Nurse Ratchett, I Presume?

Pestilence and disease are lurking in the Lee household.  Dearly Beloved has been feeling puny this week.  In Husbandspeak, that means he has draped himself upon the sofa, remote control in hand, but believing it obvious to all that he belonged in Intensive Care.  He decided to brave it out here, however–with Nurse Mary on 24-hour duty, of course.

Now, it seems I’ve come down with the same symptoms and I’m mulling over my options.  Do I show him how an adult handles a virus or do I try to outdo him in drama?   The thing is, the couch does feel pretty darned good.

He has already claimed the remote today–“BIG GAMES ON”–even though he felt well  enough to go on his walk for the past two days.  I see that as a sign that he is well enough to go for takeout while I’m down for the count.

Usually when he’s out on those walks he calls me at least once–for no reason.  I think it’s because he likes the mental image of knowing I stop whatever I’m doing  to scramble for the phone.  He takes it as a declaration of love when I answer, since the Caller ID has identified him.

Yesterday, for instance, he called while he was out on his daily constitutional, but he  kept yelling at me, “TALK LOUDER!  I can’t hear you over the leaf blowers!”

What is wrong with that picture?  The leaf blowers weren’t here–they were out wherever he was walking. Wouldn’t you think he’d have simply walked another block before calling?


Calling him is an entirely different experience.  The man who scoffed at iPhones now can’t be without one.  He listens to music, takes photos, sends e-mails (painful to watch!), surfs the internet, and does everything that phone-savvy people do except answer the damn thing.  He can never get it out of his pocket in time.

Earlier today I needed an answer quickly and wasn’t sure how long he’d be gone, so I called his cell. It went to voicemail.  I could visualize the scene:  DB walking blissfully along, listening to music–sometimes via earbuds, sometimes with it blasting out of his pocket. The phone vibrates.  He waits for it to vibrate again, just to make sure.  He sucks in his breath in order to slide his whole hand into his jeans pocket to pull out the phone and read the Caller ID.  By the time he has gone through all that, the call has long since gone to voicemail–which he never checks.  He calls back. I know the procedure, so I twiddle my thumbs and wait.

Carrier pigeons would be faster.

Today, since I feel so bad, he is acknowledging my plight by going into his own husbandly nursing mode. I promise this is my life. Here is an example:

He pointed to the end table next to the sofa.  “What IS all that stuff?” he asked, wiggling his trigger finger at my book, a Belk’s flyer, and my iPad.

I ignored him, so he proceeded to carry on both parts of the conversation. Barely missing a beat, he said, “Leave me alone, DB.  You know I feel bad.  If it bugs you, MOVE it.”

We have since had several conversations, with him taking both parts.  In fact, we have some of our longest conversations for the entire week without my actually saying a word.

He took the other sofa while ago and flipped to the first football game.  “Do you want me  to tell you all about this game?” he asked, preparing to launch into a history of the season.

“No.”  I was able to get that for myself.

Taken aback, he said indignantly, “Well, do you want me to grill you a steak tonight?”  Was he implying that I have to listen to that chronology if I want to get fed?  I’ll starve first.

Suddenly I was laughing hysterically, tears rolling down my cheeks.  He looked slightly alarmed.  “What is it?” he asked.

“You are so annoying that I can’t even type fast enough to get it all down.”

Send an ambulance.  I think I’m ready for Intensive Care.

DB offers this photo of Drama Mama writing her blog about him.  Remind him of what to put on my headstone:  I TOLD you I was sick!

11 thoughts on “Nurse Ratchett, I Presume?

  1. Honest to God, you have to have THE funniest attitude towards life I’ve ever read. So healthy. I wish (when I was married) I could have had your sense of humor. And been able to put it down on a piece of paper. I actually might still be married! 🙂

  2. Nothing changes the dynamics of marriage more than a respiratory or GI virus. The only thing my physician knows to do for either? Insist that I need another cup of tea. Hope you are soon on the mend. If it makes you feel any better, my husband doesn’t even turn his cell phone on, and never answers our home phone. He says it’s just simpler to let the answering machine pick up.

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