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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-02-26 15:19
Subject: [cancer] The transient illusion of competency
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, family, health, movies, personal, shellyrae
Couple of mildly discouraging things today. (No, I'm not depressed about any of this, just mildly discouraged.) While at lunch with garyomaha and elusivem, the cashier somewha visibly older than me asked me if I qualified for the senior discount. I'm forty-five years old, people. I don't know if it was the gray in my beard, or the general wearing down of chemo, or what. I told her, "I"m not old, just tired."

After Day Jobbery, I went to Albertson's by myself. I don't much do this any more. My friends and family do my shopping for the most part, and when I do go by the store, it's with someone. I needed a few things, and figured midafternoon would easy. I went over there with a four item list. It took me forty-five minutes to get through the store. The large, complex space was confusing to me, and even the fairly light number of shoppers felt like far too many for my comfort. I came home with four bags of stuff, half of which I'm now looking at in mild wonderment, while getting through the self-service checkout was a nightmare for me. (I would have stood in the full service line, but that was 20 minutes of waiting behind several gigantically full baskets at each open register.) The self-service cashier took pity on me and helped me get sorted out after the register kept trying to scan and weigh my man-purse despite my best efforts to the contrary.

You know, I used to be able to go to the grocery store, shop for ten minutes, and come home without mishap. This underscores to me that my "zone" has become very narrow. By myself I can handle the post office, the pharmacy, the gas station, Blockbuster, and a very limited selection of restaurants, mostly where I already know the staff. Almost everything else I do, I do with calendula_witch or shelly_rae or one of my parents, or another friend. I've been chalking that up to energy management, which is very real, but somewhere along the line, I've begun to lose my ability to simple, ordinary things.

This doesn't actually surprise me. It's no different from not doing my own laundry and dishes any more, really. It just...disappoints.

I shall console myself with Tweetsnarking The Fifth Element here shortly. And laying low at home for the rest of the day, doing nothing important whatsoever.

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User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2010-02-26 23:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
use the motor carts at the stores, they are also supposed to help those in the special checkout sections. Yes, you can walk and function, but this just makes your energy go a bit farther while shopping. That way you dont stand for that long either.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2010-02-27 04:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Absolutely. Get a cart. No one is going to look askance.

When my son was at his sickest with Crohn's, back when he was a sophomore in high school, we took him for a quick short trip to Epcot (long story behind this). We got him a motor cart to get around, and it made a huge difference in his ability to enjoy things. Given how haggard he looked at the time, no one questioned why a young kid was using the cart.

I'm not surprised by people thinking you look old, because DS looked a lot older than sixteen when he was at his sickest. But it will pass.

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Max Kaehn: Boogie
User: slothman
Date: 2010-02-27 00:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I imagine The Fifth Element could cause a lot of cognitive dissonance if you approach it as a space opera action adventure, but it’s just delightful if you approach it as a space opera romantic fairy tale. Rather like the Liaden books, where True Love is clearly a fundamental physical principle.
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User: ygolonac
Date: 2010-02-27 03:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
i liked teh 5ht element just fine.
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They Didn't Ask Me
User: dr_phil_physics
Date: 2010-02-27 02:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Please Please Please Please post the transcript of The Fifth Element tweeksnark. The movie is a guilty pleasure, as was the David Lynch Dune, but your first tweeksnarkfest was priceless.

Dr. Phil
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-02-27 03:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
So let it be written, so let it be done. ;)
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User: scarlettina
Date: 2010-02-27 06:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I love it when you quote the classics.
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Elf M. Sternberg
User: elfs
Date: 2010-02-27 03:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
To answer the question you asked, in The Journal Entries, the "creationist" and "Darwinist" positions are reversed: the creationists believe (correctly, says the author) that their first generations emerged into a fully-formed world; the Darwinists insist that that's all a lie by a powerful elite to cover up some great crime. As centuries pass, the argument gets even more contentious.
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Kate: footed bowl
User: kateyule
Date: 2010-02-27 03:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:footed bowl
fwiw, realize that some places start their "senior discounts" at age 55.

I hate those self-service checkouts with a passion. When Fred Meyer put them in I said "This is an acknowledgement that we the customers can do the job better than the paid staff." (At Freddy's, sadly true.)
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User: shaolingrrl
Date: 2010-02-27 03:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
5th Element is one of my guilty pleasures, too. But I cannot deny: it begs for Tweetsnarking. Please be gentle with it.

And hang in there. You are doing fine.
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User: fjm
Date: 2010-02-27 08:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You need a girl scout, not a girl scout cookie.
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Jay Lake: funny-do_not_hump
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-02-27 15:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
[ response redacted for good taste ]
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2010-02-27 11:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Self scanners are put there to undermine our confidence. They are inhabited by the Lesser Demon of Frustration and Poor Esteem.
You are not old. You encountered a cashier who was having a bad visibility day. (You can't be old, because then I must be ancient, and that I refute.)
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Misty Marshall
User: mistymarshall
Date: 2010-02-27 12:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Heh...I of normal intelligence being of sound body and mind am also often thwarted by the checkout counter and overwhelmed by the grocery store. Oh yeah and for fun...try it in another language you speak poorly. Hugs and love. I don't quite know your pain but I can definitely empathize.

Edited at 2010-02-27 12:07 pm (UTC)
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User: barbhendee
Date: 2010-02-27 15:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Oh, Jay, you do not look anywhere near--even remotely approaching--a senior discount. I don't think you even look your age.

And personally, I think people at the registers should wait for the customer to request the discount. My mother-in-law is drop dead gorgeous: a tall, slender red-head.

We were shopping for dresses for her, and a clerk asked if she wanted the senior discount, and you should have seen my poor mom-in-law's face. When we got in the car, she burst into tears.

I felt bad for her.
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