Monday, January 17, 2011

"You know, if you can sort of muscle your way past the gag reflex, all kinds of food possibilities open up."

I have told you about my love affair with sleep, about my loathing of timekeeping devices, and my disdain for awful customer service, parts one and two. It is now time to do what I have promised (threatened?) to do for years. It is time for this story to be told.

M and I once had a long-standing theory about Tucson.

It was simply this: Tucson makes M sick. At least that was usually the final outcome of any trip there to visit his brother.

One time on an overnighter circa 2002, following a particularly rousing round of Mexican Train, he was handed the Blanket of Death to sleep with.

The following day, just as we were arriving home, we got calls from the Oregon Brother saying they were sick on the flight home, necessitating the use of several airsick bags and extra flight attendant patience. One by one they fell. The final fall was my husband's. After a visit to my aunt's and his other brother's, he pulled over by the side of the road and yacked his brains out while I sat in the truck, plugged my ears, sang "lalalalala," and tried my hardest not to think about it. I am still traumatized by it - to the point that when I see a car pulled over on the side of the road, I am convinced it is because someone is getting sick.

That night, when he was puking every half hour and cursing his brother and that blanket and Tucson and anything else he could think of, I was lying on the couch. We had learned enough by then about communicable diseases to know to steer clear of one another when we're sick, a practice we follow to this day.

So, there I was on the couch, and every half hour I was plugging my ears, singing "lalalalala" and praying I didn't get this awful sickness and that it would be eased for him. Then, eventually, I started to think that maybe I would take his sickness from him if I could and he'd be spared the agony. I viewed it as major progress in our marriage that I went from commanding "you had better make it to the bathroom" when he would say his stomach didn't feel good, to actually feeling willing (even if only fleetingly) to take on that awful stomach flu for him so he didn't have to deal with it anymore.

He was sick for two days. I slept on the floor next to his side of our bed the following night, but I never got that sickness. And though I had been (temporarily) willing to stand in his sickly place (I blame my overactive sense of compassion), I was so glad I did not have to make good on that good intention.

My husband? He's susceptible to stomach things and though that was the first time in our married life that he'd had something like that, it has definitely not been the last. Me? I'm like a rat, is what I always say. I do not vomit easily. Or rather, I resist it with all of my might. (Well there were a couple of times while I was pregnant that I wished I could just, you know, get it over with and throw up already.) You have no idea how grateful I am that, so far, our kid has a constitution more like mine that M's.

Vomit is one thing I cannot abide. (I couldn't even look at that link very closely.) I can't talk about it (you have no idea the struggle that has been mine composing this very post), can't think about it, can't hear it. . . and can't even fathom seeing or smelling it. It borders on psychological aversion, to be sure. (Perhaps I am emetophobic? No, really, I think I am.)

I make a mental note of movies with vomit scenes and make it a point to (try and) never watch them again. Here is a partial list of the movies I have trouble watching because of my little (?) problem: Space Cowboys, Stand By Me, The Sandlot, The Wedding Singer, The Replacements, In Her Shoes, Bring It On, The Matrix, The Rock, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (I know! My favoritest trilogy even!). I for one, agree with this guy: this has got to stop.

I don't know where exactly I was going with all of this, only that I had promised for a long while to let you all know exactly how precisely nutso I am about this entire topic.

So, now you know.

[Title quote is from "Ratatouille"]

1 comment:

Jen said...

oddly enough i knew most of this about you (with the exception of the movie list) and I still love you! imagine that!!
oh and vomit is the nastiest of the nasty for sure! i am grateful my kids don't catch stomach bugs the way some of my friends kids catch them!

 
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