Tag Archives: Conve

Shouldering The Load

by Richard

I get it. By jimminy, I get it. I really, really do. You dudes can all stop now. Please.

Here is a typical conversation with a stranger, pick a stranger. Basically anyone who I bump into during the course of my day. Anywhere. Anytime. Anyone.

“Hey, what’d you do to your arm? Shoulder?”

Me: “Shoulder,” trying to move on because I know what’s coming.

Stranger: “Rotator cuff?”

Me: sighing, “Yeah, among other stuff. Had the biceps tendon reattached and had some of my clavicle bone shaved off.”

Stranger: “Wow.”

Me: “Yeah,” trying to leave, but knowing it won’t work.

Stranger: “You know, a (insert relationship here; friend, relative, acquaintance) of mine had that kind of thing. He said it was the most pain he’d/she’d ever gone through. I mean, it’s agony on wheels.”

Me: “So I’ve heard. I’m doing all right, though.”

Stranger: “You must not have started the physical therapy yet. Boy, that’s when the pain really kicks in. I mean, she/he told me she/he was crying like a baby every time she/he went to physical therapy. And it kept hurting all the time. For months. Said it was like having a knife jammed in there and then stirred around for good luck.”

Me: wincing in anticipation and starting to feel sympathy pains for my future self, “Um, yeah. Thanks for sharing.”

Stranger: “No, really. I mean, he/she had (insert some horrible, appallingly invasive surgery or medical procedure here) and he/she said that was nothing compared to getting his/her shoulder done and the rehab after.”

Me: feeling nauseous all over again, “Uh, yeah. Thanks for sharing. Again.”

Finally feeling my oats enough to be rude, that’s when I turn around and walk away. Very, very quickly. And normally bump my shoulder into something hard and unforgiving.

So, yes. I get it. I understand that it’s painful. I also know I don’t need to be reminded — constantly — of that fact. You’d think people would get the hint.

Unless — you don’t suppose? — it’s some sort of conspiracy, maybe. Maybe they are all out to get me. That must be it. I’m sure of it. You’re all trying to hurt me. I see it all so clearly now. I —

UPDATE: I’ve cut down on the meds a bit now and I think I should be all better. Just sort of ignore the previous. I know that’s what I’m trying to do.

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Talk Ain’t Cheap

by Richard

Speaking of sex. . .

Writing about sexual health yesterday reminded me of something important. Okay, yes, that too. But I was actually reminded more of a friend of mine who’s in the process of raising his own little dude. My friend, let’s just pick a name out of the hat, is named John and trying to work up the nerve to talk to his little dude about sex.

The problem, you see, is John knows a lot about sex. I mean, a lot. The dude was a hound, if you knowwhutI’msayin’. His past experiences seem to be coloring his expectations for his talk with his little dude.

And that’s his first problem right there. See, sex isn’t something that should be completely ignored or have discussions about it actively discouraged right up until the time you have THE TALK. The things is, sex doesn’t need a talk. What it needs is a conversation and that requires more than one little sit down.

Still, that’s a conversation for another day. For now, let’s talk about talking.

For most people, the idea of talking about sex with your kids is, well, terrifying. Mortifying. Embarrassing. I’ve never really understood this fear, but I do know it’s there. The bad news is that if you go into any kind of sex talk with your little dude or little dudette sweating bullets and stammering, you’re going to probably leave them with the impression that sex is something to be ashamed of. And that’s not good.

What is good, though, is it’s not all that hard for you to overcome your fear. The first thing you need is a mirror. The second thing is a little privacy. Here’s what you do.

Get in front of the mirror and look yourself in the eye. Then say masturbation. Follow that up with every single word you can think of that has to do with sex, no matter how vulgar. Get it all out of your system. Think of all the funny euphemisms for penis or vagina you’ve ever heard and then say them out loud. Make sure you do this often enough so you can do it without laughing or grimacing.

The next step is to start holding a conversation with your mirror self. Imagine you’re sitting down in front of your little dude or little dudette and think about what would be the most embarrassing thing that could happen. Then talk about it. Repeat your lines over and over. Imagine the look of horror on his face, make it yours, and then keep talking about masturbation or getting to third base or whatever you fear. Do it again and again and again.

Familiarity breeds, in this case, ease. These sorts of talks will never be easy for you or your little dude, but they are important. Especially because they’re just the start. Embarrassing and educating your little dude is not going to be the end of it. You want your child to be comfortable talking to you about sex. Otherwise, where’s she going to go when she’s facing an actual practical situation if she can’t talk to you?

Opening a conversation with your child about sex is important because it allows you to help instil him with your values and your ideas, rather than what that sleazy little dude from down the drive thinks.

If you’re uncomfortable about this sort of thing, just think about this. Would you rather be embarrassed and open a conversation about sex with your child, or would you rather take him to the doctor to treat an STD? Or put your life on hold to take care of your new grandchild?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Conversing. It’s a good start.

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