Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gentle Insect Criticism (For Its Own Good!)

I lately got this email from my mother:

“Every time I type ellipses, I worry, because you gently criticized them (mine) once. I have been uneasy about them ever since.

“There is a nice insect walking around on the arm of my chair. It might be a silverfish, and I should know, but I’m not certain that’s right.”

I no doubt had pointed out that ellipses are only properly used to replace missing words and shouldn’t be used to create suspense; i.e., to indicate a pause, whether ominous or weighty.

I replied:

“Ick, silverfish. I’m sorry I ... criticized your use of ... ellipses.  Go ahead and ... use them whenever ... you want.”

She wrote back:

“Now you have gently criticized my silverfish. When will it end??”

Last Monday I confirmed I can log onto the website of the career consultants I’m working with, took two assessment tests recommended by my coach, Dwightly, and also made sure I can log onto a website which offers self-paced virtual classes in IT, an amenity offered by the career consultants. Lisa C. was back in town again already, lucky for me, so we had dinner at Herbivore.

On Tuesday I made what should be the final visit to my oral surgeon for tooth #19. All told, it was 15 months from noticing a slight swelling on my gum to having a dental implant placed. Dr. E.’s fabulous good looks come up over and over again in his Yelp reviews, so I suppose some percentage of his patients develop crushes on him and make ugly scenes when they have to say goodbye for the last time. At least, that’s my theory regarding the crafty thing he did on Tuesday. After placing the abutment to which the actual crown would be attached by my dentist, he said, “Let’s get a picture and then I’ll come back and we’ll look at your X-ray together and then this and that,” and then he shook my hand.

I totally thought, “Why’s he shaking my hand if I’m going to see him again?” but in fact I did not see him again. Someone else looked at my X-ray and ushered me out, and I must confess I did feel a pang. I like Dr. E. and appreciate his expertise and how very smoothly everything runs in his office. I could also see he was attractive, but I didn’t actually have a crush on him—like everyone, I meet a handsome, smart Afghani oral surgeon pretty much every day—yet I still felt a little bereft at not getting to express my parting thoughts, so his strategy is pretty smart, if primarily meant for those who throw themselves on the ground and grasp him determinedly by the ankles.

After Dr. E. was a refreshing bike ride in the pouring rain to visit my dentist at Lombard and Franklin for the crown itself to be placed, and that evening was Happyness Hour at Howie’s, the second Tuesday of every month, when we gather an hour early to have dinner together, often burritos.

It rained several days in a row last week. On Friday, Tom had a furlough day from his job, so I asked if he’d like to take a walk. He said he would.  Usually whatever you propose to Tom, he’s enthusiastic. It was sprinkling a bit when we left, and soon got wetter. After a few blocks, he asked, “Are your legs getting damp?” and then he staged an outright mutiny and we went to a café for a cup of tea instead.

Yesterday I went to see A., my hospice visitee, and in the evening I watched A Better Life, a moving and upsetting drama about a Mexican immigrant in Los Angeles trying to keep his son from joining a gang.

Somewhere along in there, I also went to Papalote to pick up a rice and bean burrito, the big treat in this new era of eating. Everything I ingest now seems to have some health-related purpose. Is it anti-cancer and low-glycemic and does it promote the desired acid-alkaline balance? Bottoms up! A welcoming nod to fruits and veggies, grains and beans. A scowling no to sugar after reading an article in the New York Times that made a convincing case it causes cancer. Yes to spices, which are full of antioxidants. I had never pictured myself putting turmeric on oatmeal, but now I do. It gives the cinnamon and ginger a pleasing extra zing. Garlic and lots of it almost every day, because: garlic! Much green tea is being swilled, but not at too high a temperature—don’t want to get throat cancer, do we?

The hope here is that being judicious in one’s interactions with the Food Industrial Complex might lead to reduced involvement with the Medical Industrial Complex.
Post a Comment