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     All those times I didn’t make chicken soup for my husband when his nose was running like a faucet have come home to roost. Since Monday, my back has felt like someone beat it with a pillowcase full of broken concrete.
     I lie down in bed, I wince before my butt even hits the mattress. I stand up, I have to hold onto a solid surface and still I cry out expletives. It hasn’t been a great week. Meanwhile, though, my husband heats up these homemade rice bags in the microwave. He made them for me, and then he gently places them on my sciatica situation area. I look up at him with the eyes of a dejected bloodhound.
     “Thank you, do we have any chocolate?” I ask.
     “No, not in the house anyway, unless you want to try one of those stale Oreos I’ve got down in the workroom.”
     Now, this means either he doesn’t want me to have one of his stashed Oreos, or he just found a half-eaten bag of them that he hid last July.
     “Oh. Okay. I just sort of felt like a little bit of chocolate would be good. Like maybe a couple of Hershey’s kisses or one of those big Hershey’s with almonds bars they have at Stop & Shop,” I say while I pull the covers over my legs and up to my waist like Heidi in Johanna Spyri’s book.
     “Well, I could go get you some chocolate,” he tells me.
    “Oh, no, don’t bother. You’ve got so much work to do. I’ll be all right. I don’t need it anyway,” I pooh-pooh him.
     “Okay,” he says.
     I know that within 20 minutes there will be chocolate-covered almonds, a Hershey bar, a bag of M&Ms, and a fresh glass of iced tea on my bedside table.
     I can see there’s a bit of an inconsistency in how we treat each other in times of duress.
     I like to pretend that my husband’s discomfort is a figment of his imagination. He likes to treat my discomfort as a way to make me feel better by providing any possible comfort I might like at any given moment.  
     See, this is just one area where we’re not the same. Thank God.


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