Social Question

Aster's avatar

Should my friend be nervous, threatened or amused?

Asked by Aster (15763 points ) June 29th, 2014

She married a much older man. He’s in his eighties and she said he just put a piece of asparagus in each of two vases on the patio. Without soil (as if that would make it ok). She hasn’t asked him why because he has a bad temper that she fears. What should she do now? They’ve been married two years.
He has always been peculiar but this is the weirdest thing yet. Money is no object. But getting him to “go somewhere” would be impossible. She just had foot surgery and is in a cast. TIA

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19 Answers

FlyingWolf's avatar

Perhaps she should take a look at this list of the Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s. Should could look at the asparagus incident in,light of some of these other signs and see if they fit the pattern. If they do and she is not comfortable discussing it with her husband she could take her concerns to the family doctor.

Aster's avatar

Thanks but I know she’d be afraid of telling the doctor. Her husband would find out.
He has been making up stories lately too. He’s just getting worse. Thanks for the link!!

snowberry's avatar

If his doctor specializes in the elderly, she can call him and ask to talk to a geriatric social worker. These people are trained to help families deal with situations such as you describe. They know the law and legal ins and outs of such things in your state, and generally are a wonderful help. You would only be charged if one came to your house.

Now, not every doctor acts as responsibly as my father’s geriatric doctor did. Another time my dad had just had a hip replacement, and he started acting alarmingly. I called up his surgeon with my concerns, and the guy immediately made the assumption that I was trying to get at my father’s money. Dad was living with us, and it made things very bad for a while because Dad had a temper, and wasn’t afraid to use it on us, his caregivers.

You might call your own doctor and ask them to point you to someone with the resources to help you. Also, start taking photos of the vases and their contents and anything else strange so you can show them what’s happening. It will paint a clear picture to anyone you’re trying to talk to.

longgone's avatar

“She hasn’t asked him why because he has a bad temper that she fears.”

In that case; nervous.

Aster's avatar

This is my childhood friend’s husband; not mine. Mine is much younger.
He said he is going “to serve them tonight so I put them upright in the flower vases on the piano” and she thinks it’s a little strange but “good to preserve them in water.” I think she’s in denial. She says they come in the can upright so why not put them in a container upright?
Really; this is just the tip of the iceberg, poor lady .

snowberry's avatar

So he’s still cooking? That should be interesting. She might want to be on hand to make sure that whatever is cooked and served actually is all food. If she’s still in denial after a serving of dish detergent, or whatever, well, she’ll figure it out.

I’m sorry.

XOIIO's avatar

Maybe he just likes asparagus.

Unless he gives a crazy answer, what’s the big deal about something like that. If he freaks out about it then yes, be nervous.

Aster's avatar

No; he was very calm and said he was “going to cook them tonight.” But she didn’t ask why he put them on the piano in two vases. This sort of thing gets SO much worse. I watched my ex FIL with it and my MIL was wiped out. She did everything she could to get away from him so she could at least sleep.

XOIIO's avatar

@Aster Ah, that is a bit strange then lol

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“Should my friend be nervous, threatened or amused?”

She should be honest, direct and fearless.

CWMcCall's avatar

If he is in his 80’s he has had many years that something that those vases or asparagus have some kind of meaning to him that she needs to explore with him. I would counsel her to ask her husband about his interest in gardening and see if he will then open up and show her just what it is he is attempting do with the asparagus spears.

fluthernutter's avatar

Is this fresh or canned asparagus?

I’ve been known to put the stuff I get from the farmers market into a vase for a day or two.
I am not averse to a kale bouquet.

My husband is usually nervous, threatened, amused.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I don’t know about her, but I find it quite amusing. Nervous, I’d understand, but I’m not sure why she should feel threatened by this. She should feel threatened by his frequent anger, though.

If she didn’t marry him for money and she’s so afraid of the guy that she can’t ask him a simple question for the fear that he may flip out, why did she marry the old man? I can’t imagine being afraid to say anything to my husband.

keobooks's avatar

I find the making up stories more disturbing. Some people, when they get dementia start making confabulations in their minds and getting confused between waking reality and sleeping dreams. My grandmother was constantly making up stories about the neighbors moving away—they never did or even put their house up for sale. Then a few years later, the stories turned fantastic and she was saying that they were a witch and warlock couple that worshiped Satan.

Those stories could be a very bad sign.

Aster's avatar

@livelaughlove21 she married him mostly for his money. He’s a very quiet type; she barely knows he’s home and the only place they go to is Wendy’s. And now she has three houses in her name although the first she inherited.
He does not lose his temper often at all. She knows the boundaries.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Aster

“She hasn’t asked him why because he has a bad temper that she fears.”

“He does not lose his temper often at all.”

Which is it? If he didn’t lose his temper often, she wouldn’t fear it. How is asking why he put asparagus in a vase a “boundary”? What’s this guy’s problem? I guess that’s what happens when you marry for money.

longgone's avatar

^ “If he didn’t lose his temper often, she wouldn’t fear it.”

She would, if he was abusive. He could knock her around no more than once a year, and she would still fear him.

“How is asking why he put asparagus in a vase a “boundary”?”

Exactly.

Aster's avatar

He doesn’t get mad often. But when he does it’s bad enough that she fears it happening the next time. This is not all that rare. You were right, @longgone.

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