Still Stressed in Scottsdale

Yes, it’s a beautiful Spring in our piece of paradise and it is still Humor Month; however, I am filled with anxiety and stress. It has nothing to do with Maury dropping a pen on my peach silk shantung pillows. That’s only “stuff.” Or the fact that my son, Michael, de-friended me on Facebook because I make embarrassing comments. Or that all the silliness I had from the Erma Bombeck Humor Conference and meeting that sharp Tracy Beckerman who writes “Lost in Suburbia” has dissipated  into the constant blue sky.

It’s the news from our friendly veterinarian that Amber, our loyal but gassy golden retriever has allergies. How do I know this? Because she was scratching at an imaginary itch which turned into an infection after she licked it for four straight hours which turned it into a bald spot. She also delivered numerous wet sneezes on us with a wag of her tail. I’ve tried for years to teach her to cover her mouth to no avail.

So after a visit to her favorite doctor which sets us back as much as three pediatric visits (we do not have pet insurance and why isn’t that covered in health care legislation?!), I learned that Amber has allergies from the pollen settling on her coat. That means she has human-like symptoms and will continue to drown us in snot and chunks of hair until her meds kick in.

What meds? you ask. Prescription shampoo, special lotion, ear balm, antibiotics, an antihistamine and because she’s a severe case, steroids. How will she express her ‘roid rage I want to know? Will she continue to bark at dogs on TV with renewed vigor? Or merely attack imaginary squirrels she thinks she sees in our back yard? And, if all that doesn’t give me enough to do and destroy a budget, Ms. Vet advised me to change my air filters, sprinkle fish oil on Amber’s food so she gets enough Omega-3 fatty acids, and tell Maury to stop feeding her snacks. The latter will be the hardest part of the regime.

Seniors and Frisky Behavior

Besides it being Humor Month it is also Sexually Transmitted Disease Month. Some well-paid government bureaucrat decided that was a great combination to create awareness. I want his job! I would definitely pair-up Release Stress Month and Tranquilizers Work Month.

So imagine my surprise when my mother called to share important news. “Jean, did you know the fastest-growing group of people contracting STDs are senior citizens?” “No, mom, I didn’t, But I don’t think you have anything to worry about.” “What? You don’t think I’m attractive enough at my age to have a relationship? I’ll have you know Mr Goldfarb in 3B thinks I’m very appealing. He flirts with me all the time.”

Now she has my attention. That’s all I need to aggravate my stress level: a boyfriend for my mother. “Wait. Is he the one with the bad false teeth or the guy who wears a yellow jacket and pushes a walker?” “Jean, don’t get flip with me. This is a serious issue. We may not have to worry about getting pregnant anymore (I find myself sighing in relief), but without protection a lot of diseases are being passed around.”

Uh-oh. “Mom, is there something you’re trying to tell me? I can make an appointment with a GYN tomorrow.” “No, dear, we had a lecture and I just wanted to make sure you and Maury were aware of the dangers lurking in senior homes.” “Thank you so much. And if you decide to start dating again, let me know. Like I told Lara and Michael in their teens, nothing is too embarrassing to talk about when it comes to our bodies.”

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