Tuesday, May 17, 2016


                                                                Portland, Oregon 2016

I am an old woman that lives a very generic, vanilla type lifestyle. I am not wild, adventurous, thrill seeking, or crazy. Well, the jury may still be out on that last one. The only swinging I have ever done in my life is on an actual swing at a playground as a child. Even my daily diet is repetitive, bland, and lackluster. I have always been extremely modest and conservative. I get up at 6:30 a.m. sharp every morning and go to bed at 11:00 p.m. every night like clockwork. I walk my dog three miles a day, rain or shine. A wild day for me would consist of eating a large ice cream cone with sprinkles on top in place of dinner, drinking a glass of wine, and staying up past midnight. Jellybeans and Peeps are my guilty pleasures. My life could be aptly compared to watching grass grow. By the way, sadly, my grass died last summer. I miss my grass!  Most of the time, my life is routine, unimaginative, predictable, and downright boring.  The afternoon of May 5, 2016 certainly proved to be an exception to the above premise. That Thursday my life bore a striking resemblance to a scene taken straight out of a sleazy romance novel and I, Grandma, was the sexy seductress.

This is how it all began, and I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The city of Portland received a $10,000 grant from FEMA to provide and install 400 Flash-Shake-and-Wake smoke detectors for its hard of hearing and deaf residents. The State of Oregon notified me of this opportunity since I am already in possession of a phone for the hearing impaired provided at no cost by a government agency.  I went online and completed the required application. A Certification of Eligibility documented by a professional was also required to complete the process. I printed it off and presented it to my audiologist for his signature. I am deaf in my right ear due to a disease called otosclerosis. I have lost almost 70% of the hearing on the left side. I do wear a hearing aid in that ear and for the most part, it makes me functional in social settings. I also read lips. At night I remove my aid and sleep on my left side. As a result, I am incapable of hearing anything including the “wake the dead” decibels produced by my alarm clock or the smoke detector. If either goes off, my dog dances on my head to let me know.  Therefore, I jumped at this opportunity. It would not only give me piece of mind, but my kids as well. They fret over me living alone and not being able to hear alarms.

I was notified by email that I had been approved to receive the special system and that two firefighters would arrive at my home on May 5th at 1:00 p.m. to install the equipment. A home safety audit would also be conducted.

As promised, the firefighters arrived promptly at 1:00 p.m. As I watched them “strutting their stuff” up the path, my heart skipped a beat. They both looked oh so “fine” in their uniforms. As the hunks got closer to my door, I had to catch my breath! They introduced themselves as inspectors McDreamy and Studmuffin. Up close and personal they were so Hunky Dunky Do!!!  Oh if I was only forty years younger. I had to reel my wandering mind back into reality.

Inspector McDreamy  spoke in an extremely loud voice that I was sure everyone within a mile of my house could hear. “DOES  A HARD  OF HEARING PERSON LIVE HERE?”  With a dumbfounded look on my face, I nodded in the affirmative and pointed to myself as a form of identification. “Smooth move Grandma,” I thought. I knew I still had some game left somewhere, and I desperately needed it now! He continued speaking at glass breaking decibels, and I decided to go with the flow and take some Aleve later for the headache he was giving me. The sensual buzz was gone; negated by the decibel situation. It just was not very romantic at all.

I escorted my men friends into my boudoir to set up my system. I tried to remember the last time I had had two hot men in my room at the same time. The answer had the same effect as getting a bucket of cold water dumped on my head. NEVER!  OMG, I am so boring. I was determined that I would not let this opportunity slip through my fingers! Enthusiasm renewed, I was more than happy to comply with the firefighters’ next request when he said, “WOULD YOU PLEASE LIE DOWN ON THE BED FOR US?” He did not have to ask me twice, and I feverishly leapt onto the bed almost missing my intended mark.  He was still yelling, but that was a small price to pay for the anticipated outcome. Quickly I took an inventory to make sure I hadn’t hurt myself in my overzealous leap for love. Nothing broken, I gazed up into their smoldering seductive eyes. The look sent shudders throughout my body. I thought to myself, “Grandma, this is your lucky day!” I could hear angels singing and fireworks going off. I lay on the bed in absolute bliss in a sense of anticipation.

The firefighter placed the bed shaker under my mattress. He activated it and asked in his outdoor voice, “CAN YOU FEEL THE VIBRATIONS?” I shook my head no. He continued to move the shaker in different positions and persistently inquired, “CAN YOU FEEL IT NOW? HOW ABOUT NOW?” The answer was still negative.

I closed my eyes and willed myself to feel the undulations. I encouraged myself by silently chanting, “Go Grandma, Go Grandma.” My impure thoughts were making me feel so uncatholic and unchaste. However, look at the bright side, not in a million years did I ever imagine that I would be laying on a vibrating bed on a Thursday afternoon with two hot firefighters standing over me. At my age, it doesn’t get any better than that. I can dream, can’t I?

Unfortunately, I felt nothing and began to wonder if my body was half-dead. In the end, we placed the shaker under my pillow. The firefighter must have sensed my frustration and offered up the excuse that the mattress was probably too thick. They say as you get older everything on your body hangs to the south. In my case some of my body has left the country! Now all I have to look forward to is shaken senior syndrome or whiplash from the vibrations of the shaker under my pillow. So much for Grandma’s Afternoon Delight.

The bedroom scene played out we moved on to the safety check. The firefighters complimented me on my orderly home and talked about some of the hoarding situations they had seen. “Really guys? We just shared an intimate rendezvous in the bedroom and all you want to talk about is my orderly house? I mused. The story of my life!

Before they left, I asked them to take a selfie with me.  Good naturedly they agreed. We got up close and personal, and I felt my sensual buzz reviving. I explained that the picture was for my senior memoir writing class –proof that I was not fabricating this story.

Inspector McDreamy then asked in his outdoor voice, “ARE ALL THE SENIORS IN YOUR MEMOIR CLASS LOOPED?”

Quizzically I replied, “Looped? Heavens no! The last class of each session we bring food, but other than that the only substance we consume is water.”


I let out a big sigh of relief as I replied, “In that case I can honestly say that no one in my class is looped!’ See memoir mates--I always have your backs!

As they left, they hugged me and thanked me for a fun time! I knew I still had game! They said I was one of the nicest women they had ever met. I asked them to put it in writing as proof, and they did. I was going to bring it to class, but my dog ate it! Bad dog!  This is the true story of Grandma’s almost afternoon delight! Maybe next week I will call the police department and see what they can do for Grandma! Until then, back to living the life of an old lady!

                                                                                                             --Valerie S. May 9, 2016

I hope all of you enjoy this, our writing class sure did!
Thank you Valerie!