Are you ready for your next ACTION-oriented Key to Coping? I anticipate your answer is yes, as one can never have too many strategies for dealing with Un-cope-able Parents!
Let me start by asking you this: How confident do you consistently feel as to whether you’re getting accurate or complete information about your parents’ true state of affairs? Right! You’d receive conflicting reports depending on what day of the week – sometimes what hour or minute – you inquire!
You garner only the content one (typically the bossy partner) or both want you to know (when they collude).
A quintessential driving story!
Never more accurate than during the episode we shall aptly entitle “The Driving Test”…
This tale dates to November 2010. I know only one fact for sure. Something happened between the first and fifth of that month.
On November 1st, my father was due to undergo Ontario’s bi-annual process for seniors over 80 years of age. This includes: attending a safety lecture with a qualified instructor; providing optometrist proof of a recent eye examination; and completing a multiple-choice written test to demonstrate supposed competence pertaining to the province’s rules of the road.
Notably, demonstration of actual capability behind the wheel via a road driving test is not demanded in Ontario at the time of publication. It should be. I will be vociferously speaking to this issue in subsequent Blogs.
Why clarification is so important.
At any rate, when we chatted that Monday, I learned – to my initial horror – my father did not walk out with official papers signed, sealed and delivered – the way he’d done at ages 80, 82, 84 and 86. It’s no hyperbole to state this was a shock to us both. For, despite all his braggart ways, he could justifiably claim a stellar record across 72 or so previous years.
To this day, I have yet to establish what exactly unfolded across the next four days. All I know is that by the Friday, he had signed papers in hand. What the H— had happened in the meantime??
Knowing my Dad as I do, I can only surmise a few possibilities: 1) He flubbed the written test; or 2) He was kicked out of the lecture. I rule out not having the appropriate optometrist paperwork, for that is something he would’ve diligently looked after around the time of “The Missing Glasses Episode”, which you already know only too well about!
Find out the solution next time.
At any rate, short of monitoring them 24 hours a day – which we’ve already established you’re not prepared to do for your difficult pair – some ability to discern what’s really going on is called for.
I believe the spirit of the ACTION, Clarify, is well captured by this quotation from Dwight L. Moody: “I have had more trouble with myself than with any other person.”