could use a few new outfits."

We were about to leave to meet Hedy and Tony for dinner at the Yale Club, where they are members.

Rona was plucking lint off my jacket lapel while at the same time brushing some dust off the shoulders.

"How long has this been hanging in the closet?" Rona asked.

"You mean in years?"

"Yes, years."

"Quite a few," I admitted.

"Give me an estimate. I don't need to know in years and months. I'm trying to make a point."

"That's clear," I said beginning to feel grumpy. "But, OK, it could be fifteen."

"Months or years?"

"You just said . . ."

"Forget what I said. My point is that you, we could use some news clothes. This jacket, for example. I like the fabric but . . ."

"But what?"

"Look at the lapels," Rona had plucked off all the lint. "They're wide enough to almost reach your armpits."

"I think it looks cool. Kind of retro, that I'll admit, but still pretty good looking."

Rona shrugged as if giving up on me. "I have others. Newer ones. But since it's warm out tonight, I thought I'd wear my lightest jacket."

"It's fine," Rona sighed. "Let's get going. You know I hate to be late. But I still feel we could do a little better. I mean dress a little better. Me as well. Look at this top. How many times have I worn it the last two years? I think every time we met Hedy and Tony for dinner. You may be OK with it, but they must be wondering about us. Always wearing the same clothes."

"That's why I thought to wear this . . ."

"So we'll be a few minutes late."

"What's happening?"

"There have been a few things disturbing me lately that I think we need to talk about." She put down her purse.

"This sounds serious," I said, not really in the mood for a heavy-duty discussion right before heading out.

"Doesn't have to be," Rona said. "Depends on how you take it."

"Tell me what's on your mind. Disturbing you."

"You know the tremor you have in your right hand?"

"The essential tremor?" I said.

"That one. Though I don't know why you call it that."

"I did some research and it clearly is and . . ."

"Have you asked a doctor about it?"

"Not yet. But I'm sure it's not Parkinson's, if that's what's on your mind."

"Among other things."

"It's pretty common among older people," I said.

"So is . . .  Forget it. I know you'll go in your own good time."

"Really. I've done a lot of research and it's not Parkin . . ."

"And you seem to be doing more shuffling when you walk."

"Only in New York City where the sidewalks and streets are so full of cracks and potholes. I'm just trying to be careful."

"Which is a good idea, but it's also . . ." Rona turned away from me.

"But it's also . . .?"

"Another side of aging. Out of fashion clothes, tremors, shuffling."

"What can I tell you, I am aging. I'm just trying to do it carefully."

"What does doing it carefully have to do with your beginning to come downstairs for breakfast in your pajamas?"

"There you have me. I've been lazy about that. I'll be more . . ."

"It feels to me that you're doing that because you want to be dressed for your midmorning nap. Admit it, you're not just being lazy."

"I haven't been napping in the morning. It's just that . . ."

"It feels to me that you're getting ready to do that. I mean, have a nap after breakfast."

"Criticism acknowledged. I'll . . .?"

"I don't mean it as criticism. Just that I don't want you to prematurely assign yourself to being old when you still have all your marbles and most of the rest of you."

"Anything else," I asked. "We should probably . . ."

"In fact, there is."

"Shoot. I mean tell me what it is."

"You know that coarse hair that began to grow out of the tip of your nose a few years ago?"

"I do. We both thought it was funny. How this happens to men as they . . ."

"Can you please keep it trimmed? It seems to grow two inches every day. I don't ask for much and . . ."


"I'm sorry, there is still one other thing."


"The jacket. Can you maybe change it to one that's only ten years old?"

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