There’s this woman in the neighborhood that I check in on from time to time and a few months ago she told me she wanted to get the COVID vaccine. I explained that she needed to sign up on line. This didn’t sit well because she is nearing 90 and as yet does not own a computer. She couldn’t even turn one on at this point. 

Then she added that she didn’t want to leave the house, they would have to come to her. The princess also decided she only wanted the one shot type. I thought she had a better chance of getting pregnant but kept that to myself. 

One day I checked my email and was told that the county was sending nurses around to vaccinate the shut-ins — and considering my neighbor wouldn’t leave her house until she was vaccinated, I figured that made her a shut-in so I signed her up. Then I called her.

“When are they coming?” 

“I don’t know yet. The nurse has to plot a course as soon as she sees how many people sign up.”

“What if I don’t feel good that day?”

Since she never feels good anyway I boldly told her she would still have to keep the appointment. 

“Well, what time are they coming because I don’t get up early.”

“The nurse said it wouldn’t be before 10 a.m.”

“That’s too early — tell her 11:00 sounds better.”

“I can’t do that. She is putting everyone in order by where they live because the vaccine will be in a cooler and she has to be quick about it.”

She sighed heavily. “I guess I’ll have to set my alarm. Oh — and tell her I want that one shot deal. I don’t want to do it twice.”  

My brain was almost giggling at her royal behavior but I had to be firm. “We really can’t be too choosy here. They are doing us a tremendous favor so we get what we get.”

“No. I only want the one shot.” Since it wasn’t up to me I let it drop. Let the nurse deal with her.

As luck would have it, that is what she would be getting. It only made sense for them to go around once to all these houses. 

I called her back. “The good news is you’re getting the one shot. The bad news is they are coming at 10 on Friday so I’ll come over and …”

“That’s too early. Tell them to come later.”

“I can’t. Do you not want the vaccine?”

“Yes I want it.”

“Then we take it when we can get it.”

On the day of — at 9:50 a.m., I called my neighbor to make sure she was up.

“I’m just out of bed. Tell them I need an hour to eat my breakfast and get dressed.”

I’d love to tell you I still thought she was funny but I about blew an artery at this point because I didn’t know how else to get through to the old gal.

“I can’t. This is when she has to come. She won’t care if you’re eating, or still in your nightgown.”

“I’ll care. I just won’t answer the door!” This attitude not only surprised me, it lopped me at the knees. I was doing a very kind thing for her but she — given her age — couldn’t see it. The nurse was also doing her a kindness coming to her home. I was so frustrated.

“I’m coming over!”

“I don’t care what you do.” What? She has never spoken to me like this before and it was hard to not take it personally.

I took a deep breath and called the nurse. For some reason she was running behind and wouldn’t get there until after lunch. Whew! Crisis averted. 

My neighbor got the shot in the arm but I suffered the sting of it all. Luckily I can laugh about it now.

debbiehough@hotmail.com