Lady looks like a dude


We all know that Dementia is a serious and cruel disease that in time will rob a person of their memories and dignity.

As painful as it is for me to watch Miss Cathy’s confusion and struggles with Alzheimer’s it also pains me to see that she has forgotten about something near and dear to my heart (no, not me or my face)…Fashion.

I know there are worse things to deal with and if you’ve been reading along you know that I’ve shared enough Sturm und Drang and this ain’t that.

What’s maddening is that I don’t know which to blame, the Alz or old age for the fact that these days Miss Cathy looks like a suburban bag lady.

I understand that as one gets older it’s less about fashion and more about comfort but still…a little effort. Besides, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

It’s not that she was ever a fashion plate (nor that she ever really had a passion for it) but
2 ½ years ago when I first joined her life she would greet each day (whether she had an appointment outside of home or not) with a different outfit and a smile on her face outlined by her favorite shade of red lipstick courtesy of Avon.

Her ‘go to’ wardrobe these days looks like pieces gleamed from a dumpster and not a department store.

Gone are the skirts and lightly embellished knit tops, nowadays she’s usually wearing a printed tee shirt over drab olive fatigues or cargo pants and zip front walking shoes and when we go out she’ll top off her ensemble with that damn Ravens football cap of hers.

I want to hand cuff her to a copy of Vogue and turn her into the Fashion Police.

She has three closets crammed full of clothes (some of which Joan River’s might even give a ‘thumbs up’) and her wardrobe is full of ‘labels’; unfortunately none of them read St Laurent, Chanel or Valentino.

She’s a retired civil servant so a wardrobe of couture is not realistic but a few pieces of St John…J. Jill….is that too much to ask?

Hell, I’d be over the moon if she shopped at Chico’s.

But, ‘it is what it is’ and she ‘has what she has’, the problem is she’s not even wearing any of her ‘off labels’ anymore.

Lately it’s hard to distinguish between her bedclothes and her street clothes (and I’m not talking about the lingerie as daywear look popularized by Madonna back ‘in the day’ either).

Miss Cathy will just as soon sleep in an oversized printed tee and then think nothing of wearing it over a pair of ‘man’pants and toddling out to my car to go to a doctor’s appointment.

I wonder if someday when she forgets who she is I can convince her that she’s Audrey Hepburn, or anyone else for that matter capable of wearing a LBD (Little Black Dress).

Till that day I can only hope…and hide her cargo pants and football cap.

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