Sunday, August 8, 2010


A very silly and inconsequential thing happened today that really sent me reeling trying to examine how to raise my kids. 

Today was our second day at the retirement home.  No one remembered us!  It was only two week ago that we went, and I hadn't been too surprised that the residents forgot us, but to have the staff forget was a little disconcerting.  Ironically, as we approached the building, I said to the kids that it was so nice to know we were expected this time.  It took the nerves away and it was very different from our first walk up.  Then we had to start all over again!

Anyhow, we went into the dining area where they play BINGO and someone was already set up to be the caller.  I introduced us and said that we would like to play.  It was awkward, but I was trying to go with the flow.  Next came the trouble with where we were going to sit.  My son, comfortable anywhere, sat himself down with the same lady he'd sat with before. 

But for my daughter and I, it was remarkably complicated.  They were still waiting on some ladies, and it seems everyone has a favorite spot.  Once we got ourselves settled, I asked if anyone had caught the electrical storm last night--a stunning show!  The caller, who was older, but I don't think was a resident, sharply interrupted the other ladies in the room with a final, 'no.'  It drew me up short, and I didn't know how to respond to the other ladies asking me to repeat myself. 

The game abruptly started, even before some ladies had arrived--I think to end the conversation about the lighting.  Why?  I have no idea.   I was surprised to see the caller playing her own set of cards, but since I am really a Bingo novice, I didn't think much of it.

Then, two ladies arrived that required more over-complicated shuffling of people.  My daughter and I ended up sitting next to two lovely ladies and I wish we could have spend more time really talking with them.

Since we weren't calling, my daughter and I played the game.  The second gal won!  She got a Bingo!  And the caller ignored us.  OK.  I guess that is ok.  We are here to serve, after all.  But, everyone else in the room had all heard us say, 'Bingo,' and were confused that the game continued.  Then, the next ball was called and the CALLER got Bingo and she won.  Is that weird?

Now, maybe you know this already, but we have learned Bingo with the elderly is a very quiet game.  You can't talk.  If you do, you risk talking over the caller and they ALL get mad.  So, we watched all of these proceedings in relative silence, until the sweet lady next to us--whose middle name is my daughter's name--said, 'some people really like to win.'  I smiled and just left it at that.

This is long, so I will stop here and maybe share my ruminations about child rearing for another post.

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