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My quality of life improved considerably when I started using a plastic table cloth for my 90 y.o. parents. They had sense not to complain.

Women behaving badly will be tossed out if they don't shape up, British home for elderly threatens

By Associated Press, 1/9/2002 16:03

LONDON (AP) Three women in their nineties have been threatened with eviction from an old people's home for bad behavior and an argument over a plastic tablecloth.

Their rowdiness drove a housekeeper to resign from the home in Stow-on-the Wold, 60 miles northwest of London, the management claimed. The three were issued a written warning for ''unpleasantness.''

Unless the women shape up, they'll be shipped out, the Dec. 12 letter warns.

Celia Gill, 94, one of the women, called the allegations ''rubbish'' Wednesday.

''I am not at all disruptive. It is just stupid,'' Gill told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.

She dismissed claims the previous housekeeper could hardly bear working with them.

''We had a very happy time here,'' Gill said.

Gill's account was supported by former housekeeper Lucy Woodward, who worked at the home for 20 years before being succeeded by the unidentified woman who claimed to have found it all too much.

''It was just a lovely home and the residents were all so lovely,'' she told the BBC.

''... I know Miss Gill can get on her high horse sometimes,'' Woodward said. ''I mean, she has had a go at me at different times. I'd say, 'Don't be silly, Miss Gill.'''

The unwanted introduction of a plastic tablecloth was one cause of complaint.

''I am 94. I'm not used to eating from a plastic tablecloth,'' Gill said.

''I have been told since that today, people do use plastic tablecloths, but the one they provided well, it was full of grapes and God knows what. It was not what I would call a tablecloth.''

Vera Norwood, mayor of Stow-on-the-Wold, joined the tablecloth fray.

''I quite agree with her,'' Norwood said. ''Just because you are getting elderly, you don't want to lose standards. I would not like to eat off a plastic tablecloth.''

-- Anonymous, January 09, 2002


On the one hand, I agree with you, Brooks. I know I have enough to wash without having to deal with tablecloths. On the other hand, I know enough about the extreme elderly to know how *UPSET* they can get if their routines get altered. Example, when I was in college and riding a city bus to campus, I once. accidently sat in some elderly person's customary seat on the bus (it was a ways back, not the front).

She complained the whole trip! Then she complained for the next couple of days. The bus driver just kept telling her that there are no assigned seats.

I never sat in "her" seat again! Wasn't worth it.

-- Anonymous, January 09, 2002

Meemur, the same situation happens in a lot of Churches when some old member who has been there a long time feels a certain "seat" is theirs.

Can't wait for Old Git to give us her own opinion on this tablecloth matter in general, and old folks in particular. Especially Old English. Not that Old Git is necessarily "old" you understand. I really don't know. But that handle is a least an invitation, right?

-- Anonymous, January 09, 2002

Meemur, the tablecloth in question was a very old cotton one that required extensive ironing. It was all that ironing I couldn't take any more, and Dad was worried about spilling stuff, being mostly blind. However, I did make an effort to find as nice a one as I could and, damn it, it IS my house!

-- Anonymous, January 09, 2002

My favorite grumpy old lady story was related by a well-known author named McKinley Canter (sp?). When he was a boy, the family had to put up with an elderly grandmother who was something of a holy terror, and who periodically threatened not to leave the family "the Lincoln letter", which she kept in a metal box in her room. After she died, the family opened the box, and there was the Lincoln letter. It was a letter she had written to Abraham Lincoln, but never sent.

-- Anonymous, January 09, 2002

I won't eat off a plastic tablecloth at home, especially one festooned with grapes. Bloody hell, I can imagine! I mean, have you SEEN some of that wallpaper they use in the lesser-quality B&Bs and homes in Britain? Gawd, some of those patterns can trigger epilepsy. I can trace every psychological problem I have to the lack of coordination in my mother's decorating. Nothing matched, coordinated or harmonized. You know me, I am NOT Martha Stewart, but this was going a smidgeon too far the other way. Floral wallpaper, striped drapes, tapestry pillows, sofas and chairs in colors unknown in nature, etc., etc. It's a wonder I'm not in jail for homicide.

Ladies of a certain age and upbringing will say, "Well, one has to have standards." These are obviously two of them. Good for them!

Oh, do we eat off tablecloths at Chez Git? Hell no, are you crazy? I have a fake walnut dining table (although the chairs and everything else are real walnut) and I use tasteful place mats, either fabric or wicker, depending on the food. And we have cloth napkins too, by God. No ironing involved. If it needs ironing, I don't buy it. Terrible custom, ironing. Leads to all kinds of dreadful things. Drug addiction. Aids. Osteoporosis. Diabetes. And starch? Gawd, don't go near it! Makes ya go blind! Gives ya emphysema and dermatitis.

-- Anonymous, January 09, 2002

See! See! I had drug addiction in my future. And I'm afraid to check for you guys, but I think the table cloth may have grapes on it.

-- Anonymous, January 09, 2002

Thanks, Old Git, for filling in so many blanks here. I just knew we could depend on you for some straight talk and warnings. I didn't know that ironing was so dangerous, but I have stayed away from doing that for most of my life, lucky for me, now that I know the facts. I'm going make some notes about what you have just told us and put it in my folder along with Aspertame, Fluoride, and other dangerous stuff.

-- Anonymous, January 09, 2002

Isn't formica a wonderful thing?

-- Anonymous, January 09, 2002

Ha! I found a huge rectangular plastic tablecloth at Wal-Mart for $2.50 that looks and feels like a lace tablecloth. My sister spilled juice on it and was frantic to clean it up before it stained what she thought was linen and lace. She couldn't believe it was plastic.

-- Anonymous, January 09, 2002

Helen--I LIKE you. Why would I call you Martha? Silly goose! Yes, great find on the tablecloth. Wouldn't mind one o' them meself.

Brooks, you lie--you do NOT have grapes on yout tablecloth. I know you too well, you're just not grapey.

Gordon, there are all sorts of things that are bad for you in a house. Cleaning a bathtub before you can see the ring can make you crazy--how do you know where it's dirty otherwise?

Sweetie did NOT marry me for my housekeeping abilities :) No, indeed, he married me 'cause I can fix plumbing leaks and do minor electrical work, plus I have my own router, driller-driver, saw, and other power tools.

Yes, Formica is a wonderful thing. Wish I could afford to get the kitchen counters redone--stuff's been there since 1963 and the little gold flecks have worn away in places :) 'Course, that would make the cabinets look REALLY shabby and the floor would have to be redone and the 1963 coppertone built-ins. . . Never mind.

-- Anonymous, January 10, 2002

It wasn't the grapes that attracted me (still closing my eyes as I pass through the diningroom, so still not sure), it was the color, a pale blue.

I also became really annoyed at the effort of washing and occasionally ironing the table cloth on the butcherblock kitchen table. Problem was that so much stuff, including a microwave had to be removed to get at the table cloth, and lots more effort to put it back on. Now it's just bare table.

-- Anonymous, January 10, 2002

Git, if you have a big table, you can have the extra one I bought. I don't know what I was thinking. It's huge. Off-white. My gift to you. >;)

-- Anonymous, January 10, 2002

Helen, that's awfully kind of you. But I was thinking. Sweetie tends to be messy, you know, like that kid in the Peanuts cartoon with the cloud of dust over his head? And he likes peanut butter and butter sandwiches. (Don't ask me, it's a West Texas thing, I think). So how would I get midnight-snack peanut butter out of the lacy bits when it's been sitting overnight and has crusted over? Please don't tell me to take it up and fold it after every use, it's all I can do to get the dirty dishes off the table after a meal. No added responsibilities!

Nah, you hang on to that cloth. You know how it is. The minute it goes in the mail, you'll rip the other one and kick yerself.

-- Anonymous, January 10, 2002

We didn't have a table cloth to go with the blue color that became the kitchen, but I found a sheet that looked okay, so we use that. Course you can't really see it on the table, but it's there. We don't know where the sheet came from, either.

-- Anonymous, January 10, 2002

Light the candles so you can see where it came from, lol!

-- Anonymous, January 10, 2002

Yup, grapes, definitely grapes.

-- Anonymous, January 11, 2002

Oh no, I never would have believed it of you! Are you SURE? Helen, send that tablecloth to Brooks!

-- Anonymous, January 11, 2002

Poor Brooks. All this time it was grapes.


-- Anonymous, January 11, 2002

Yeah, watch her carefully--she's a graper!

-- Anonymous, January 11, 2002

I shall send it to Brooks at once! (Does plastic melt when irradiated?)

-- Anonymous, January 11, 2002

actually, I think it explodes.

-- Anonymous, January 11, 2002

helen, it will never get here. I have a dyslectic mailman (or one with a grudge, not sure). He'll give it to someone across town. Do you really want to do that to a stranger?

-- Anonymous, January 12, 2002

Oh you still have that guy? The one who throws mail in the bushes?

-- Anonymous, January 12, 2002

I don't think I have the bush thrower, although mother is pretty good about dropping them in the bushes, but usually only in the winter when I won't notice.

-- Anonymous, January 12, 2002

Oh, it's your mom. Must be those grapes, lol!

-- Anonymous, January 13, 2002

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