It’s a toss-up. Do I write about the fact that if you search “jobless goddess” in Google the dairy goddess and the library goddess come way ahead of me, or do I write about the fact that my husband is incapacitated due to a broken elbow? I guess I’ll go with the broken elbow. Besides, who the hell breaks their elbow anyway? My husband of course.
It started out innocently enough. I, in my desire to lose weight and become the wrinkly, thinner woman I was meant to be, decided we should start up the morning walks again. I prodded him while he was still under the covers. “Come on, let’s do it. You know we have to do this,” I said while tugging on my really sexy yoga pants (which, by the way, never get used for yoga).
To his credit, he got up, pulled on his pajama pants and went with me. We got about a 16th of a mile past the driveway before he landed in the gravel. I’m talking a bed of gravel. Gravel embedded in the palm of your hand. Gravel in the folds of your shirt, down your back and in places I’d rather not mention here.
You know how you see people fall in slow motion during replays of the Super Bowl? That was me watching my husband fall. I saw him land on his elbow and it was about two seconds later when I knew we needed to go to the ER. He said while he was still down, “Well, let’s just get home and put some ice on it.” Ha. One look at the giant elbow and I knew we were in trouble. “Hmm…,” I said, trying not to alarm him, “maybe we should just go to the ER.”
So we limped home. He brushed all the rocks off and we were on our way. Now, what you need to understand here is that most hospitals in the universe have emergency rooms where you wait at least two hours before somebody calls your name, then you typically sign your name to something and go sit back down for another two hours. Here on Martha’s Vineyard in the fall you get to the emergency room and there is absolutely nobody sitting in the waiting room. A clearly lonesome, and yet friendly, lady asks you why you’re there and before you can tell her, a nurse appears and whisks you away to an exam room. Like I’ve said before, we live in La-la Land. (And I mean that in the very best way because I’m so lucky to live here.)
Now, here’s where we differ. If I’m in an emergency room the only people I care to see or to speak to are those who are sticking things on me or in me. I want no husband, no mother, no sister, no brother, no best friend. Me. Myself. And I.
Not my husband. He’d like me there for every aspect of the adventure – which I decided might be a good thing because then two people hear what they tell you. But my hearing is going, I’ll be frank. Anyway, there were at least three uniformed women fawning over him while I sat in the background thinking, “Jesus Christ, how the hell am I going to pay rent now? He’s an upholsterer for God’s sake. We’re screwed.”
Now, a normal person would be sympathetic. A normal person would be kind. Oh, not me. I can tolerate this kind of thing for about two hours. After that I want to know when you’re getting up and when you plan to resume normal activities. I have my mother to thank for this. The older I get the more I realize I’m turning into my not always sympathetic mother. Oh, I can be kind and I can be generous, just don’t push it and don’t think it will last more than a day. I don’t expect anything of you that I don’t expect of myself. Did I mention I sometimes wear a cape?
I don’t know how other people put up with me really. I act like I am sympathetic, and sometimes with people I don’t know from Adam, I’m really, really empathetic. There are exceptions. If you carry my DNA or if I’ve taken a vow with you, I want you on your feet within 24 hours or I’m about to go crazy on your ass.
I know it’s wrong and I know this is a very nasty characteristic but I just can’t seem to shake it. It’s like it’s embedded in my being or something. It’s got to be my mother’s fault, and the next time I get a hankering I shall tell you more about her. She’s my idol.
He has no empathy. You find that in psychopaths. - Ralph Fiennes
(P.S. I never really cared for him. Deep down.)