Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Yes Dear is Ill – And so is Gus

We’ve been blessed over our 40-odd years together….we don’t get sick much.  But, when we do, inevitably an ancient contest between us erupts.  The contest…which of us is the sicker…is really an exercise to determine which of us is going to get the first and most complete pampering from the other during our emerging discomforts. 

This year, it’s a particularly nasty little, late-season flu bug.  Yes, we got the fall shots…those “enhanced” versions that were purported to cover 8 or 10 “new” strains….or, maybe that was the pneumonia shot…I forgot which.  About 3-days of feeling crummy, followed by a couple of weeks of endless sinus drainage and coughing.

Now, our particular minuet has no organized rhythm; it being an ad hoc undertaking from the beginning sniffles, coughs, and aching joints.  But, from the very beginning of our life together, Wife displayed her usual competitive temperament.  She quickly demonstrated that she intended to be the first of us to be sick each season and, if not the first, she would damned sure be the sickest. 

And so it has been over the decades…..I’m first to get sick and she quickly trumps me….No by damned, SHE’s the sickest.  My protests have always been futile and so, she’s always gotten the greater share of pampering.  Trouble is, Wife is a demanding patient and this year, she got it first and promptly gave the bug to me.  

As a demanding patient, she can also be a monumental pain-in-the-ass…such as she has been during this most recent bout.  I go in to see how she’s doing and ask if she wants or needs anything.  She gives me a list…, a glass, a bottle of water, a cup of coffee, toast with light coat of peanut butter and one of those little strawberry jam bottles she ordered from France for God knows what reason.  Now, for most of my life, I have not devoted any effort in trying to remember lists, numbers, or other such short-duration material...the theory being, leave the brain free to think rather than cluttered with much factual minutia.

Years ago, as we were in the early phases of establishing our respective domestic territories, I suggested that she use a little crystal bell to let me know if she needs something.  That was a big mistake….that damned bell was ringing constantly until I threw it out.  

Anyway, we're headed into the summer so, it's time to get the eyes checked for the beach season....another sure way to ..... well .... and it's great that our little sob of a bug has departed leaving us none the worse for wear.  The kitchen has heated up again, wife is back in gear.  Life is good.

So, we’ve evolved into a kind of equilibrium as I suppose most married couples do….one of mutual respect, concern for the other, and a form of rueful capitulation to the other.  Well anyway, it’s been 6-years since she saved my life and I suppose it’s only fair that she get the greater share of pampering….but she will never again get another bell !