Wednesday, August 22, 2012
There is a question on OK Cupid, how do you feel when you do nothing all day? Good or bad are the choices. I chose bad. Nothing all day bores the shit outta me. I don't consider reading a book for 8 hours in a row nothing, or writing a blog, or even flirt chatting with random strangers. I consider lying on a couch forced to watch reruns of The Big Bang Theory and What Not to Wear as "nothing". More so, the nothing is characterized by my self imposed quarantine. Not wanting to inflict the plague on loved ones, I cancelled a much anticipated poker night with pregnant friends and multiple lovers. It was going to be my kind of fun. Instead I stayed alone, feeling quite pathetically sorry for myself as I blew my nose and drank copious amounts of tea I could not taste.
My mother told me when I was a kid that I was very rarely sick. If I was, I would come home, say I was going to bed and then sleep it off till I was better. She never really plied me with chicken soup and head rubs. If I injured myself she would get mad at me. I understand now, she was just worried and it came out mean, but as a kid I always wondered why she would yell at me when I came in bleeding. Maybe that is why I would retreat, so as not to get my mum pissed off. Let me be clear, my mother was not abusive or uncaring, she just had an old school attitude to sickness and injury. That it was kind of your fault and that you should suck it up and deal with it. Grin and bear it has been her mantra. She had a lot to grin and bear, and I quite honestly respect her for her strength. Perhaps she thought if she paid me too much attention, I would get sick more. There might be something to that logic. I have occasionally applied it to my daughter on "itchy bum" nights. Those of you with kids may know what I am talking about. When your child works themselves into a frenzy because something is itching them. I hear my mother's voice come out of my mouth sometimes, "well it's just an itchy bum, it's not going to kill you, so you better just relax and go to sleep because there is nothing I can do for you."
One of my fondest memories is when I was about 8 and I had the flu. I can count on one hand the amount of fevers I have had in my life, and this was the first that I recall. One of my other mothers that lived in the collective, who had a kinder, gentler attitude towards illness, put me in her bed and played in my hair till I fell asleep. To this day, petting my head sends me drifting off to my happy place. I struggle between both. Wanting to be left alone, and wanting to be coddled. I like to think I am stoic, stiff upper lipping it like a British WWII propaganda poster, when there is a lot of me that craves being tucked into the big bed and gently caressed to sleep. Hmm, any connection here with last weeks blog??
I blame this meandering installment on the mucus in my brain, but I have been thinking about it a lot recently. What it means to care for and be cared for. I hope with my daughter I make her feel better. Although the other day's crying accusation of "you are not sorry for me!" as I told her to suck it up after she whacked herself with a rebound door nob after a frustrated door slam, hints that I am trending towards my mum's school of thought. Truth be told though, I caught this fucking cold by letting her in my bed the night she was sickest so that I could cuddle her to sleep.