Apparently, with age comes some need to help the impoverished and infirm. As my parents have enjoyed the rewards of hard work and relative health, they feel it’s time to get their hands dirty. Literally.
My mother is celebrating a milestone birthday this year (I won’t shock you with her age, I’ll just mention that she looks fabulous) and instead of doing something normal like go to a spa or spend a weekend in Vegas, she’s booking it down to Mexico to dig ditches, build bathrooms and construct one-room school houses.
My father, in turn, has recently decided to squander what’s left of my inheritance on joining some religious cult and has flown off to France to help bathe the untouchables in Lourdes. Apparently, he and his cronies throw the invalids in vintage wheelbarrows, roll them down to the Holy water, and wait for miracles.
Itty is convinced that my father will catch leprosy and we’ll have to send him off, fingerless, to Molokai with Fr. Damien. I’m convinced my father will take one look at third world cripples and book himself a room at the Paris Ritz.
When I am old and feeling guilty about my good fortune, I wonder how I will choose to give back? Perhaps, with my recent foray into Prison Pen Pals, I’ll volunteer at a woman’s correctional facility, teaching literacy and eyebrow maintenance. Maybe, I’ll break into sweatshops and free child workers from their leg shackles, allowing them much needed bathroom breaks. Or I could hike into darkest Appalachia and inform the in-breeders about the wonders of contraception.
I will say this: as per the office memo yesterday announcing forced recycling, I will not spend my golden years saving redwoods and harvesting compost piles. Ewww…