The State of the Groin Report

I think all men should have a baby.

Just one.

Then they might actually have a clue what pain really is.

Okay, so my husband has pulled groin muscle. I get it. I am sorry, honey. But it’s been three weeks now.

First, the pitiful declaration of ongoing pain and detailed explanation of where and how far it extends to the back of the leg. Next, the amped-up google search to identify why, what, when, where, and how long? After that, the heating pad, the ice, the ibuprofen, the daily reports.

“Today, it’s 20% better,” he said after two and a half weeks. “I can feel it,” he declared, before launching into the litany of symptoms, cures, and pointing to it as the reason he has been comatose on the couch most nights after work. Also, it is most certainly the reason he has been depressed, complaining, and unwilling to exercise.

To his credit, he has walked around our neighborhood rather often, considering his plight. I get a full report on the State of the Groin muscle the minute he enters the door afterward, too.

An added bonus.

“Honey, it’s probably 35-1/2% better today! For instance, if ‘well’ is 100%, then I am 15-1/2% further along in the healing process, because yesterday it was only 20% better!” After this stellar announcement, he walks away, rubbing and slightly favoring his right leg.

I am thinking, if I had a pulled groin muscle (do women even GET pulled groin muscles?) I would pop about three ibuprofen, lighten up on my workouts for a while, and ignore it. My comments to my husband, if I even cared to share it (because women are tough and simply keep going – just sayin’), would be: “Wow, I think I pulled something.”

That would be it.

Seriously.

So now I am faced with my own issues in the face of my husband’s pulled groin muscle: how to respond in a kind and compassionate way without letting on that silently I am composing the most sarcastic remarks ever. (I sure hope my husband does not read this, because so far, I have done a pretty good job appearing concerned and compassionate. This includes pitying expressions, getting ibuprofen and water for him, listening to the State of the Groin reports, and other things a wife should not mention in a blog.)

All I can say is, he is the ONLY man I would do these things for. With a straight face, anyway.

At this point, the State of the Groin report is up to 50%. He is smiling more, he almost has the ole’ bounce back in his step, and miraculously, his job and life in general are more appealing.

I am very relieved. At first, I didn’t really think the groin muscle was the cause of all his woes. I thought he might be sliding into a middle-aged-man-at-the-south-side-of-fifty, midlife depression. I was somewhat worried about this two weeks in. Then I realized, incredulously, that it really was ALL BECAUSE OF THE PULLED GROIN MUSCLE.

I am thinking, are you kidding me?

I wonder if I could pull that off. Can you see it? A woman asking, “Honey,” (voice querulous, shaky) can you, I mean, could you possibly, um…bring me ibuprofen and water? I’m a little (cough cough) sore.”

Or “I don’t think I’m up to anything but laying on the couch tonight. Could you fix dinner, clean the kitchen, do the laundry, listen to my latest State of the Groin report, and bring me the computer so I can check my symptoms for the 1,014th time? (Cough cough) Thanks. I am SO sore.”

Um, no. Women are made of sterner stuff. At least where pulled muscles are concerned.

If he’d had a hernia, for instance, or a definitively serious condition, I would have exhibited ACTUAL compassion, mercy and pity, because I am not heartless and love my husband and want him to feel good. However, after three weeks and extensive research and the certainty that it is not, indeed, serious; I am about to throw compassion out the door and utilize the ‘Coach’ technique.

The ‘Coach’ technique is a big, fat, fail with women, but seems to work wonders with men. Things like, “You’re just a big wuss! What do you think you’re doin’, lyin’ there on the couch? GET UP! GET GOING! BE A MAN!” And et cetera.

Okay, I am not really going to say those things, but it does make me feel better to silently think them when I get the latest State of the Groin report.

And honey, if you read this, remember, humor articles are typically 50% exaggeration. Honest.

Really, they are.

Snickerin’ Joe and Lessons Learned

I watched the vice-presidential debate on Thursday night,  and observed – with a kind of morbid fascination –  Joe Biden’s increasingly contorted facial expressions.

It gave me pause. One wonders, I think, after one has lived a long time, if one has gained enough experience to take advantage of all the tools at one’s disposal. After observing  Snickerin’ Joe, I wonder if I shouldn’t expand my facial repertoire.

Apparently, eye rolls, distrusting squints, astonished gapes, prolonged, frozen smiles and irritating mutters of disbelief tend to catapult one to power. I must be missing something.

The Frozen Smile…teeth must be perfectly straight, polished, and white. Must fix glance steadily and hold for several seconds to properly intimidate.

For instance, THE FROZEN SMILE. Perhaps I should practice on my husband. When he says something I believe to be opposite my opinion, I should bare my teeth, freeze a smile and stare at whomever happens to be in the room, seeking  mute support. After all, as my frozen smile  indicates (as Joe so eloquently modelled for me during the debate), what my husband has said borders on insanity.  The important thing is not the truth, the important thing is to create the perception of lunacy. That’s a new one on me, Joe!

However, since THE FROZEN SMILE seems to include glaringly white teeth, I must run out immediately and buy several packages of White-Strips to maximize the effect. It’s at the top of my to-do list!

Spongebob seems to have already mastered THE FROZEN SMILE! As a bonus, he displays the dewdrop-eye-sheen!

Having achieved the goal of diminishing the person who disagrees with me by utilizing THE FROZEN SMILE, I will then interrupt whatever they are saying with protests, guffaws and ridicule. INTERRUPT AT ALL COSTS is another thing I learned from Jumpin’ Joe! Interrupt, interrupt, interrupt! Why, I was taught all my life to be respectfully quiet when another person was speaking. Ostensibly, so that I could listen, but what do I know? How could I have missed the critical, mind-blowing enormity of interruption?

I am learning so much from Uncle Joe! The debate has proved educational, if not downright inspiring!

I learned THE FROZEN SMILE preceded by THE INDIGNANT GLARE is the vice-grip in Uncle Joe’s toolbox! My goodness! Utilizing these two expressions in rapid succession probably riveted the viewing audience! If my family was any indication, we were nearly riveted into a catatonic coma by the time the debate was over.

I bet Obama himself was so inspired by Snickerin’ Joe’s facial expressions when they met four years ago to discuss a political liaison, he blurted out, “Joe! I HOPE you can CHANGE those dang expressions, then we can GO FORWARD!”

Thus, an entire political discipline was born.

Way to go, Joe!

Going Postal

Ye olde Post Office, an American tradition

A visit to the Post Office used to be as American as white bread. As hospitable as the Red Cross. A ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. I could always count on friendly, helpful folks who might even know my first name, mailing preferences and when I needed a new book of stamps.

A typical conversation with the smiling faces behind the postal counter a couple of decades ago might go like this:

Cheerful and Upbeat Postal Employee: “Hi there, Kerry! Isn’t the weather beautiful today! I am so happy to serve you! What’ll it be?”

Me: Overwhelmed with bonhomie (look it up) and flushed with pleasure to be welcomed with such bright and chirpy enthusiasm, (to those of you that really hate enthusiasm, you may not want to finish reading this article because enthusiasm is a secondary theme here…); I respond, “Hi, ummm, Mr. Postal Person! I am glad to see you too! And yes, the weather is amazing today. I have here a package to mail (I sweetly extend the package for his perusal) and also, I need a book of stamps!

Ye olde upbeat and cheerful Postal Employee!

Cheerful and Upbeat Postal Employee: Retrieving the package, he turns it over carefully to see if everything is in order. “Hey, I see you missed a spot right here! Uh, anything breakable in here?” I nod that no, there is not. “Okay, just a sec, (he grabs handy tape dispenser) and I will tape up that spot for ya! Heeeere you are, now will you be needin’ first class or parcel post?” Then, when he is absolutely sure my package is spiffed up and ready to hit the mailroom, he slaps postage on, whips out a book of stamps, and efficiently completes the transaction.

Me: “Wow! You are so upbeat and cheerful! It is such a pleasure walking into the Post Office!”

Cheerful and Upbeat Postal Employee: “I know! We are taught to be that way because you, the customer, are our pride and joy. Don’t ever forget that!” He beams at me and waves as I exit. I cannot wait for the next visit to the U.S. Post Office.

Over the past few years, I have noticed my joyful treks to the Post Office have been somewhat diminished by the demeanor behind the counter. The same postal scenario today might go like this: Continue reading