In sickness, which is better, married or single? I’ve been both sick and well. Married and single. In this system of things, I am best off single. I have learned that I am rather head strong, although I prefer the word “tenacious,” and some say I am eccentric, but I say perchance I’m just a misunderstood creative soul. And of course, there’s always the issue of those seven pesky pups and two diva hens who share the Enchanted Cottage with me.
But during these days of being extremely ill, I have had time to ponder the senseless idea of whether it’s better to be married or single when one is sick. Senseless, because if it is the former – all sick single people are not going to run out and find a marriage mate; nor if the latter, they will be too sick to head to divorce court. It is just the frivolous fancy of a delusional drug addled mind.
This morning when I awoke, on day eight of my illness odyssey, I stood in the loft looking down at seven precious pup faces who were looking up at me….waiting….waiting for the “what’s next?” – “where are we going?” – “when do we eat?” – “are we going outside?” And I just looked at them imploring me, their leader, and I thought, “I wish I had a partner to take them out right now. And feed them. And pick up after them. I’m just so very tired….” And then our day began.
Yet, there are times with this cold/flu/pneumonia stuff that I sound like I am hacking giant hairballs; and even when I am just trying to breathe, my lungs are as noisy as lumberjacks sawing redwoods in a mosquito infested echo chamber with helicopters buzzing overhead. When I attempt to recline, the pups are pouncing all over my discordant lungs trying to silence the cacophony. So at these thoroughly unromantic, probably nonhuman, and pretty darn disgusting and gross times, I am glad I live alone so I don’t have to worry about offending anyone else. Who knew the human body was capable of so many alien sounding noises?!
And then there are the occasions when I am walking through the house and I start the sputter-coughing-hacking cycle again, so much so that my southern parts seem to take on a life of their own and start with their toot and bugle symphony. I would hate to have witness to my clenched butt check, legs crossed, hoppity doodah dash to the toilet. Even the pups stare in awe – well, maybe fear and awe.
On the other hand, wouldn’t it be comforting to have some kind one bring me a hot cup of tea and honey? Or change the linens? Or massage my tired and tense shoulders? Or to call 911 when I died, before the dogs chowed down on my lifeless body?
Having a partner has soothing, tender and practical moments for sure. But since I have become rather feral in my dotage, and at times can summon Canada Geese with the mere honk of my snuffy nose, I think things are just as they should be.
I can honk and hack and toot and tinkle to my body’s need as I work my way back to health….alone in my cottage….snuggled by the pups….providing just another source of entertainment for them, and actually, for myself too, since when I am not gasping for breath, I find it rather humorous…the adventures of being human.
Ann is a modern day Erma Bombeck - enjoying the foibles of her own life and that of living with 7 dogs and 2 hens.