I saw a van yesterday as I was driving to work, with the words “Fellowship Adult Day Care” painted on its sides and back doors. The logo on the sides showed a green hill, its pinnacle shifted right of center. The hill was gently sloping on the left and dropping off fairly precipitously on the right.
Geez. The only thing more insulting would have been a motto just under it, saying, “You’re Rolling Down the Wrong Side of the Hill – Let Us Change Your Diapers.”
I found myself wondering how I would feel, in my dotage, to be climbing into a van declaring itself as a shuttle to my “day care.” I’m pretty sure I’d be mad about it. I don’t know who would put me there, but I’m thinking it’s entirely possible that someone would, since as of my mid-thirties I feel no urge to reproduce, and therefore will have no children to guilt into caring for me.
Then again, there would also be no children to ship me off to Shady Pines at the slightest sign of misbehavior, a la Dorothy in “The Golden Girls.”
Of course, we would all prefer to remain in our homes, wearing 20-year-old polyester pants and orthopedic shoes – and possibly little else, depending on how things have gone that day – and giving the neighbor’s kids the evil eye from the doorway. We’d all prefer to just die in our sleep, in peace, with relatively little to complain about, apart from the neighbor’s kids. Until then, we’d much rather be surrounded by the sounds of a neighborhood than the sounds of an “adult day care.” My grandmother, who died when she was nearly 85, always loved hearing the kids playing outside. It made her feel younger, even when she was wobbling around with her walker and getting stuck in the middle of a room for no reason.
Considering the advanced age-related illnesses my grandparents had – Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and prostate cancer – it’s pretty promising that they all got to stay home. Then again, they had kids and grandkids milling around, swapping shifts and staring at them while they slept. I hope my nephews really like me when I’m old, or that we’ve found a way to cure all those things by then.
Wait. I don’t have a prostate. Cross that one off the list of potential miseries.
But If I have to get in one of those vans every day, it better be bound for a non-insultingly named facility. If it’s an insultingly-named facility, I’d better not be able to see the writing on the van. And regardless, I hope they expect their charges to stick out their tongues, fingerpaint with their food, throw things at each other and mock each other’s elderly disabilities, because I’m totally doing it. Just out of spite.