J Smiles is caught off guard when Zetty initiates a conversation with an unknown, handsome man. Is it flirting? Sounds like it. But how does Zetty remember such social etiquette when she cannot recall her birthday?
J shares what experts say about sex drive & ALZ too. She even scratches the legal land of consent --- when does consent get murky for the spouse or life partner of an ALZ sufferer?
There are enough laughs to give you a stress break and a new pick-up line, if nothing else.
Snuggle Up to hear another hilarious escapade of ALZ's favorite DUO.
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We were sitting in the doctor's office, old people were everywhere. I mean, everywhere, like Disney World has cartoon characters. I'm not exaggerating. It was a Memory Care Clinic. Everybody in there had cognitive decline. Therefore, most of them were well over their 80s, quite decrepit looking. Just me and Zetty sitting there passing time waiting on her name to be called. A bunch of people coming back and forth with caregivers, on canes, in wheelchairs, on scooters, on crutches, all kinds of stuff. Zetty is just too tapping her finger, flipping through magazines, tapping her toes, that I that as she reads the magazine. I told y'all before when she doesn't understand a word that I that, that's the new word. Then this tall drink of water walks in, he is not decrepit. I noticed him because I don't have Alzheimer's. Why do I watch my mama look up from the magazine, watching this man walk? Excuse me Miss Zetty, little miss ma'am, am I watching you watch him? What is going on? Is this the beginnings of a flirt? I thought you don't know nothing. I thought you will know what's going on, what day it is, what time it is, what planet we are on. Oh, oh, but you watching that thing right there? Tall, dark, and lovly, you know what, you know what, hm. Parenting Up- caregiving adventures with comedian J Smiles. It is the intense journey of unexpectedly being fully responsible for the well being of my momma. For almost a decade. I've been chipping away at the unknown, advocating for her, and pushing Alzheimer's awareness on anyone and anything with a heartbeat. Spoiler alert- I started comedy because this stuff is so heavy. Be ready for the jokes! Caregiver newbies, OGs, village members trying to just prop up a caregiver, you are in the right place.INTRO - Zetty::
Hi, this is Zetty. I hope you enjoy my daughter's podcast. Is that okay?Episode Title - J Smiles::
Today's episode. Did Zetty just flirt with that manTHE Episode::
Parenting Up family, I could not believe it. Zetty watched this man like he was new money. Like he was a chocolate cake just coming out the oven. Like he was a pretty car coming off the assembly line. She watched him walk all the way to the registration desk, do whatever it is he had to do. And he turned around and as he was walking out of the office lobby through her mask, because this was still during the pandemic, she bellowed out in a loud confident voice, "Well, hello there." It was sutry, I was like what are you Lena Horn? Are you Marilyn Monroe? What in the hell just happened? I haven't heard her have those kinds of chops, maybe never, but certainly in decades. The man stopped in his tracks backed up two or three feet looking left and right because we were at least 10 to 15 feet away from him. He is trying to figure out what feminine prowessness just bellowed out at him. He turned to Zetty, he tipped his hat because even through her mask on her face he could tell by smiling eyes who had just given him that compliment. Now I need ya'll to understand, we were facing him at a 90 degree angle. So she did not lock eyes at him when she said Well hello there, all airy. Basically showing her slip, putting her intentions all out in the street. I'm like mama cover up your bra girl! Close your, close you, close your coat! Got me out here looking like I ain't gave you know home training. All these people in the facility looking like gurl get your mama. That man looked at her with his head in his hand because by now he is taking it off of his head. I have my lip on my knee flabbergasted. The man, how are you today? She said, Well, I'm here. He responds, well, aren't we all. Zetty, I guess so, that's at least what we have. I'm thinking. are you responding back to this man in a cogent, concise, and logical manner? Ah, no, ma'am. No, ma'am. No, Pam. No, Sam. No How? No way. He looks at her. I look at her. I look at him. I lean over in front of her and throw my arm out right across her chest the way you do when you slam on brakes in the car as the driver and then you throw your hand in front of the passenger in the front seat as to save them from flying through the windshield. I did that and looked at him, like do you see me looking at you, looking at my mama. She is not available, sir. She is taken. She is betroved and she is a married woman. I did not say any of those things. But I did throw my arm in front of her chest that I think she was wiggling in front of him at least in my mind. And I did give him a look like Sir you know everybody in here and quite right in the head and I don't think you're quite right and heady though I don't know. Did you come in here to make an appointment for somebody or are you the person? But he, ain't gonna lie now y'all, he was fine. He looked like some kind of Sidney Poitier meets Harry Belafonte meets Denzel Washington but taller, right. I mean, he was a nice mocha brown, blah, blah blah attractive man, dressed very well. Little tweed jacket, slacks. Tie up shoes, okay, not sneakers. I said Okay, Zetty, but then I got to thinking listen here, lady, since you don't remember that my daddy is deceased. You just asked me a couple of weeks ago, when the hell he was coming home because you hadn't heard from him in three weeks. So that means that technically, you don't remember he's dead. So hefer you out here cheating on my dead daddy in my face. Ah, not today you not? Y'all I didn't know whether to be proud of her and kiss her because her little girly loins were alive and bubbling and I hadn't seen that be the case in years. So my momma got swag. I was like hell yeah, but the other part of me was like, hell no, you better not be out in the streets running around like a floozy on my daddy. You ain't riding home with me. You gonna walk. Since you know how to holla at men you better holla at a ride. The more I thought about it, I said, hell I should have seen this coming. Zetty absolutely interacts differently based upon a person's gender and their appearance. My momma has been slick flirting for a minute, but I didn't catch it because see this one was just so overt that I couldn't deny it. But baby girl meaning Zetty has been doing this for some years. Y'all her trainer, who is also a strapping really handsome man, he's like six, two or something very in shape, a former football player. Oh, bae bae she hugs him around his neck. Everytime she sees him, she throws her arms straight up, like the referees do to say touchdown. Now I can't get her to raise her hands above her waist. Do you hear me? But when he comes her hands go straight up in the air, as if to say come give me a hug so that he will bend down and give her a hug. Now, I thought that was cute because she knew him and they had a rapport because he's been her trainer for like eight years. But now that I'm thinking about it, I'm like nah, it'ss because he is cute and he does dress like that. He doesn't come looking like a beat up, worn out, just left the gym trainer. All his stuff matches and is very neat. Our priest is handsome as well, ball head, nice smile. She gives him a big old hook right around his neck and a kiss on the cheek. And I like ma he's the priests. But I'm thinking you know, she's really into God and you know to church. But now that I'm thinking about I'm like, oh, Lord Zetty has been showing these signs but me in denial, which we have talked about on the podcast before. I didn't want to believe it because of like, well if she get. He is serving her Christ the body, our Lord, amen. When you go hug somebody and be very friendly with them, shouldn't it be your priest? And then I had another reminder, the driver y'all remember me talking about getting a driver if Zetty and I are going to a concert or driving to another city, maybe going to a basketball game and I know that I need to get Zetty right up to the curb. We're going to be in there for a couple three hours and we need to get right out and not have to fuss with traffic and me trying to maneuver getting the car and getting Zetty and we always get the same driver. And after this display with the man and the tip of the hat and there well hello there. My mom doesn't have a baritone voice. I don't even know where all that bass came from. I'm sitting there inthat doctor's office trying to pull this thing apart. Because I'm a thinker- the driver is six six, and a former basketball player. He dotes on my mother, and as soon as she sees him, her hand is up and out. Her hand is taller than she is. She throws her hand up so high, so he can kiss it and help her out the house. And while cutting it to the car, she's like, Oh, how are you? So good to see you. Oh, I'm so happy. Really. You can remember you didn't see him. But you can't remember the name of your cousin or your brother or your sister or these caregivers that come to see you every day. Zetty you playing, you know what I mean? I'm thinking like, are you picking and choosing when you want to remember something? Because you remembering all these boys, these mens. Full transparency, it was hate. Yep, it was hate because her strategy worked. The most attractive man that had come in that room in 30 minutes secumbed to my mama's phrase- Well, hello there. And I thought well damn she never taught me that line. I've never heard that line. My best line is Hi. How are you or just Hi or Hello. I didn't know about the Well, hello there. You know, I didn't know and I didn't know your voice was supposed to go down 17 octaves like. So it was hate. It was also Yeah, it was probably mostly hate that even with Alzheimer's through a frickin mask something clicked when she saw that specimen. And she was so good at it, that Zetty pulled the best man in the room yet again. And her friends have told me that that's what always happened. She always got the best dude in the room and so I think a little bit too I'm like, oh, oh, really, hmm (sigh), like. So now I'm hating on my infirmed mama. Thanks Zetty, I appreciate you making me feel so small. I was so tickled and intrigued by my mom's response that day that I did a little digging and research and asked a few questions. Did y'all know that in Alzheimer's folks, our community, their sex drive is still alive and well, for a very long time. They just might not be able to communicate it. According to webmd.com- not only is it still there, but because of the changes in the brain. It can make them act in such new ways. The behavior can look so weird that their actions may become more overt. They may start touching and hugging or trying to even kiss on strangers or people in inappropriate ways. When I found that out, I said well thank goodness Zetty didn't do that. At least that did not go down in the doctor's office. Now maybe it's because we were sitting in the chairs and the man was 15 feet away. I don't really care why, but whew did not have to experience it. The National Institute on Aging which is nia.nih.gov actually says that Alzheimer's can make a person so hypersexual, that they masturbate when well into their 80s or 90s. Now, I don't even know if masturbation in your 90s is typical. I am not about to wax philosophically on that. For those of you outside the United States, wax philosophically is slang for saying, talk a whole bunch about a subject, as if I know a lot, but it's really just my opinion. However, this is the first time I have seen something where scientists talk about a sector of 90 year olds masturbating. That was quite intriguing, a little bit scary and bordering on dangerous to me. Each of those articles, and the conversations that I had with experts, once again confirmed, JG it can always be worse. Just be grateful that Zetty flirted from afar with only words because some people become so assertive or aggressive in their hypersexuality, that they take their clothes off in public and do sexual gestures. That has not happened and I'm going to pray that I never cross that bridge. Now, this took me over the top in terms of blowing my mind. Y'all remember, I'm a lawyer, the University of Chicago in an article published on uchicagomedicine.org suggest that in the future, we really could run up against a problem with consent. It can really hang in the balance because will there be a moral or ethical issue at play as a person with Alzheimer's advances with the disease. I mean, can a person with Alzheimer's truly consent to sexual activity. They were only talking about those people in partnerships like they are if they are married or in a long term living arrangement prior to being diagnosed. We are not getting into whether or not a person is being abused by a stranger. I want to be very clear, this article is not dealing with criminal activity of someone being raped or molested. That's not the point here. We're strictly talking about that was your boo, you were married or connected and committed; one of the people in the relationship gets Alzheimer's and initially everybody has agreed we are still having sex. But yo at some point might it be the case that the person with Alzheimer's can no longer legitimately consent and when is that? But would a marital obligation still remain? Whew we, that is way above my paygrade but it is show enough off a head scratcher. I'm like Ooh, I got my popcorn, my sun chips, and my Prosecco ready to see this battle come to fruition because it's gonna come out there. The only reason it hasn't yet is because what? Alzheimer's hasn't gotten enough shine. My mama initiated the flirt, y'all. That's probably what really threw me off the most. I've never witnessed her do that. Zetty is the one who always played dumb when a man was flirting with her my entire life oh, what Jay, I JG I didn't see that. I, I was just going in the course to I was just getting some gas. I was just at church. I was just given my speech. I didn't even see him. So now I've also like, was all that a farce? Probably, I don't know. You know what I mean? Like, how far back do I have to go with thinking my mom was playing me the whole time and she always had this supernatural game, didn't wanna let me in on it. Oh, anyway, y'all should have seen her, youOUTRO::
Do you have a comment about today's episode? Is there would have been proud. a topic that I've never covered that you want me to handle in a future episode? Cool, text a purple heart to +1404-737-1449. Of course, I'm gonna put that in the show notes.THE SNUGGLE UP::
The Snuggle Up- Number 1, be nimble, my friends. Stay ready, so you don't have to get ready. You never know what your LO is going to say or do. Zetty threw me way off. She had been diagnosed a bunch of years before that display in the doctor's office. I never saw it coming. Stay as light on your feet as you can, not having very set expectations of how the day will go. Be flexible. Try hard not to get embarrassed, or to be too tense. Just flow with it. Remember, they have a disease, you're not out to ruin your day. Number 2, let your LO have a harmless interaction. If they seem to be flirting, or saying hello, or being a bit verbose, that's okay. But stay close beside them. Maybe have your hand on their shoulder, on their elbow. Maybe you're holding one of their hands, maybe your hands on the small of their back. Something that will indicate to the person that they're talking to that you need to be in contact with them. That's a cue to the rest of the people in the environment that your LO need supervision. Those around don't understand your LO and the disease the way you do. Even if they know that your LO has Alzheimer's, they don't get the intricacies and the nuances the way you do. So stick close, but let them have a little fun. Give them a little bit of freedom to have a little conversation here or there. It won't hurt anyone. Number 3, As for sex, Zetty ain't doing it. She is a born again virgin. Now for you, whatever your LO is doing, whatever you choose, that's on you. I would strongly suggest if your LO is still clear enough to give consent or have consent or if your LO is married or in a relationship then communicate with your LO's doctor around consent, intimacy, and concerns of when that line could get blurred. Just try to broach that subject well in advance. You don't want anything to start getting murky.OUTRO::
We keep the Parenting Up caregiving content coming on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. As well go to www.jsmilescomedy.com and sign up or Parenting Up newsletters. That's it for now. Thank you for listening. Please subscribe for continuous caregiving tips, tricks, trends, and truth. Pretty pretty please with sugar on top, share and review it too. I'm a comedian, Alzheimer's is heavy, but we ain't gotta be.