My much older sister, Lorraine recently moved to The Villages in Ocala, Fl. The Villages is a retirement community for seniors that don’t act their age. The residents of this Stepford-like community could have been actors in the movie Cocoon where the elderly residents of the Sunny Shores retirement home are suddenly rejuvenated by swimming in an alien “life force” pool. The residents of the Villages drive around in $40,000 souped-up golf carts, play golf, pickleball, swim and do aerobics by day and party all night. I have yet to see one senior with a a walker or wheel chair and I have never seen a cemetery anywhere in the Villages. I’m thinking that the “life force” rejuvenation must be in the piped-in music that’s played in the village square or perhaps it’s in the drinking water. I’m just saying...
Anyway, whenever my much older sister and I get together it seems we always end up in a laughing fit - often somewhere very public. You would think that in a place like The Villages there would be a Depends factory or something. I mean, the place has three zip codes and only seniors! However, there is nothing in The Villages that screams, “old people live here!” There isn’t the slightest hint that women with weak bladders exist in The Villages. But, I know this is a falsehood as Lorraine does in fact live in The Villages and I could also live there despite being much younger than my sister.
I have visited Lorraine several times now since her move to FL. I was almost certain that I would be banned from visiting after the last time. I kept expecting a certified letter from the village police stating that I have proven myself to be unfit for retirement to The Villages due to weak bladder syndrome and some other minor problems that accompany “normal” aging. I couldn’t help the puking in the middle of the street incident (and no I wasn’t drinking). And it wasn’t my fault that I didn’t know the golf cart tunnel had a speed limit of 5mph and you’re supposed to use your horn and lights, but that’s another story!
Since it didn’t appear that I had been banned from The Villages, my whole family decided to go to my sisters for Easter. Thirteen people arrived at Lorraine’s house and we were all spending the night. After dinner, Lorraine asked me to help her get the blow-up mattress into her tiny office and put the sheet on it.
“Sure,” I said innocently as I gathered the sheets and blankets and put them in the office while Lorraine blew up the mattress in the living room.
“Good God! Is Godzilla going to sleep on that thing?” I asked as I watched the blow-up mattress take on a life of its own.
“How are we supposed to move that into your little office?”
“Oh, you’re being melodramatic,” Lorraine said, “It’ll fit just fine.”
“Okay,” I said as I attempted to grab one end of the mattress, “let’s do this.”
The mattress was at least a foot thick and appeared to be king size. Grabbing the stupid thing proved to be more of a challenge than I anticipated.
“Why didn’t you blow this up in the room?” I asked as we struggled to twist and turn the mattress so it would fit down the hall and through the door.
“I didn’t want to wake the baby.” My sister whispered as the mattress scraped along the wall right outside the baby’s room.
By the time we got it through the door, I was dripping in sweat and my sister’s hair was matted to her forehead. I couldn’t help it, I started laughing hysterically and had to wrap my legs in knots. I quickly let go of the mattress and ducked into the nearby bathroom before the inevitable happened. I’m certain my sister could hear me still laughing in the bathroom.
“What’s so funny?” Lorraine asked as I returned.
“You should see yourself!” I laughed. “Your hair is matted to your forehead and you’re sweating profusely and we haven’t even gotten the stupid mattress on the floor yet!”
“Well, you don’t look too hot yourself!” she retorted. “Let’s just get this bed made before we wake the baby!”
After pushing the furniture aside, we were able to just barely fit the monstrosity in the room. I grabbed the fitted sheet and made a heroic attempt to put one end on the corner of the mattress where I was wedged in the room. I couldn’t get any leverage, so I laid on the mattress and attempted to start at the far corner first. While I was reaching for the far corner, Lorraine got the bright idea to lay across her end of the mattress and attempt to put the sheet on the corner diagonal to mine. Unfortunately, when Lorraine put weight on the end of the bed, she launched me off the bed - kinda like a mattress bounce-house. I landed under the desk in a laughing fit. Lorraine was still laying across the bottom of the bed, panting like she had just run a marathon, trying desperately to get the sheet to stay.
As I crawled out from under the desk, I had to climb onto the mattress because there was nowhere else for me to go. My weight on the bed caused Lorraine to roll off her end popping the sheet off the corner. At this point, Lorraine dashed out of the room in a mad rush presumably for the bathroom. She left me laying on the bed laughing my head off with the sheet in a heap next to me.
When she returned she joined me on the mattress for another feeble attempt at sheet control. Surely, two college graduates should be able to figure out a way to put a fitted sheet on an oversized blow-up mattress! Instead, we were behaving like two village idiots! Well, after much contemplation, we devised a foolproof plan where each of us, holding one corner of the sheet, would roll from the middle of the bed to the ends of the bed. The key to this working was rolling in tandem so that neither of us reached to edge of the bed before the other causing roll off. Sadly, our plan failed miserably and we both rolled off either end of the bed.
I’m guessing it had been at least 30 minutes by the time the commotion drew the attention of my two daughters. When they entered the office, they found their aunt and mother both laying on the floor out of breath and laughing uncontrollably. My daughters could have helped. They could have each grabbed a sheet corner. But, no! Instead, they got out their handy dandy cell phones and hit the record button. They even had the audacity to suggest that we had been drinking. As God as my witness, I had nothing to drink that night!
I could continue with this sad story of two desperate women just trying to provide a restful place for their ungrateful children. I could tell you how the ungrateful children stood there recording the scene never lifting so much as a finger to hook in a sheet corner. I could tell you how the baby never stirred nor did any of the sleeping men in the house! I could go on telling how two brave women continued to wrestle the cunning sheet but, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Or, in this case, a video is worth a thousand laughs. I’m expecting my certified letter from The Villages any day now.
PS: There was supposed to be a video recording accompanying this story, however the ungrateful child that has the video recording on her phone has been unable to upload it to my computer. I will add the video if and when it gets uploaded.