Sunday, April 05, 2009


Everyone has some details about themselves that make them different. Maybe they're allergic to wheat and soy. Maybe they know someone famous. Maybe they survived smallpox when they were five. Some people bring these tidbits up once or twice. Others find excuses to cram them into any conversation:
  • "Your kid has a fever? That's nothing. I had smallpox when I was five...!"
  • "You went to Disneyworld when you were five? Heck. WhenIwas five, I had smallpox!
  • "You're worried that the six inch gash over your eye will leave a scar? Hell, when I was little I had smallpox and my parents were totally worried I'd end up spotted like a leopard but I only got a few pockmarks near my butt. Wanna see 'em?"
Deloris didn't have smallpox. She did have diabetes. She was a master at working it into any conversation. Had we watched Neil Armstrong land on the moon together, she'd probably interrupt the "One small step for a man," speech with "If I went to the moon I'd have to bring insulin with me because I could die if I didn't have it."
Other people I knew with the same condition were discrete. They might mention it once or twice, but it wasn't something the babbled on and on about. Deloris was different. Not only did she talk about it, she made sure she got her daily fix in front of as many people as possible. Heaven forbid she shoot up in another room most people did. Anyone who questioned her etiquette got a lecture about how "insensitive" they were to her plight.
She complained about other symptoms too. This hurt. That hurt. She often carried a book of symptoms with her so she could read up on what might be wrong with her. A "maybe I have [condition X] or [disease Y] because [body part z] is bothering me!" statement would follow.
It was ridiculous. It was annoying. Her You should feel sorry for me act slowly coaxed my evil side to speak up. "I don't care what's wrong with you and I don't want to hear about it any more." I blurted.
"You're insensitive!" she huffed.


stray said...

Sounds like managing the illness was her whole life.

Linda said...

Did your evil side REALLY speak up? Very exciting!

Namowal said...

You got it. The Feel Sorry for me Because I'm Special posture. Makes me cranky. I've had friends who went through cancer treatments who griped less than Deloris. I suspect that if a genie cured her problem that Deloris would just find something new to complain about.

My evil side is usually dormant, but it does show up now and then. Here's an early blog post where she stole the show. Ironically, she's almost as whiny and self-centered as Deloris!

Sally said...

Funny, and the early blog post too. I never have to give blood ever because I lived in England during the Mad Cow regime. I'm not allowed to give blood. I could be a Mad Cow.

Namowal said...

Thanks, Sally,
What part of England did you live in? How long were you there?

Sally said...

I was in London mostly in 1983-84, then again in 1993. I think it was the 1993 time that qualified me, because Dinah found out about it when she went to give blood.