Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Thursday Thirteen #334

 Alexa's 13 most requested recording artists. This list is from 2022. Amazon's AI goddess hasn't spilled her 2023 secrets yet.

1. Ed Sheeran.

2. Elvis Presley. (I think this is likely the influence of last year's biopic.)

3. Taylor Swift.

4. Drake.

5. Elton John.

6. Adele.

7. Disney. (I'm assuming this is parents asking for songs from Disney soundtracks.)

8. Harry Styles. 
9. Queen.
10. Beyonce.
11. Beatles. 
12. The Weeknd. 
13. Ariana Grande.

Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.


"76 trombones led the big parade!"

So posts my friend Kathy to explain away her erratic behavior. She blames her non-existent memory and her rambling, non-sensical responses to my Facebook posts on her age (76). 

But here's the thing: I know people who are older and more cognizant, and no one is asking her to explain. Least of all, me. I know she's suffering from senility, or dementia, or Alzheimer's. 

Even posting "76 trombones led the big parade!" is kind of dopey. I worry that she's embarrassing herself on social media in front of hundreds of people. This weighs heavily on me. I've considered hiding my Facebook posts from her, but if she doesn't hear from me regularly, she freaks out -- saying "they" are isolating her.*

Three of us planned to travel to Dekalb and visit her but she cancelled on us at the last minute. She wasn't confident of her ability to tell time well enough to meet us at a bar near her home. Kathy says she's sure she'll be better "in spring" and we should plan on getting together then.

I have discussed this with my shrink, who keeps emphasizing to me that Kathy's condition and how it's handled are not my responsibility. Kathy is estranged from her son, but her daughter is aware of her decline. So is her sister. Her adult grandchildren all live within blocks of her. Her ex-husband visits her often. They all know what's going on. They have hard decisions to make. I'm only one of her friends, and I am more than an hour away. This is not on me, so she says.

My doctor advised me to stop hiding her posts. Just to see how it feels to let go of protecting her. So "76 trombones led the big parade!" stands. How does it feel? It feels cringey.

My shrink also reminds me Kathy has much bigger problems than dopey Facebook posts. Problems I have neither the authority nor the capacity to address. I realize that is true.

There's something else going on here, too. Kathy and I have long had a complicated relationship, one I've tried to extricate myself from more than once. (Here's a verbal snapshot from 10 years ago.) I feel guilty because I'm still mad over incidents she doubtless doesn't even remember.

I'm trying to be fair to myself and do right by her. 

It's hard.

And so I struggle. 

*I wonder if all paranoid conspiracy theorists aren't suffering from some level of cognitive failure. How far, really, is "Dr. Fauci is poisoning us with the covid vaccine" from "Mark Zuckerberg is isolating me from my Facebook friends?"