So awhile ago, I needed to go to the Walk-In Clinic to obtain some kind of relief for a facial rash and puffy eyes and lips that had completely gotten out of control (I suspected and still do, that it is some kind of autoimmune-horrifying-response to the HRT I have been taking for almost a year now…more on that later).
Few places in life encapsulate base humanity like Walk-In Clinics. They terrify me, actually. Everyone is terribly sick; There are croupy coughs of the sort where you cannot believe there are not flying phlegm balls that you have to duck to avoid. There are those who are in the throes of epic cold/flus that produce more nose drippings that one could think possible.
I imagine these manky little germs just having dinner parties in the air, making their way around the room attaching themselves to those who have yet to catch the dreadful illness that has overtaken most of the poor sods in the chairs. I imagine these germs chatting with little glasses of chablis, and demanding the server bring more cheeseballs as they need sustenance to move to the next victim who may have only come in for an ingrown toenail, but NOW they have the Mad Chicken Bum Itch Flu too…..Thank you SO much for sharing that you’d love to say.
But I digress…
Eventually it is just me and one old man who had brought his little wife in. She is shaped like a small but rotund square, having trouble breathing, has an oxygen tank, and clearly cannot hear as he feels the need to talk at 300 decibels to her. You can tell he loves her, as she says she is cold, and he goes out to the car to get a blanket for her. You can also tell he is irritated with her. This is a 50 year plus marriage it seems. The kind where we celebrate 50 years in a church gymnasium with watered down Tang (someone REALLY should order wine for these events) and someone’s cross-eyed bespectacled niece plays a horrific violin rendition of some old song that once made the old couple swoon. We all would like to think this is 50 years of love, and unbridled romance, and good manners and stellar behaviour……But NO:
Everyone in the room knows this is 50 years of sticking together through “thick and thin”, “sickness and health”, “richer or poorer”, which really translates to 50 years where the happy couple somehow, through the utter Grace of God, managed to choose each other every day after the “Goo” ended. That point where the honeymoon ended, real life began, and now each star-eyed partner realized that their beloved snores like a band saw, is a slob, occasionally leaves pee in the toilet; or she is a moody, pre-menstrual, peri-menopausal and eventually post-menopausal cow (poor sods if she has a uterus you are just hooped) , and he is stubborn and a veritable cesspool of negativity when he doesn’t get his way. Somewhere along the line, they discover they both have new and age-induced odd smells.. Add children to the mix and now there is even more pressure. I don’t actually know how people manage to make it and have children in there too, somehow keeping the love alive. Now you need to make sure you smell nice, and make an effort to BE nice, and raise good citizens all at the same time…this is why we drink wine I am sure of it.
But it happens, and people make it. And then we celebrate in church halls with watered down Kool-Aid and Salmon Sandwiches prepared lovingly by the Church Women’s Guild, who are likely all living with their own old asshole too, and the opportunity to leave that old prick to go make sammies for an Anniversary Luncheon is golden.
Truth: 50 Year Marriage Anniversaries are truly occasions to be celebrated because both people made it this far without getting a fork in the head for being a complete A-Hole (this goes for men and women alike).
Back to the waiting room.
The old man’s wife goes in to see the doctor, and now I am alone with the old fellow. He looks at me, and asks if I am married. Yes I am. Happily? Yes, I am.
Randomness that ensued:
Old Man: The Wife gave up sex for Lent you know.
Me: (eyes widened and please let’s not have that visual in our heads) Really?
OM: (Chuckling) Yep…Lent seems to have lasted a LONG time.. (more chuckling)
Me: (nervous giggle)
OM: It’s true. That’s why I carry my Cialis pill with me ALL the time…(grinning)..You NEVER know (was that a WINK? REALLY?!) The wife says no more. She’s all dried up she says (no no no no please no)
Me: (Lord Love a Duck this is not happening…but why am I giggling)
OM: That’s what happens from lack of use. That’s why you NEVER turn it down when you’re young, ’cause when you get old there’s no gettin’ it.
Me: (Still no words..nervous giggling as I really cannot imagine any of “it” with this old codger as a visual..OMG)
OM: Ahhhh. I remember those good ole’ days, when it was gooooood (I could really have done without knowing when it was that gooooood)… But I can still look, eh? (another wink at me, yes a wink kill me now).
Finally I am called to see the doctor. I will likely never forget this exchange with a elderly stranger who carries Cialis in his pocket “cause you never know”.
One has to admire his ability to Hope.