Tag Archives: fight

Crawling Away To Lick Our Wounds

In the middle of a heart attack, I wanted only one thing*– keep it a secret and don’t tell my mom, dad or sister.

So, naturally, as soon as I was under and getting the arteries of my heart scoped and scoured of clots, my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Doing Things Her Own Way, immediately called all of my family and blabbed the whole thing.

In my case, I wanted to keep the heart attack a secret because I didn’t want to worry anyone and because I didn’t want to have to deal with the inevitable smothering care that would result from my family being worried for my health.**

I was taken to task for even contemplating the idea of possibly trying to keep what happened a secret from La Familia for even a moment. Worrying about other members and caring for them is what, I was told repeatedly while being beaten with a fluffed pillow that was supposed to be supporting my head, La Familia is supposed to do.

It turns out, though, that I’m not the only person who likes to keep an illness a secret.

I know two people around my age who have been fighting different sorts of cancer. Neither of them made any kind of announcement and, in fact, tried to strictly limit the number of people who knew about the disease and their fight against it.

Which meant, to me, that the urge to suffer in secret was a thing only dudes had to fight. And, yes, I was wrong again.

My dad’s wife recently beat a bout of cancer of her own. In talking to her, she said what she wanted most was for no one to have known so she could get better on her own and not have to keep talking about it to everyone who found out about it.

I think she pretty much hit it on the head. It’s not that I didn’t want people to care for me in my extremity, but I wanted them to do it on my terms. That is, allow me to say, “Enough. Stop talking about it and stop treating me like an invalid.” Instead, once people know, you have no ability to turn the course of this river of regret flowing through your life.

Or at least, you have no ability to do so without making folks feel bad and I didn’t want to do that because it would then have made me feel bad and that was sort of the opposite of what was supposed to be going on.

As far as I was concerned, the privacy I wanted was perfectly reasonable. However, having gone through something similar on the other side this time, I’m forced to admit that there is something to healthy-ish side of the argument.

When someone you love is hurting, the need to do something —

Helping others is ingrained in our genes, but so is the need to be left alone to lick our wounds. It's a conundrum, yeah?
The Dalai Lama is a nice dude.

anything — to help is very strong in most of us. There’s nothing most of us can do medically to help our loved one, so we do what we can.

We make meals. We clean the house. We walk the dog. We . . . get in the way. Because, if any of you dudes are like me, there’s only so much niceness directed at me that I can possibly stand.

When people are nice to me on a continuous basis, I start to get itchy and twitchy and wonder when the anvil is going to drop down out of the sky. And, yes I’m aware that speaks to some sort of deep-seated issue with my being able to be happy. Bite me.

So, I guess the takeaway from today is that, when you’re hurting, allow other people to help you, even if only for a little while. It will make your life a bit easier and it will make them feel better for doing what they can to ease your burden.

Just, you know, do it somewhere else.

Footnotes & Errata

* Other than live, of course. I mean, that was a clear number one with a bullet on my wish list.
** I did have reason to be worried. My mom once mailed me chicken soup when I was away at college and had a cold. Yes, seriously. Very loving. Only slightly psychotic. I also figured this would be the opportunity my sister would take to pay me back for all the years of torture help I gave her as a child.

Share on Facebook

Second Chances For First Impressions Rarely Go Well

What does it take for a dude to change his opinion of someone else?

By that, I mean, if you start out liking someone, getting a good vibe off of them, is it easy to readjust your thinking of that person to consider him to be a jerk?

Is it possible to go from thinking someone’s a jerk to thinking they’re an all-right dude?

Or will the lingering stigma of the first impression still hang around no matter how much she’s proved to be one and not the other?

I asked because I’m in the midst of such a reevaluation right about now. See, there’s this person, I’ll call him Ken and he’s somebody who provides me with a service.

No, not that kind of service. Sheesh, dudes. Get your minds up out of the gutter. I’m only being a bit obtuse because he might be reading this. And he might not even be a he. Or a she.

Moving on.

Anyway, I started out thinking Ken was a pretty all right dude, quick on his mental feet, friendly and a good guy to be around.

But then he went and mispronounced something. Badly. Repeatedly. And now I can’t help thinking he’s an idiot.

Now, before you get all up in arms about me being so very shallow and far too nitpicky, let me explain a bit.

See, I have what might charitably be called a huge vocabulary. I have a large working vocabulary, in that I can extemporaneously call up bit words, use them correctly and actually be able to define them. I have an even larger vocabulary of words that, once I hear or see them, I know what they are even if I couldn’t come up with them on my own.

Now, most of those words I learned through reading that I did on my own time. I didn’t have anyone there to talk to about the stuff I was reading, mostly because none of the kids my age were reading anywhere near what I was reading. Not that I’m trying to brag. I’m not.

Anyway, when I would run across a new word, I’d try to understand it by context and would then sound out the word. I’ve never been all that good at sentence diagramming and those pronunciation guides in dictionaries are gibberish to me. So I’ll find that I will be pronouncing a word one way for years, but realize that I’ve been doing it wrong and never knew it.

With that said, I understand that people can mispronounce words all that time and that doesn’t mean they’re an idiot. But it’s the caliber of the word here that’s causing me difficulties.

See, the word Ken mispronounced was calves. You know, the muscles on the back of your leg, between the knee and the heel. Yeah, those calves.

Ken pronounced that word as kal-vz. That is, the hard k sound, short a and hard l sound, followed by a blend of the v and z sound. In reality, the words is pronounced kavz, with the l sound completely silent.

This wasn’t a one-time thing as he repeated the mistake several times over the course of an hour or so.

I know it’s relatively minor, but I just can’t let it go. Calves is such a basic word and I find my second impression fighting with my first impression.

Oddly enough, in the opposite of what usually happens, I think my second impression (the reevaluation) is winning out over the first impression.

Now that I’ve opened myself up for ridicule, what do you dudes say? Can the second impression win out over the first and, in this case, should it?

Share on Facebook

Veteran’s Day 2013

Say thanks to a veteran today, dudes.

They deserve it.

At this point in time in America, we have an all-volunteer armed forces. Which means, that if you don’t want to join the Army or the Navy, or the Air Force or the Marines, you don’t have to do it.

So all those men and women serving overseas, fighting in at least three different conflicts (no matter how our feelings on the idiot who started said conflicts) deserve our thanks.

Not deification. Not adoration. Thanks.

They have accepted the opportunity given them by our country and its leaders and they are taking on a dangerous job. And we appreciate it.

And, if you want to feel like you’re not part of the herd, wait a day or so and then say thanks. It really doesn’t matter when you do it, but let our men and women in the armed forces know we appreciate the job they are being paid to do.

Share on Facebook