No, it was the herring who did the juggling.

No, it was the herring who did the juggling.
Tiny little ginsu knives. Really very dangerous. One false move and they could have filleted themselves.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Do you know how many of these stinking hot toddies I have to drink to keep on a happy face?

One of the reasons I enjoy this particular Golden Girls episodes is because it is one of only a few in which we see Rose acting snarky. I've always disliked when characters are written too consistently, such that they show little to no variation from their "type." Rose is almost always kind and polite and generous, but in this episode she snaps at Blanche and Dorothy when they're all stuck together with the flu. And I particularly like what she says when she snaps - that she is finding herself in need of alcohol in order to hide her flu-induced grumpiness.

Now me, I don't drink alcohol (it is one of the biggest triggers for one of my delightful illnesses) but holy CRAP do I ever understand the concept here. It isn't just the actual symptoms that make chronic illness difficult; it is very hard indeed to present oneself in a pleasant and appropriate manner when, for example, one has thrown up five times in the last two days, spent a total of several hours unable to move because of temporary upper body paralysis, haven't slept for more than two hours straight in a week, etc. I find that the people close to me, my family and friends, are usually very understanding if I am acting quiet, or sullen, or snippy with them. (I try very hard not to do this, but it doesn't always work.)

However, one cannot bite the head off of strangers in the line at the grocery store because their loud voices are stabbing into your head like a large collection of knives. And one certainly cannot lose it at one's co-workers when they complain to you at length about how awful it has been for them to have a head cold for the past few days. This latter example has happened to me on several occasions, and a couple of times the co-workers knew very well that I have, in essence, had a migraine and the flu* every day for years. And I'm not talking about someone mentioning in passing that they've had a cold; I once had a co-worker (a health professional, no less) go on at me for 10 minutes about their stuffy nose.

Now let me be clear here that I truly do not believe that "normal" (i.e., healthy) people have an obligation to constantly pat us ill folks on the head and tell us how sorry they are that we're sick. Not at all. But for the love of the gods, is it so hard for people to devote even a tiny portion of their attention during a conversation to the perspective of the person to whom they are speaking? I wouldn't complain about the size of my home to a person living on the streets, as I can imagine how this would be upsetting and offensive to a person without a roof over their head.

This issue of consideration of and for other people is one of the things that irritates me most about this species of ours. I think Dorothy's facial expression here nicely represents my feelings about this:

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