The Naked Truth
February 13, 2013
Libby is no longer seated at Alice’s table. It was an uncomfortable phone call, but it got results.
I asked to speak to the seating arrangement person, who turned out to be someone in the nursing department. This seemed like a strange connection to me, but we proceeded as if nurses played musical chairs every day.
The nurse did not like hearing that I wanted this change, so I put forward the facts, which she could not deny: Alice is now the second oldest resident at The Place. She pays nearly $3000/month to live there and has been a resident for almost five years. She’s not any trouble to anyone and does not put a drain on staff resources, being of good health and unusually good cheer. But she frets every night about Libby’s antics. Enough is enough.
Alice called after lunch to say Libby had returned to her old table and then, with barely a pause, added that the dresses on Dancing with the Stars had certainly gone downhill. “Pretty soon they’ll be dancing naked,” she said. “Altogether naked!”
“Yes,” I said. “That will happen.”
She gasped and fell silent. Apparently she had never really considered this possibility before, whereas to me it seems inevitable. “We probably won’t be around to see it,” I said reassuringly, “but it’s coming. Of course it is.”
She was horrified. “I hope not! There is nothing as unattractive as the naked human body!”
Now it was my turn to pause. “What?”
“You have to put something on it,” Alice said, harkening back to her days selling clothes in the store she and my father had owned together. “Same with a baby. There’s nothing cute or beautiful about a naked baby until you put something on it!”
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the woman who raised me.
“Well, I am right,” she argued when she noticed that I’d grown quiet.
I thought about my handsome and athletic father and Alice’s own natural beauty. Both of these people could have stepped out of an issue of Beauty Unlimited, a magazine I just now made up because I can’t think of any other that’s good enough for them. “I think it’s a shame,” I said, “that you have never seen a body you thought was beautiful.”
“No, I never have,” she said firmly. “Now let’s change the subject.”
She exclaimed over the card her friend Gail, who lives in Iowa, had sent her for Valentine’s Day. That’s an actual LW autograph the talented Gail has incorporated into the theme. She made the card from a book she discovered in a box headed for a book drive for Planned Parenthood, an organization she’s been volunteering with for many years (huge book sale coming up in April for those in the area). Her husband Mike wrote a message inside the card explaining that the book was too damaged to sell, so Gail played around with it and made this love note for Alice.
And here’s a Valentine’s Day treat for you. (No naked people, of course – Ugh!) :
kd lang, Brenda Lee, Kitty Wells and Loretta Lynn