instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

BETWEEN THE LINES

The Great Cookie Caper

There’s a new rule at the retirement community where my dad lives: only one cookie with your fruit cup for dessert.

You’ve got to understand that this is epic for my almost 98-year-old father. Blind and mostly deaf, he makes his own breakfast and lunch, but eats his evening meal every night in the dining hall. The food is decent and the staff is pleasant and accommodating. My dad has lived there for ten years, and the wait staff all know his standing dessert order: a fruit cup and two oatmeal raisin cookies.

Until last week.

On Thursday when Robby and I show up to join him for dinner, I ask my usual question. “What’s new, Dad?”

His usual answer is, “Nothing much.”

On Thursday, he says, “Well, you won’t believe what they’ve done,” and proceeds to tell us about the new regulation. “Can you believe that?” he asks, full of indignation.

Honestly, I agree with him. My dad came of age during the Depression and never wastes food. He often requests a half-order of an item he doesn’t think he can finish. He never leaves food on his plate. But, like many residents at this establishment, he sometimes brings a bit of food back with him to his room. In case he gets hungry later.

“So,” he asks, leaning forward conspiratorially. “Maybe you and Robby can order cookies, and give them to me? That’s what my friends did last night.”

Of course. We never have dessert and would be happy to join his plan. “You know, Dad. That’s kind of civil disobedience,” I say.

He nods.

As we were finishing our main course, the waitress came over to take dessert orders. “The usual, Jack?” she asks.

“Yes,” he says. “A fruit cup and two oatmeal raisin cookies.”

She smiles. “I can only bring you one. New rule.”

“I’ll have oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert please,” I say.

“Me, too,” Robby adds.

The waitress nods and walks away, just as the two gentlemen my father eats with when he’s not with us, walk up to the table. One of them, let’s call him Arnie, looks around to make sure no one is watching, then hands me a plastic carryout box, covered with a cloth dinner napkin. In the box are three oatmeal raisin cookies.

“We take good care of your father,” Arnie says. “Plus, we still like to break the rules.”

I love that. You’re never too old to resist.
2 Comments
Post a comment