Jun 20, 2012

Dotty was Remarkable in Many Ways

It never stops fascinating me how people know, remember, and just rave about Dotty. Dotty had a way of making people feel happy, and oh boy, could she make them laugh.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Teddy Ruxpin
Teddy Ruxpin
Yesterday, I was going out and drove past the pool. I had been looking for a woman named Joanie so I could tell her about Dotty. Joanie knew Dotty for 20 years.

I parked and went into the pool area. As soon as Joanie saw me she jumped up, gave me a hug, and asked me how I was doing.

Then it started. A group of women, including Joanie, were sitting together and Joanie started talking about Dotty. Joanie became all animated, she was laughing and smiling telling her Dotty stories. Everyone was smiling and laughing right along with her. Of course, this included me.

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Joanie is a bit of a clothes hound. This mean she dresses very nicely.

She started telling everyone how nicely Dotty would dress when she went to work. She was particularly impressed by Dotty's shoes. Dotty had a lot of really nice shoes.

You might get the idea that Dotty spent a lot of money on clothes. Not true.

Dotty was a pro shopper. She actually specialized in three stores: Lord & Taylor, Anne Taylor (go figure), and Macy's. Now this was back in the days when they were fine stores and had actual real people that catered to customers.

When I would come to visit Dotty before I knew it she would say, I have to go to Lord & Taylor. So away we would go. About an 8 mile drive to Town Center in Boca Raton, Florida.

We would go into the store and Dotty would immediately start looking for her saleswoman. Sure enough the woman would say, oh good, I have something for you.

She would go in the back and bring out a nice dress that had been marked down about 3, 4 times. In those days, they would draw a red line through the price with a pen and mark the price down.

Typical example. The saleswoman brings out a dress that she had been "hiding" for Dotty. The original price might have been $69. Keep in mind that was a good dress at that price in the 1980s. Sure enough, Dotty would end up paying around $16.

Dotty had shopping down to a science. She knew exactly what day, and exactly what time to go to Lord & Taylor, or any store for that matter. She knew when the best deals were going to be available.

The best part was that she knew the sales people by first name and they knew her.

Every year, Dotty bought me a fantastic shirt for Christmas and my Birthday. I am kinda picky myself when it comes to shirts and ties. Well, I was back in the old days.

Every time Dotty bought me a shirt and on the very first time I wore it, somebody would say, I really like that shirt, where did you get it? I actually liked it better when some young woman would say, I really like that shirt. Keep in mind, I was a young man in those days.

Dotty had very good taste in clothes and shoes.

How good was Dotty at shopping?

On more than one occasion someone at work would be looking for a toy or doll that was IMPOSSIBLE to get for Christmas. If they were a good friend I would say, no problem my mother will get it for you. Of course, they would say, its impossible to get. I would say, don't forget you said that, its gonna cost you $20 over the cost of the toy and shipping to get it here. The $20 was Dotty's personal shopper fee.

You name it. Cabbage patch doll, Teddy Ruxpin, special edition Barby, no problem.

How did she do it? Well Dotty knew the manager of the toys department at Toy R Us.

She would go to the store and ask for the toy. The manager would say something like, we are only getting allocated two in the next week. Come in at 9 AM on the day it comes in and I'll give you one.

Every time I called and asked Dotty for a toy she got it.

It never stops fascinating how people know, remember, and just rave about Dotty. Dotty had a way of making people feel happy, and oh boy, could she make them laugh.

As for me. Every day I get asked the same question, how are you doing? I believe I am doing very well. I guess you could judge by my writing here on the Alzheimer's Reading Room.

I don't feel like I am operating at full capacity just yet, but I am getting there.

I have been going out every day and it seems like I think I will gone for an hour and it turns into 4 hours. There is alot to do out there in the world, and a lot of people.

I did mention this before. I am not thinking about Alzheimer's much as it relates to Dotty's former condition. I am thinking about Dotty a lot though, and its all good.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 3,711 articles with more than 302,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room