3.26.2010

Body and Other Battles

What's worse than waking up sick? How about having someone else wake up sick and reliving it back to you, in full mucus detail. Hearing someone talk about the golf ball in their throat, unless they're your kid or you're a doctor, is about as bad as having to hear my husband talk about the details of his last dump. You could pretty much go your whole life happily oblivious.

So I'll just say I woke up in battle, the details of which I will hold close. Women are familiar with body battles - we start the war against ourselves early; fighting calories, pants sizes, and hair textures until the day we die. You fight sickness to the death only once, and rarely is that battle with a cold. Unless I sneeze, my suffering shall be silent.

Silent suffering is a gift, to a point. My mother-in-law cannot share, to the point that it's a lot of work to find something to break up the dead quiet. It's a lot easier, and this is going to sound awful, now that she has dementia. You find one thing she's interested in, repeat it for half an hour until she's tired, and go home. You learn only one new piece of information but you learn it well and everybody's happy.

Californians are known for over-sharing, having long one-sided conversations with clerks at Starbucks, not about the details of their last dumps, but close. They'll hold up the line, saying, my uncle, who is a cop in New York and should have surgery for his heart problems but won't and I should call him to find out if he'll get that scheduled soon? Anyway, he came out here once to visit and he had this wet cappuccino and it was really good and I asked him what was a wet cappuccino and he said he doesn't like lattes cause they're too milky but regular cappuccinos are too dry, and he asked a rude clerk, not like you, for a suggestion and he was told what you want is a wet cappuccino, so that's what he had, and that's how I learned about wet cappuccinos. Everybody should learn about wet cappuccinos, they're really good, don't you think?

You can learn a lot just by listening, and there's always something better to talk about than body battles. Wet cappuccinos, for example.