Monday, September 24, 2012

Learning to Shave

Now that Grandpa has been here a few weeks, we are settling into a routine. Said routine has less time than my overly-optimistic self would have liked, but way more time than I used to have. Every morning begins with dressing and breakfast, then I have a couple hours before time to begin lunch prep, and again, a couple hours before supper. My grandpa has always been a very, well, thorough eater and mealtimes do tend to take the better part of each day.

For such a sedentary individual, my grandpa burns a surprising amount of calories, and making sure he stays nice and chunky can be a bit of a challenge. Especially when there are sometimes whole days when he's too tired to eat much of anything.

However, he has never, in his whole life, been too tired for cookies or ice cream!

That is where a wonderfully horrible product that we've discovered comes in. "WhoNu" cookies.

When I first saw them I couldn't suppress an eye roll. Now a bunch of gullible parents would let their kids tank up on these "health" cookies, as if adding in nutrition means there's no fat or sugars to worry about. But then I actually took a look at the box. Three cookies has, as it proclaims on the cover, "as much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal, as much Calcium and Vitamin D as a 8 oz. glass of milk, and as much Vitamin C as a cup of blueberries".  That's pretty impressive for cookies, and they taste pretty good, too (Hey, I can't give Grandpa things that taste bad, can I? Regular quality control checks are necessary).

None of this means they're health food, or that you can eat as many as you want because "they're good for you", but for getting added nutrition into an occasionally-stubborn elderly gentleman, they are GREAT!

(Suncore Products, you may contact me via this blog to send the check for my celebrity endorsement.)

Yes, having Grandpa here is educational in many aspects. Not only have I been transformed into a pseudo-dietician, I have also become an old-school valet. You know, the kind that does everything for the lord of the manor. Now, this may surprise you, but my life heretofore has not exactly been of the type to prepare me for being a gentleman's personal care aid. Shocking, I know, but true. One of the things I've had to learn to do is shave.

Actually, learning to shave might not be a bad idea anyway, what with my family's Portuguese heritage. Portuguese are lovely people, but can be a bit hairy---and that's just the women! I might find myself needing to know how to shave one of these days, if you get my drift. But so far, I have been blissfully free of facial hair. At least I think so. I'm either free of facial hair or my eyesight has already started to go.

Grandpa always insisted on being clean-shaven. He came from a generation where men with beards were weird Bohemian types, not to be trusted. He was a scholar and a gentleman, so every morning, the beard had to go. But he liked to tease us before he shaved by grabbing us and rubbing his whiskers up and down our cheeks. We would wriggle and squirm to get away, then run shrieking down the hall, refusing to get close to him again until he emerged from the bathroom sans whiskers. Shaving was always somewhat of a ritual with him.

Since I've started shaving him, let's just say the ritual has gotten a little less frequent!

Like the landscape of the Old West, my grandpa's face is weathered and crossed by deep canyons, wrinkled arroyos where outlaw whiskers have their hideouts. And as the sheriff in a dime store novel, the razor does its best to restore law and order to the scene, but somehow there are always a few wily whiskers that manage to elude capture. This leaves my grandpa with odd soul patches on random parts of his face. Good thing he doesn't have a mirror!

While I doubt I'll ever get hired on as a gentleman's gentleman, I think I am improving with practice. Less and less of the dastardly villains escape capture each time. It's a work in progress, but hey, I can at least be grateful that I don't have to use a straight razor.

I think Grandpa looks grateful, too.

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