Weekend with the Beiges

As I sorted through a gazillion books and dvds, unpacked boxes, put things away, and found room when it seemed there was no more room to be found, it struck me that instead of doing all that at my parents’ new apartment in the Old Folks’ Home, I should be doing it in MY home. I have 1400+ dvds (yes, mostly Hindi) plus twelve million books (I am not exaggerating), mostly stacked in unruly piles which threaten to kill Gemma should they topple over on her. Obviously, I realized, I have come by my dvd/book habits honestly. But somehow the organizing and putting-away gene escaped me (except when Mom is cracking the whip).

While I moved furniture and flattened boxes, Gemma panted in sympathy for me in the 150-degree temperature which people over 70 always seem to maintain in their homes. She also refused to go to sleep, I think afraid that I might leave her there to slowly roast.

Once when I took her outside I saw a little old man arguing furiously with the large (but very polite) head chef about the gravy served in the dining room. The chef was pointing out nicely that he feeds a lot of people every day and nobody else has complained about his gravy, but his diminutive foe remained vociferous in his antipathy for it (especially on turkey, I gathered). Next time I go, I will be ordering something with gravy for sure.

Meanwhile, no matter how many times my mother and I showed him the shelf full of them, Dad remained convinced that the Super Studs (his name for the Gentle Giant movers) had never packed his opera dvds. Finally in an effort to distract him we made him go for a walk with us, but we got lost and went too far and had to push him, totally exhausted and confused, back home in a wheelchair (they are, thank goodness, littered all over the place for such eventualities). Last evening we watched an apt but bittersweet film called Mrs. Palfrey at The Claremont starring Joan Plowright as an elderly widow who moves into a room (rented by the month) at a run-down hotel in London hoping for a little taste of excitement and independence in her waning years. It was really good but depressed me unutterably.

This afternoon I took a long cab ride home (too tired for the train) with Miss Gemma on my lap, driven by a muscular guy named Joe who regaled me with a sad tale about losing his home and car thanks to his girlfriend, who had been funneling all the money he gave her for mortgage and car payments to another (supposedly ex) boyfriend instead. When he came home one evening and found the extra boyfriend in bed with her, he went to a neighbor’s and drank an entire bottle of tequila before returning and taking an aluminum bat to the extra boyfriend, breaking both his legs, one arm, and his jaw before the police intervened.

He told me that now he receives a $25,000 hospital bill every month which the court ordered him to pay, but he returns it (unpaid) every time with a note telling the hospital that the victim has all his money.

When he dropped me off, he gave me a big discount on my fare and asked me to call him for lunch next time I’m out there. Which, if the gravy at the Old Folks’ Home is really that bad and my dad is still fretting over his opera dvds, I might do.

16 Comments to “Weekend with the Beiges”

  1. You have way much cooler cabbies than I’ve ever had!

    • Come on over the pond and I’ll introduce you :-D

    • You’ve got to talk to them. NYC is very scary cabbie wise. I almost came to blows with one. And in India, people are always asking me how come I know all the stories of their domestic staff. Like I said, you’ve got to talk to them.

      • Some NYC cabbies are rude, but I’ve never had a scary one! I wasn’t in the least scared of Joe either, plus it would have been difficult NOT to chat with him since we were in a car together for over an hour and he never stopped talking!

        I always talk to people, you just never know what you might find out ;-) People are endlessly fascinating.

  2. !!! I was going to say you have SCARIER cabbies than I do!!

    • Ha ha! I called my mom to let her know I was home, and she said that she was worried as she watched me get into the cab…he was pretty sweet except for the baseball bat incident narration, which got him all revved up again. I didn’t mention in the post that I shared a cab partway home too with a very strange co-passenger. She seemed completely out of it and was headed for some sort of halfway house occupied by some other very strange people.


  3. It sounds like a nice home, the one your parents have moved into. I hope they are happy there.

    I’d stay away from that cabbie though. :)

    • It is lovely, and I wouldn’t mind living there actually! They will settle in eventually. Are glad to be seeing all of us kids regularly :)

      I will probably be unable to stay away from the cabbie, though: there is only one taxi service in town!

  4. Good ‘beti’ :-) Must be a relief to have them close by now?

    I echo Banno on muscular Joe!

    • It is, and I did have fun with them. Gemma adores them, my mom because she actually cooks stuff and my dad because he drops the cooked stuff on the floor where she can get at it :D

  5. You should be making movies, not watching them, the way you see the world! Hope you got the cabbie to drop you off around the block & not at your front door!

    • Not sure if it’s the way I see the world, or just the stuff that seems to unfold in front of me! I gave the cabbie an extra large tip to keep him on my good side :)

  6. So, when are you coming over to organize *my* movie collection? :-) You could even meet the homicidal cabbies in the D.C. area.:-)

    • As soon as I’m done with my own!!! (which is to say, probably never)…to be fair, Joe said that he was relatively calm until the extra boyfriend taunted him with the fact that he (Joe) had been supporting him for three years. I think the moron EB kind of deserved what he got, and apparently the court did too since Joe isn’t in jail or anything. Although if Joe ever sees the EB again (or the now ex-girlfriend) I shudder to think what might happen.

  7. if you were in joe’s shoes,
    what would you do?

    much like this

    his ex-girlfriend sounds scary.

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