The swine flu is the pits. Influenza A, pretty darn horrible. A few weeks ago, I contemplated several ways of ending the horrible headache that filled every crevasse of my head, the least of which was to cut it off at the neck. Literally. I’m one of those people who doesn’t “ride out” a headache like a hurricane or big wave. I don’t head for the bed or drink extra glasses of water waiting for the excruciating pain to pass. I take medicine. You know the stuff scientists spent years of research discovering and designing according to FDA standards? That. In the military I learned two 800 milligrams of ibuprofen can cure even the most horrendous of pains. A string of knee, back, head and body aches made me a believer. Well, that’s not totally true. I was a believer long before the 13 mile road marches with a 50 pound ruck sack on my back. It began when I was just a tiny tyke. As a kid, my mother would say, “Open wide.” I would readily swallow liquid goop on a spoon. I knew it would make me feel better and I trusted her. That’s a good equation. So, when I thought my head would split into four separate alien nations and take flight as I lay on my sofa writhing in pain, I reached (over the counter) for the drugs. First acetaminophen, then ibuprofen, then Rimantadine – the prescription meds given to me by the doctor who wore a face mask when she examined me. Smart. I laid there helpless. As the pain subsided, I thought about my husband. Since I’m single, I guess I was hallucinating to a certain extent. So, let’s just say my future husband. Humor me.
I believe in times of need we seek human comfort. As I lay near uncertain death of my immune system, I could think of no better reason to have a husband than to hear him say, “You’re gonna feel better, sweetie. Here’s some OJ, vitamin C and hot tea.” Oh those sweet words of glory! Who wouldn’t want their significant other tending to their every need? An in-house nurse at their beck and call? Boiling chicken noodle soup and reminding you that fluid intake is essential? CARING??? Show me that person and I’ll show you a masochist at heart. I like people, for the most part. (I really like babies and old people. I’m still trying to figure out everyone else in between.) I believe that most people are inherently good and the kindness of strangers transcends race, color or creed. I found this to be true as I traveled the country in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and I find it to be true now in my dealings with people in the vast city of angels. If given the opportunity to choose hatred or love, I sincerely believe most people choose love. Call me naïve. Call me optimistic. Call me sucker for a story with a happy ending. Whatever you call me, you can’t call me void of feeling, empathy, hope or love. It is my desire to know a world where positive overrides negative, good conquers evil, and the desire to build up overcomes any penchant to tear down. It is my glass half full. Sometimes 40 proof and sometimes not. In that vein, I strive to be the best me that I can be – to keep my perception of life free from jealousy, discouragement or doubt. No, it doesn’t always work. Are you kidding me? Everyday some fool tries to cross my path with a garden hose to rain on my happy parade. It’s up to me to keep a smile on my face. It’s up to me to play the hand I’ve been dealt with surety and skill.
Right now some would say I’m sitting on a royal flush. I’m cute. I’m single. I’m… a really good age. I have one daughter, a really nice job, and a virtually drama-free life. Sometimes I’m lonely for male companionship. Then, I stroll through my rolodex. No… Seriously. I get lonely and I call a friend (a married, female friend) to vent about my frustrations with being single. What did you think I was gonna say? Yeah, later for that one. ANYWAY. She usually listens and gives me wonderful advice or words of encouragement: proof of why she’s my friend. Without having to list the pros and cons on either side, I remember her life struggles and how marriage is no cake-walk. Afterward, I feel better. THEN, I stroll through my rolodex with marginal expectations knowing some lucky bastard will reap the pleasure of my testosterone deficit without having to fill my emotional one. He has no idea. Knowledge is power. Lucky bastard. Now that I am well, I tip my hat to those of you who endure relationship highs and lows day-in and day-out, giving and taking, reaching and building. My charge to you is this: Live your life free from jealousy, discouragement or doubt. Strive to be the best you that you can be. When you are under the weather, reap the benefit of human comfort within close proximity; and water your own lawn. Never underestimate the power of the game. The stakes are higher at the other table. Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten. Read ‘em and weep. Or not.
Persnickety Self-Adjustment: My single grass may be green, but when I’m sick my rolodex has limited value.