Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sheep in wolf's clothing

Had a couple of gloomy days this week. Provoked by a parking ticket and a missed appointment.
No need for gory details, but these otherwise trivial events sparked that interwoven string of angers, fears and loathings I keep in my cupboard. They came out to play and made my stomach churn and my brain slow to a cranky grey slush on Wednesday and Thursday. I was whiny, self-pitying and unmanly.

My guy, aka The Boyo, while not really wishing to know what was bothering me --he's not much for talking things through-- knew that I was bothered, and was his typical "salami sandwich" helper. I was taken out for a hamburger at a local high-ceilinged joint jammed with noisy schoolkids. I was walked over to the liquor store that sells the cheap cigars I favor. I was given a can of pasta with sauce, fabulously decorated with FogHorn LegHorn as the spokesman for spaghetti-O's. I was semi-humorously complimented. I was semi-humorously needled. I was not coddled, but I was not left alone.

It did the trick.

Part of what I try to teach my patients is to accept what love and concern comes their way even if it is not in the package that they imagine they want or deserve. I think people miss a lot of goodness directed at them because they have a rigid and pre-conceived notion of what care or support or sympathy "ought" to look like. I am grateful that I have learned how to recognize it in a hamburger, a cigar, a can of pasta and a joke. We did not sit down and go through all the strung-together irritations. He just showed up. It's what he does. Thanks, Boyo.

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