Kim's Story

by Kimberly Otero

Kimberly is my sister-in-law, and for a great many years my step-dad Ray, whom I loved way more than my real father, lived with her and my brother.  He could be a pain-in-the-ass at times.  This story is about one of those times.  (But now that he's gone, we wish he was still here being a pain.)

Journal March 21, 2006

It is really going to suck getting old.  It is noon time and I have tucked Ray away in his room with a hot cup of coffee and a warm slice of apple pie.  I have asked him to stay in there for a few moments so I can just have a few minutes of peace and unwind from the roller coaster of a ride he took me on this morning.

First off, the second toilet in the house is broken.  I called the plumber and he is coming over this afternoon, but the broken toilet really bothers Ray and it bothers me too.  Six people and one toilet is not a happy situation, but the kids are at school and Mike is at work so we are really not inconvenienced.

Ray and I went to drop off Trace at preschool and then I had to go to the building department that is located in the same building.  Ray sat in the car.  When I came back he said I had been gone two hours. I said I was sorry but that it was only 30 minutes and that he could have come with me.  Next we went to the power company to pay the bill and then to the hardware store to get a cell phone holder for Ray's phone.

We walk into the back of the store and ask to see the cell phone holders and the person was helping another customer.  Then Ray went and found another clerk that works in another department and they said they would be right there.  As the other person was walking back to help Ray, Ray saw the manager and told him he needed help and could he help him.  He said sure and walks with Ray as the second person is coming over and then the first person is done with the other customer and Ray tells him he still needs help as he has two other employees trailing behind him.

Ray and two staff go over to the cell phone holders and the manager leaves.  The staff asks Ray to show them his cell phone.  He says he does not have it with him but that they sold him the phone a few months ago and "Don't you remember what phone you sold me?"

Ray tells me to give them my phone and that my phone is the same as his phone. It isn't.  I go pick out a case for Ray and give it to the cashier.  Ray takes off with Trace to the front of the store and then sends Trace back to me to ask if they can have candy.  No candy.  I tell Trace to go get Grandpa so he can pay for his cell phone holder.  I walk across the store to Ray and he tells me he doesn't want it anymore.  I go tell the clerk we won't be taking a cell phone holder today.  Ray doesn't buy anything and leaves.

Ray gets in the car and wants a cell phone holder now since he is afraid the cell phone in the back of his pocket is going to "rupture his butt”.."  No, I am not kidding.

We go in and Ray buys the cell phone holder.  We go to the post office and go home.  We get home and I start to make lunch.  Ray calls his bank to check his balance.  They cannot give him his balance for some reason.  I think it is because he calls them 20 times a day and they want him to call the 800 number but he cannot figure out how to work the press one etc, phone system.  (I am setting him up with online banking so I can check his balance 100 times a day if he needs too.)

I tell Ray I will go call Jo Marie at the bank and see if she will give me his balance.  I asked Ray if he would please get Trace a couple pieces of bologna to hold him over until lunch.  Ray gets him the bologna and then I hear the two of them arguing.  Then he comes downstairs and tells me Trace won't let him put butter on his bologna (where did this come from?)  I tell him Trace does not have to have butter on his bologna today.  All is well……. until I found out Jo Marie is not at the bank and I cannot get Ray's balance.

I tell Ray we will get in the car and drive to the ATM.  Of course we have to leave right now.  We go to the ATM at the credit union and Ray gets out of the car.  He always checks his own balance so I never get out.  He is taking forever.  I ask if he needs help and he says yes.  He doesn't remember how to get his balance.  I get his balance for him.  We get in the car and then we cannot find his ATM card.  Now he really starts pulling at his pockets and looking everywhere.  I think to go into the bank and ask if the card gets sucked back in if it is not retrieved and they say yes.  I told them Pa is freaking out could they open the machine and retrieve the card.  They do.

We come back home and I get him settled with his pie and coffee.  I ask if there is anything else he needs or that I can do for him.  He says, "Yes.  When are they coming to fix the toilet?" Arghhhhhhh

It is okay.  As long as I stay calm and do not get caught up in his hurry, hurry, hurry mode I will be fine.  I repeat, I will be fine!

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