©2000 Bonnie Wren
I do not believe that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. It's absolutely impossible we come from the same solar system.
I was reminded of this recently when our friend Tony had surgery for a brain tumor. My hubby took the day off from work to sit with the family and provide them what assistance he could. His devotion knew no bounds. To prove it, he gave Tony the roasting of his life.
"Tony, those directions you gave me were terrible. What's wrong with you? You got a BRAIN TUMOR or something?"
When Hubby recounted this and several other of the day's witticisms to me he could hardly contain himself. I waited expectantly for the part where someone called security and hauled him off for a psychiatric evaluation. After all, Tony's whole family was there, grimly awaiting the moment when Tony's brain would be unwrapped with the medical equivalent of a can opener.
Yet Hubby claimed nobody tried to get rid of him. According to him, Tony shouted "You nutcase!" and they all bust their guts laughing.
Frankly, I think Hubby is lying. I'll bet at least Tony's mother had been on approach to whacking him over the head with the bedpan but caught herself just in time, when Tony indicated he knew the joker.
I do believe humor has its place in the infirmary. What I just don't understand is the male tendency to poke fun at the wounded. What I find even harder to believe is how the male wounded like it, but they do.
Perhaps it's just me. I never did understand my husband's sense of humor. Take the time I lay writhing in the hospital with appendicitis. Hubby held my fingers with one hand, fiddled the TV knob with the other and said, "Just burp. You'll feel better and we can get out of here before the playoffs start."
Perhaps a better woman would've laughed and called him a nutcase. But I didn't laugh and I used stronger language than "nutcase." And if I'd known where it was, I would've hit him over the head with the bedpan.
He swears he was just being a supportive husband. I didn't think so until Tony's operation, when I began to see the whole issue in the terms of gender differences. Perhaps my man was being supportive in a man's way, and perhaps I was stuck in my outdated expectations and didn't realize I was married to my very own Patch Adams.
Who knows? At least Tony's surgery went well. He is now recovering nicely at home, where Hubby and two other buddies spent an afternoon with him last week. They planned this visit for days.
First, they told him that he looked like he was going to recover... so they'd give him back the furniture they stole from his office.
Then they guzzled a couple of expensive beers in front of him, knowing full well Tony's doctor wouldn't allow him alcohol for weeks.
Finally, they played a game of hearts, the better to lay zingers on the poor guy when he took a bad trick, like, "Looks like they cut out a little more gray matter than they originally let on, hunh, old buddy?"
When Hubby came back from this good will tour, I asked him how it went.
"Fine!" he said, grinning fondly at the memory. "Tony said he had a great time. He called us a bunch of crazy chuckleheads."
I left him to reminisce and called up my sister. I made her promise that if I ever had to be hospitalized, I wanted her there, armed with the bedpan.
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©2003 Bonnie Wren. All Rights Reserved