Archive for August, 2010

Oh Oscar Oscar Oscar

I realized today that my working life with Oscar has turned into my own little Becketesque “Waiting For Godot” hell.

Here is some sample dialogue:

Oscar
Would you boil some water please?

Me
What do you need the water for?

Oscar
I want tea.

(LONG PAUSE)

With milk.

Me
Do we have any cups?

Oscar
I don’t know.

(LONG PAUSE)

Why don’t you look.

(I LOOK)

Me
There aren’t any cups.

Oscar
I bought cups yesterday. I had enough cups to last a lifetime.

Me
Where are they?

Oscar
I left them home. I couldn’t manage to carry them.

(PAUSE)

What about the tea?

Me
I can’t make tea without a cup.

Oscar
Look. There must be something.

Me
There is nothing.

Oscar
Forget the tea.

Seriously this is giving me an existential crisis everyday. The futility of every task is too much for me to take even if I am getting paid for it.

Then later:

Oscar
I think my ex-wife has been stealing my dividend checks.

Me
Oh?

Oscar
Call the Bank of New York.

Me
Who should I call?

Oscar
I don’t know. Call them!

Me
Ah, do you have an account number or something?

Oscar
I don’t know.  I can’t remember.  Just call them!

Me
Well what should I say when I call them?

Oscar
Ask them where my dividend checks are?

Me
But how will they know who you are if I can’t give them a number?

This is a all new to me as I’ve never had to deal with elderly parents as they both left the planet way before I wanted them to. Thanks Mom, thanks Dad, leave me to deal with Oscar without any parental supervision. What would they say? What would they say? My softhearted Dad would feel sorry for him and say something like; “Cranky give the old hump a break.” My mother would say: “I think life is way to short for that.” And in her case that was all too true. So in a way, I am following both their advice – I am very understanding and patient while there, while praying all the time that I can get the hell out of there and NEVER go back.

But we are in the new economy. Here is what the new economy means to me. In the old economy my husband enjoyed a few luxuries. Including handkerchiefs from Thomas Pink. Without a second thought. That was the past. In the new economy it takes an hour and a quarter of work in the present to buy one handkerchief of the past.

But the existential crisis of the present might still be influenced by the past. One day soon I might look at Oscar and say: “Sorry Oscar.  My mother’s calling me.”

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