“I can live without money, but I cannot live without love.”
“How much do we owe you?” asks DooDaddy, as I deliver another batch of geezer supplies. You know, Cepacol Mouthwash, Hall’s Honey Lemon Cough Suppressant Drops and BIC Retractable Ballpoint Pens (black please).
“Twenty dollars,” I reply.
Then Gmamma gets out the old three-to-a-page vinyl checkbook and writes me a check, carefully noting “supplies” on the memo line.
Truth is, Depends ain’t cheap, even with the downloadable coupons I receive via email. Metamucil (sugar free with orange flavor), Ocuvite and compression stockings add up. But so what? These are the necessities of life for geezers. And these geezers are the people who paid for my braces, bought me my first car, put me through college and hosted my first wedding. They lent money to my first husband and were never repaid. They babysat for my only child, apple of my eye, and chauffeured him to and fro when I was a single working mom. On Friday nights, my young son sometimes sat in when the geezers needed a fourth for bridge.
In short, these are my parents. And I can never repay them for all they have done for me, financially and otherwise. So, rather than present those mile-long CVS receipts for $72.11 or $54.31, I round down to $20.
Twenty bucks used to be a lot of money. Remember when you got a crisp twenty-dollar bill in a birthday card as a kid, and the world was your oyster? You could go to the movies, get popcorn and still get change back from a twenty. Ahh, the good old days, when twenty dollars went a long way.
The geezers are on to me now, since they started getting deliveries from Long’s Drug Store. This iconic mom-and-pop pharmacy still has a lunch counter and soda fountain serving up hand-scooped milkshakes and Ruth’s house-made pimento cheese sandwiches. Long’s delivers prescription medications right to your door. Recently, DooDaddy started adding toiletries and random geezer sundries to his order. Tums. Kleenex. Yellow legal pads. He has been aghast at how expensive everything is.
I still deliver geezer supplies. It makes me feel useful. I can’t slow the decline in mental acuity or ease the pain of arthritic joints. I can’t turn back time. But I can run errands and stock the medicine cabinet.
And on my birthday, I still get a crisp twenty-dollar bill in my card.