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Chuck Hinman. IJMA No. 350: On elastic in ladies panties

It's Just Me Again No. 350: Caregiving 101 : On elastic in ladies panties For past Chuck Hinman columns, thumb back through Sundays with CM, reading ColumbiaMagazine.com as a Daily Newspaper.
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by Chuck Hinman

Caregiving 101 : On elastic in ladies panties

Some of the happiest days of my 50-year marriage to my precious, beautiful wife Connie were, strange as it may sound, after she developed Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, many of the things I write so easily about relate as my role as caregiver -- not as a burden but in fulfillment of my wedding vows... "In sickness and health..." which the Lord helped me to take seriously.


I mention this so you will understand the following hilarious incident is just one of a jillion. Connie was a fun person who would have howled until tears came to her eyes had she fully understood what happened. Ready?

It had become a yearly custom for Connie and me to go to the Tulsa International Airport to pick-up my young co-worker friend, Jim Cotton. We had adjoining offices when we worked for Phillips Petroleum Company in Houston. I had retired and Jim commenced a new career with Walt Disney in Burbank, California. Jim came home to Bartlesville, Oklahoma at Christmas time to visit family and friends.

Connie was in the middle stages of Alzheimer's disease.

While the three of us were waiting at the carousel for Jim's luggage, Jim noticed that Connie's panties had dropped to her ankles! And who knows how long she had been walking them down the long airport corridors? Who and how many people saw us and snickered and pointed?

To get the proper perspective of this incongruous event, you must understand that Connie was always, even in the midst of AD, a most attractive woman. Her complexion was perfect even for a much younger person. I had learned from the Dillard's cosmetic department how to apply her make-up. I wasn't timid or modest about color! I used the best cosmetics -- Lancome -- after all, this is my wife I am talking about!

Her hair was stylishly coiffed as always. Over the years I had taken great pleasure and satisfaction in dressing her in the cutest, most colorful clothes I could find -- probably a little brighter colors than she would have chosen. I loved hearing people say... Wow!!! Her appearance always made my heart go pitty-pat when I picked her up from Katherine's, her hairdresser! I loved squiring her around!

Lord! What do I do now? I walked her back several feet from the crowd around the carousel. Then I tried in vain to pull her panties up somewhere near where they belonged. To complicate things, I had dressed her in a stylish, below the knees full skirt and over-the-hips length light jacket. The skirt covered my head and I couldn't see what I was doing. I wasn't making any headway when Jim got on the other side of her and tried to help me with what I was doing which wasn't working!

I could imagine that those waiting for their luggage were aghast at what they were witnessing -- this old man down on his knees and this younger businessman aiding him -- why did this attractive-stylishly dressed women not yell for the police? Instead, she seemed to not notice... or care! What's going on here?

Finally, sanity prevailed! I calmly lifted one of her legs, removed the panty -- then the other -- and whisked the panties into my overcoat pocket. I then stood up and tried to make it appear nothing uncommon had happened!

Jim had his luggage and when we got to the car, we had to collect ourselves in silence. Finally we broke out in uncontrolled laughter! Even Connie joined in, good sport that she always was!

LESSON TO BE LEARNED IN CAREGIVING 101 -- after slipping your loved one's panties on her, take a moment and gently snap the elastic to see if it is adequate for the day. -Chuck Hinman


This story was posted on 2011-05-22 16:08:39
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