Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Dancing in Her Underwear

Watching a Knitted Dress Unravel

Once upon a time a debutante came onto the ballroom floor in a knitted dress. She was natty and neat. She got compliments on that knitted dress.

But that very evening one stitch broke. The knit material sagged a bit as each loop that had been held by the broken loop fell free. And each of the loops in that chain stitch loosed another, and then the dress sagged a lot.

With each new dance step a bit more of the knit material unraveled. The diners at the ringside tables watched in fascination and wondered when the dress would give way. Each minute a tiny bit more of the dress gave way and each loop of yarn that held another let go.

The diners could see the dancer’s lacy undergarments through the unraveling dress.

I am watching an old folks home unravel. It is fascinating and horrible to watch.

When I moved in there were no apartments left vacant. Then the administration changed. There had been a natural attrition, but now fewer people moved in than moved out.

Since there were fewer residents and fewer people paying rent, to save the cost of one salary, the new administration combined the jobs of maintenance man and bus driver .

Therefore there were fewer trips and so fewer people found this an attractive place to live.

With even fewer renters, the laundress was let go and the housekeepers washed the sheets and pillow cases and towels as well as cleaned the rooms. With more duties, the housekeepers gave each room a little less time.

With more casual housekeeping fewer people moved in.

Each stitch of the knitted garment that held another stitch let go.

By now the residence was half full. The chef quit and his job was taken over by the second assistant to the maintenance man. A cook with less experience prepared less tasty food.

Some of the people at my table complained so bitterly about the cold food, the unattractive portions, the unorganized service that the waitress refused to serve our table.

Another stitch let loose.

I am watching a once comfortable residence unravel like a snagged knit dress.

It is fascinating to see stitch after stitch give way and wonder when the debutante will be dancing in her underwear.

PS  Resonse to some of the comments below:

  I'm not as depressed as I sound.  Writing the above analogy helped me put things in perspective.  If you can keep smiling when all about you are depressed, the old joke says, you must not have a clear view of the situation..

   In fact, people, including the landlord, have reminded me that if I don't like the way things are, I can move.  To which I reply, "Oh, no.  This place has potential.  It was once a nice, friendly, homey, comfortable place to live.  It may be again someday."

   Meanwhile, I have lots of support.  See the comments below:


sherm197 said...

Hi Chuck, I wish I would have wrote that. You write beautifully and what a effective analogy. I'm showing it to some of my senior friends because it so true in our senior community too. Orem Senior Oaks Apartments, we have 18 apts. within a small cultus act, and all of us have a "knitted dress unraveling." durning this season of our lives.

plieck30 said...

I'm sorry your home is falling down around your ankles. Hope someone or something comes to the rescue. Paula

magogos said...

I am sorry that the conditions thewre are going downhill. Any possibility of a rescue? What will you do? Margo

mavarin said...

I hope someone stitches things together soon.  It may mean new ownership or higher rent, or both, but at some point, something will happen.  Then things will improve--or you, too, will move out! - Karen

lilhoneybee81 said...

Hope things get better for you!

sieblonde said...

Which is another reason to always wear clean undies....  or undies at all!  I hope someone shows up with some knitting needles there soon...  

valphish said...

Beautifully written.  Your home must have been very nice at first.  I like how you compared her to a debutante in a knitted dress on a ballroom floor dancing - she must have been very nice!  You surely have a way with words.  You are positive as well!  You must have been a source of change, and will continue to be, around there!!  Keep up the good work, Gr'pa Groundhog!! Love ya!! xox

kt4pr said...


Your analogy is priceless and made your point beautifully. The "unraveling dress" scenerio happened in my mother's home here in Pennsylvania. As her advocate, I stomped through the halls with hobnail boots to assure that Mom was OK. We need more advocates for situations like this. I love your upbeat attitude and hope that things begin to improve.

princesssaurora said...

Hang in there...I am an optimist too!  

I love your journal...glad Paul named it as one of his favorites.


sdoscher458 said...

Gosh can't the landlord see what he is doing wrong? You write very well and I'm happy that Paul picked you so that the rest of journalland can enjoy your writings.Well, I hope things improve...Sandi  http://journals.aol.com/sdoscher458/LifeIsFullOfSurprises

drjuditha said...

Chuck you have a wonderful attitude.  Keep it up.  If nothing else you are educating the world on how our seniors are not treated the way they should be.  Hopefully with exposure, in time there will be change.

Good luck!