Friday, September 24, 2010

having perspective

let's be real shall we?

i think folks that follow me on twitter and flickr have realized that i've been paying quite a few visits to humphry slocombe and OTD on bush street a lot recently. while these places are two of my regular haunts, i've been scurrying over a lot more the past few weeks because things really are unpleasant at work. these are two places i go for comfort though food and today was no exception as i found myself diving face first into my plate of banh cuon...


which is one of my fav vietnamese dishes. yet, today wasn't because of work unpleasantness. it was more of a reality check. as DH put it today, "it kind of puts everything in perspective doesn't it?"

i was thinking and feeling an awful lot about perspective while i was working my way through my comfort food ....recalling a conversation i had earlier today. before i tell you what it is dear hearts, i just want to be clear that this isn't me. this isn't anyone that knows the existence of who i am behind this foodie hunter mask of anonymity either. so there is no need to play the panicked-name-that-person-we-all-know-game. yet, it is someone i know and i was hit with a rather large wave of empathy and memory today.

what would you do, dear reader, if your love....went to the doctor because a tinge in their body....and came back saying that the doctor found a tumor? a tumor so large that even if it is benign that radiation is recommended to shrink it so that it would be easier to remove. oh, and the doctor should be able to tell your love next week if it is benign. or not.

yes. dear reader. what would you do? what would you say? what would you be feeling at this moment?

while i may be a bit of a robotic overly analytical emotionally retarded asshole, i actually have a pretty strong sense of empathy. isn't that weird? weird yes. but true. just one of life's unexpected fallacies. as a result, through empathy, i am able to tell you what i would do, say, and feel.

i'd immediately look at my love and see where they are at that moment. i'd squash my fear, anger, and despair. i'd suck it all up, bottle it up, and say "i love you and i'm here." then wait, desperately trying to see and provide what they need at that moment and the moments afterward.

do they need me to listen? do they need me to rant with them? do they need to keep the stiff upper lip? do we need to exhaust ourselves with researching this ourselves? do they need to keep the illusion that they are in control? do they need me to make a fool of myself so that they can laugh? do they need to rage at me or try to push me away (unsuccessfully), because they are scared? do they need me to be a fountain of hope and become a "glass is half full kind of person"?

anything + everything.

then, if there was a private moment, like when i'm taking a shower, i'd probably sit down....with my head on my knees... with extremely hot water running over me ....and i'd reconsider the fact that i broke up with god when i was ten years old and wonder if, perhaps, we should be on speaking terms again....



now, if the situation was reversed and i was the one telling someone i loved that the doctor had found something that i didn't know what the fuck it was, i'd probably try to make it seem like it wasn't a big deal. because i'm am an emotionally retarded prideful dumb ass like that. how do i know? because, i have already done it.

many years ago, i had a bit of a scare which included a visit to my GP, which immediately turned into the doc sending me to the ER as a stop gap, then a later surgery that required taking out a cyst that turned out to be benign, and then some post-surgery complications. i didn't really tell folks until after the surgery was over that it happened. also, if my deliciously wicked godfather hadn't alternated between scolding and nagging at me after the surgery because he just "knew" something was still wrong, i wouldn't be here right now. i was very sober when the equally scolding paternal doctor told me that if i waited any longer to see him, i'd have died. actually, now that i think about it, i don't think all of you dear hearts actually knew about that one. about the surgery yes...but not about the infection that happened afterward. ummm, yeah. that happened.

anyway.

the person i was "with" really couldn't handle it. i found it quite ironic that he was looking for me to comfort him when i told him about it. i mean, really, who is the girl here? i mean, i don't want to seem like a total dick or anything, but aren't you suppose to be trying to comfort me in this situation? yes, i really did think that when i saw him doing his immediate freak out thing. you really get to see me "warts and all" in this blog. this resulted in me acting like it wasn't a big deal because at that moment i really didn't need to comfort him freaking out about the possibility that i may have the C-word. i really had more than enough to deal with at that moment so it was easier to act like it wasn't a big deal. it may have been different if he hadn't reacted that way immediately and tried to put me first for a few moments, then freak out later, and then i could have comforted him. but that is not what happened. hindsight is so crystal clear isn't it?

the heart sister didn't buy my "it isn't a big deal" thing. she pretty much declared that she was going with me to my doctor appointments and had a few pointed questions for the doctor herself. honestly, behind my "it isn't a big deal" facade, i was scared but stubbornly refused to initiate any contact with god or any other potential spiritual entity. i guess they didn't hold it against me because i lucked out with my surgeon. the surgeon i was suppose to meet with was late....real late...i ended up meeting a dr. stanton who was the original surgeon's dad i was suppose to see...and who only "dabbled" with patients in semi-retirement. dr. stanton was rather amazing. not only was the healing (not including the infection) was relatively painless when compared to the stop gap cutting i received in the ER, but he must have come from a different era or school of thought, where doctors saw themselves as healers....filled with warmth, understanding, and empathy.

i think despite all of my stubbornness during that time, i did feel loved by the deliciously wicked godfather, the heart sister, and the best friend who seemed determined to provide food delivery and such post-surgery.



yup, this is the sort of processing that goes through my head when i'm sitting at the counter at OTD and humphry slocombe, having private moments of reflection behind my bug eyed sun glasses. this is probably why i try to go to both places during off times....when there is no line at humprhy slocombe or when the folks at OTD are prepping for the next rush...folding their towels....resetting the tabletops....etc.. today, as i finished my meal at OTD today, i looked through twitter on my blackberry and saw that a couple of people retweeted something i wrote right after i listened to the person that told me what was going on in their life right now. i suppose i'm not the only one that feels this way.

what did i tweet?

"having perspective. the most important thing is that those you love know, without a doubt, that you love them."

because no matter what side of the story you are on, no matter what is happening in life, that is really what it is about isn't it?

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