Although Kate enjoys humor, she’s never been a kidder. I grew up with a dad who lived his whole life as a kidder. The week before his 100th birthday and two weeks before he died, a young staff member at his nursing facility asked what advice he had for someone who wanted to live as long as he had. He answered, “Don’t die.” He was a light-hearted guy who saw humor in just about everything. He was even a “cut-up” in the emergency room where we made any number of visits. I tend to be a more moderate version of him. That may be having an impact on Kate right now. I find that she teases me a lot as her Alzheimer’s progresses. Not being a kidder by nature, it often fails to come across as humor though I recognize it as such. I’ve had a few examples of that already today.
Out of the blue at lunch, she said, “Those are the ugliest glasses I have ever seen.” That’s the first time I recall her saying anything about my glasses. Usually, she comments about my nose. That has been something of a family joke. Dad had a moderately bulbous nose that seemed to be more pronounced as he got older. I inherited his nose and have been kidded about that before.
Kate also frequently says, “I’m glad I married you even though you’re not handsome.” As we were driving home from lunch, she said, “I think husbands should be handsome, and wives should be beautiful.” Then she added, “I compromised a little in your case.”
I tend to be careful about running a red light and often stop the moment the caution light appears. Kate has always thought I overdo that. Today, I went through a caution light when I could have easily stopped. I said, “I should have stopped. I could have.” She said, “You shouldn’t worry about it. You’re a good guy.” Then she said, “Who are you?” She wasn’t kidding this time. I told her, and she said, “Who am I?”
That leads to something else she kids me about, my last name – Creighton. She likes her maiden name (Franklin) better. She often expresses this preference when I tell her my name. She passed up that opportunity today. In fact, a few minutes later, she said, “I think it’s a good thing that women take their husband’s names.” I asked her why. That put her on the spot. She didn’t say anything for a moment or two. I could tell she was thinking. Then she gave me an explanation that seemed not to make any sense at all. I said, “So you don’t think it would have been good for me to take your name?” It became clear that I was going too far. She said, “Let’s not talk about this right now. This is getting silly.”
We’re back home now, and she is resting on the sofa across from me in the family room. I have a Chris Botti album on the sound system. It’s a beautiful day though warmer than I would like. It looks like we’ll have a peaceful afternoon.