Monday, April 28, 2014
Let Me Tell You About my Bunion.
What is the secret of good conversation? I was really driven to question this today. I know there are certain so-called “rules”. You know, ask questions, listen to the answers, try not to stick your own oar in the waters all the time. Evaluate your responses, be thoughtful. Really hear the other person.
I put this to practice today. We had our monthly book club meet and Elsie, a person I don't know very well, asked me to give her a ride home. We had already engaged a little in the kitchen where we were plattering the lunch. She'd asked me if I were going to Ireland this year and barely waited for my answer before launching into all the (medical) reasons she couldn't go there this year, this being the 10th year in a row she couldn't go there. A blow by blow accounting of 10 years of medical history. And yes it was savage and awful. But hey, behind her now. She survived. Maybe it is just me and maybe I'm being harsh, but lawdy, everyone I meet lately launches into med-speak with me, from their hangnails to their bowel movements, from their meds to their tumours. And their tests, their scans, their MRIs, their ultrasounds. It can get extremely wearying. Especially when the person is standing in front of me, alive, vertical and in motion. And it's all behind them now. It's history.
Maybe I'm lucky with my health and if it fails maybe I will grab you by the lapel or blog-wrestle you to the ground and blister on (and on) about it too. But it is completely boring. It would be completely boring even if you were a beloved family member/friend.
Don't get me wrong. If you are in hospital or need any kind of assistance to get to one of your appointments, hospital tests, anything, I'm there in a heart beat. Lean on me. Or if you are currently ill. One of my friends is and I listen intently to the symptoms and the medical assistance she is getting. I love her. It is important.
But for Dog's sake – leave the history of every health travail in your private journal once you are well again.
And that ride home with Elsie? More about her gall bladder than I would ever need to know - even about my own. This was after she asked one question about what road races were coming up for me and before I even mentioned the first one she launched into the 99 reasons she couldn't do it. All of them medical. All of them historical.
Needy. Yeah, I know. And I don't lack compassion. But shyte, at some point in 60+ years on the planet there should be a smidgen of growth, of self-awareness, of interest in others. Especially if you've shown a curiosity in the greater world by joining a book-club?