Matte’s Blog

The Clumsies

Regarding that cake baker thing: How would the Supreme Court have ruled if the baker had refused to decorate a wedding cake for a couple because they were Mormons, which he considers heresy?


Ahhh, yet another joy of aging, getting clumsier and clumsier.

In my case, this started back in the nineties when i was enmired in depression over my cognition problems and spending a lot of time in Texas dealing with my mother.  The only good part of doing that (other than getting to feel good about myself for being dutiful) was that the frequent trips gave me a opportunities to raid her large collection of glasses for replacements for those i was breaking at home – dropping them, knocking them off counter tops, or, my favorite, putting them down on the table with a satisfying clunk only to discover when i released my grip that only part of the bottom of the glass was resting on the table.  But that clumsiness abated as soon as i got off the AIDS drug i was taking that was causing the cognition problems and, i later realized, the clumsiness.

All was back to normal until the last year or so, when i couldn’t help noticing the thumb fingeredness returning.  Occasional broken crockery, a lot of fumbling with keys, missing the leg when drawing on my pants, dropping everything everywhere, and stumbling.

A couple of weeks ago on plain level ground at very low speed i somehow lost my balance on the Segway, which is damn difficult to do without hitting a pothole or obstacle.  And when i fell, i managed to whack my left leg hard enough to tear my thinning skin open in a few places.  Oh no, not bandaid size, so i had to mess with taping on gauze bandages for several days.  Grrrr.

And then a couple of days ago i dropped my credit card before i could get it back into my pocket after a purchase, which i didn’t discover for several hours until i wanted to use it again.  Went back to the store, but no, i hadn’t dropped it on the counter where the checker could see it.  Sigh, so i had to race home and call up the company and cancel the thing.  I guess the good news is that when she read out to me the last transaction, it was the one i’d made in the store, rather than $4,000 in Victoria’s Secret.

And then this morning i was in Rainbow Grocery and decided to treat myself to a good (aka expensive) cheese and walked up to their counter display.  Their breathtakingly knowledgeable cheese man has gone, perhaps for the better since his counterside manner left a lot to be desired.  His replacement is a lovely young woman, and before i’d had a chance to really study the offerings in front of her window, she inquired whether she could help me.  I told her i was in the mood for some good cheese and was just browsing the display, whereupon she extended her hand with a sample on a piece of waxed paper.  Try this.  It was superb, and i told her so, but also said i wanted to look at another counter behind me. I turned and stepped to the counter and suddenly there she was behind me with a sample in each hand, one different and the other the same as before so i could better compare.  How nice of you i said, but i shouldn’t have tried to talk and reach at the same time because i knocked one of ’em out of her hand onto the floor.  Why can’t i do this kind of thing when nobody’s watching?  She was, of course, totally gracious.  The cheese i managed to get into my mouth was the one she’d offered me at the other counter, and the second bite was even better.  Turns out, we were standing right in front of the display of it, so she handed me one and remarked that she could find a smaller one.  Oh please.

And then, just a while ago i was making a batch of my chocolate sauce, which  has always been popular, but since i went over to making it with a combination of Callebaut’s solid 100% chocolate and their cocoa powder, people have been purring and rubbing against my leg as they inquired when i’d be making the next batch.  After i’d cooked the batch and was bottling it, i managed to knock over one of the full bottles before i’d capped it, causing a chocolate cascade across the countertop and onto the floor, which i had just mopped a couple of days ago out of fear that someone would come in and see it.

chocolate sauce spill


I somehow refrained from going down on my hands and knees and lapping it up.  But, yes, i did do that on the rather more hygienic countertop.

And don’t get me going about what my sister calls “senior spots”, the spills and dribbles down the front of one’s shirt.

My goodness, is all this ineptitude ever annoying.

Not, of course that it’s grounds for an Intervention after which i’m carried off screaming, strapped to a stretcher.  No no.  My mind’s still clear, and to prove it, i’m learning to conjugate Italian irregular verbs:  ho, hai, ha, abbiamo, avete, hanno.  See.

The problem is purely with the body, and it’s clear that i’m going to get my wish that it fail before my mind.

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  1. ckm3
    Posted 7 December 2013 at 09:18 | Permalink

    For most people, what stays in Las Vegas is the money.

    Most excellent turning of the phrase

    • Matte Gray
      Posted 7 December 2013 at 14:26 | Permalink

      Many thanks.

  2. Chimpus_Dorkus
    Posted 21 December 2013 at 19:59 | Permalink

    Ouch. Poor bb, here’s hoping you have some good holidays etc to cheer you up and a speedy recovery.
    Be careful, will ya?!?

    • Matte Gray
      Posted 21 December 2013 at 20:50 | Permalink

      The holidays are most definitely cheerful, the recovery is progressing apace, and the caution level has been dramatically increased.

  3. Posted 24 January 2014 at 12:08 | Permalink

    Thank you for remembering Barry. And for loving him, as I did. I am glad he got to see a loving face before he died. You are right, he wanted to go out on his terms and it was never going to be pretty. Barry, even though he’d be cleaned up, was always disappointed after falling or having a heart attack, being picked up by ambulance, treated and then dumped right back onto the streets… He gave up hope for a place indoors after realizing that even that level of frailty was not enough to deserve housing in this city. he did admit to me he would have preferred to live inside. As you said, he was not crazy. 🙂 Again, thanks for the love and kindness you and others showed him. I know he appreciated it.

    • Matte Gray
      Posted 24 January 2014 at 12:26 | Permalink

      Since i wrote that account i’ve been back to the makeshift shrine several times and have talked with folks who knew him longer than i, people who were also there the afternoon before he died and to whom he also expressed very clearly that he did not want to go to the hospital. Some of the people who knew him better are organizing a little wake for him on the 1st of February, and i’ll post more details here as i learn them. Meanwhile, a useful resource is, with an article on 22 Jan that has extensive comments.

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