Skip to main content

Empathy, what's that?



I don’t know about the rest of you ladies, but whenever my husband — or anyone else in my family for that matter — gets sick with a stomach virus or the flu or a common cold, I’m about as empathetic as a five-pound bag of potatoes. 

When my husband Chris gets sick I’m okay with it for about three hours, but any discomfort he may have that lasts longer than that is apt to start my eyes to rolling. I don’t have any idea why I do this, and, while I’m doing it, I actually realize how mean it is. And I keep right on doing it. 

People my age typically try to work on their problem areas, trying to curb some of their bad habits. Instead, when Chris gets sick I tend NOT to be nice to him. This time it has taken me five days to bring him a glass of ice water or to offer to open a can of soup for him. I’ve watched him go through a giant box of Kleenex, and three rolls of toilet paper after he ran out of the Kleenex. Did I offer to go to the store for more tissues? No. Did I offer to make him some hot tea? No. Did I roll my eyes and ask him to please pick up the tissue he dropped on the floor? Yes. Did I secretly calculate just how many rolls he was using, cutting into my enormous toilet paper supply? Yes. I’m not proud of this. 

My ambivalence towards Chris’s cold may be partly due to the fact that I’m jealous that he’s home while I’m having sciatica spasms every time I bend down to put a book on the bottom shelf at the library where I work. If I had any sense at all I’d enroll in some old lady yoga class. For some reason I fancy myself above stretching. I like to pretend the extra 50 pounds I’m  carrying around are fine just where they are, and they definitely do not keep me from being 100 percent. On the contrary, the extra 50 is still less than that 67-pound bag of fat that Oprah wheeled out on stage in that Radio Flyer a while back. I’d never let it get to 67 pounds, please, that’s way too fat. 

All week long, every time Chris blows his nose I’m thinking, “What the hell? When’s this going to stop? Can a person make himself sneeze? That’s it, I bet he’s doing this on purpose.” 

Who thinks this way? Taking every single crappy thing that happens in the universe as a personal affront is sort of my hallmark. Sometimes I secretly cry at those UNICEF commercials and yet I ask my own husband when he thinks he might wrap up this cold nonsense, because I’m so over it.

You know karma is out there, and it’s only a matter of time before it comes back around and bites me in the ass. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Just sitting around doing jack

I think my blog may have been hijacked. I haven’t written in forever because I’ve been writing …for my job, which may mean I’m no longer a “jobless goddess.” I may just be a regular goddess.
I love the word jack. I could use that all day. Whatever, hopefully those who want to read the blog will read. Back to jack. It’s a cool freaking word. I had a brother-in-law named Jack who pretty much personified the word “cool.” He’s gone too soon and missed by everybody.
There’s Billy Jack, get back Jack, Jack Sprat, Jack Nicholson, Jack Berry, Jack in the Box, Jumping Jack Flash. And my favorite, a little ditty my sister introduced me to, “Jack Mother.” This is a something you say when someone cuts you off on the highway. “I’m sorry officer, I was cut off by that Jack Mother in the blue Subaru.”
My brother Steve has a friend named Jack. I thought he was about the greatest thing ever when I was 12. Who are we kidding? I probably still do. Jackie was hilariously funny and I loved to watch my brot…

Little women

I’m getting a real kick out of my co-workers these days. I’m working with about a half dozen young women — young being the operative word.
They’re all so freaking competent it kills me. They can write like it’s nobody’s business, they all take great photos to go with their stories, and they almost always laugh at my jokes. I call them ‘the girls.’
They’re either about to go to university, just leaving university, or all done with it and on their way. They do yoga and eat a lot of avocados. We live on Martha’s Vineyard and none of them know who John Belushi is but they all know they should keep using the same plastic cup for take out iced coffee over and over and over again. If they see a bug, they think twice before killing it. Actually they leave it for me to kill because they couldn’t possibly… and they know I won’t hesitate.
We get along just fine the girls and me. Oh, there’s a little trouble when I insist on running the window air conditioner up in our second floor office —ramsha…

Who's got the soap?

I’m wondering at what age I’m allowed to hire a personal care attendant, covered by insurance of course. I haven’t reached my toenails in two and half years and the other day in the shower I seriously considered whether or not it was worth it to soap up below the waist. It hurts when I go anywhere past my kneecaps.
I’m okay with gray hair; that’s been coming in since I was in my 30s and I could still reach my ankles. It’s the burgeoning mountain under my man-sized T-shirts, just below my sagging breasts, that really gets to me. I want to know when exactly I stopped looking like I was 20, because it feels like yesterday. I look in the mirror strictly from the shoulders up these days.
It’s not completely depressing. I know there are about a billion other women in the same boat I’m in. I love the women who wear whatever the hell they want. Doesn’t matter if they’ve got those top-heavy grandma arms or busted veins mapping their legs. I say go for it ladies. I’m gonna get there someday.…