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11:05 a.m. - 2011-09-21
Whose job is it?

Yesterday I mentioned my too big jeans. It's true. I'm having difficulty eating so often these days the weight is falling off me and all my jeans fit like hobo pants. But since it's not weight being taken off the healthy way with proper exercise my middle is still very wiggly. And it's not like I'm enjoying the process or the results. (Okay, the results a little.) I miss eating. It's torturous to sit at table with my guys and make small talk when I'm trying not to urp. Mick and Wolf understand if I flee the room, but they miss me and tend to get snitty with each other if I'm not there to referee.

I have to go back to the doc next month for a full blood work up and those pokey proddy things doctors do. While I'm there I will speak with her about this eating problem. I'm thinking it's either neurological or hormonal. I'm leaning toward the latter since I had such strong food aversions during pregnancy too. Since she can't legally prescribe it I'm thinking Lisa will likely make vague suggestions about finding that 'homeopathic' remedy which is known to help stimulate the appetite. I've already tried it and it ain't helping. But Lisa won't know that unless I tell her. She's a terrific advocate for doing what you gotta to fix what ails you, even if the fix is nontraditional. God bless her caring soul.

I loathe the staff at the gyno's, but Ed my GP and Lisa the physician's assistant totally rock. Straightforward, practical, sympathetic. How sad is it that I'm almost shocked to have medicos who actually listen and want to help? The two PAs at the gyno are trumpet-voiced arrogant harridans who relentlessly pimp one of those fasting/diet shake plans. Must work on commission. They won't even talk to you without the spiel about the diet plan first. Also weight loss is their only 'cure'. Got a broken leg? You need Fatso-Fast! You're bleeding from both eyes? You need Fatso-Fast! Hot flashes? Insomnia? Dandruff? All will be cured if you buy their magic diet drinks. My gyno's practice is so anti-fat that they once tried to weigh me when I came in to go over a billing error. Because that's the first step to anything there. The instant you go through the door from the waiting area into the office/treatment area they make you get on the scale and announce your weight OUT LOUD. No lie. In front of everybody. All the staff, the other patients, the people in line to get results or make appointments, the UPS guy. The scale is right inside the door and nobody gets to see a doctor, nurse, or technician without being weighed and publicly humiliated first.

Yes, of course I've complained. And reported it. I've made a stink with everyone from the union benefits rep to the medical group's CEO. And still the fat hate and the huckstering for their diet plan goes on. Unfortunately they are the only gyno group in network. If I want my ladies' bits looked at by someone else I have to pay out of pocket. So my choices are to pay through the nose for private consultation with an ethical non-huckstering gynecologist or have my patient's rights and privacy violated with the public weigh-in at the one group that takes my insurance. Needless to say I avoid going to the gyno at all. I haven't been back since my surgery last year. The local Planned Parenthood is an option for a basic exam, but they only have a prescribing physician there once a week. Getting an appointment with her is like trying to win the lotto. And the day she's in is when you have to run the gauntlet of screaming anti-choice whackos waving signs and fetuses in jars. Ever have a nun spit on you when you went in for a Pap smear?

Oy.

Last night after dinner (the one I couldn't eat) I was doping out the rest of the week's menu aloud. Mick was tossing in suggestions and I startled myself by vetoing something and then realizing that Alex was the one who didn't like that dish.

I still have my estranged son's menu preferences in my head.

Perfect example of what I was talking about yesterday, my ground-in obligation to serve others. Why on Earth should I be wasting time and brain space on Alex's likes and dislikes? For one thing by his silence my elder son has made it quite clear I know dick about what he's actually like. And for another, just how far does my obligation to make everyone else's life as near to perfect as I can make it go? Why do I think it's my DUTY to make sure everyone else has their favorite flavor of jam, the kind of socks they prefer, etc, etc? Would the world end if I didn't? Would Mick divorce me if I don't have his damask satin pillowcases clean and ready and made him use the cotton ones? Would Wolf drop out of school and join a cult if I buy Pepsodent instead of Colgate?

Teary-eyed but laughing too I told Mick about what I'd just realized and then tied it into something we'd discussed while making ready for the party on Saturday. We were in front of the big mirror in the bathroom and I mentioned how if he weren't groomed and dressed properly that I would be held at fault. Stupid but true. Mick is 52 years old. In the eyes of the law and by all other standards is a fully grown competent adult, yet if he showed up at SIL's party wearing a wrinkled ugly shirt the eyes would turn to me and condemn me for allowing my husband to go out in public looking like a bum.

Oh, please. Don't bother with the demurring. Tell me you've never judged a woman by how kempt or unkempt her husband is. Or how obnoxious he is. Or how his jokes are in the poorest of taste. Tell me that you've never thought, "My God, how could she let him go out like that?" "Gads, why doesn't she stop him from telling racist jokes?" You know you have. So have I. It's insidious.

We are our husbands' keepers. A married (or otherwise committed) man gets a pass on being responsible for his own grooming and behavior. And if the guy in question is single don't we all think, "Well when Dave gets a girlfriend she'll make him wear deodorant."?

WTF? Seriously. What's with this male abdication of personal responsibility and the assumption that the wives and girlfriends are at fault if HE doesn't make the cut?

I married Mick, I didn't adopt him. He's supposed to be my life's partner. An equal. He's not a giant hairy middle-aged child who I'm in charge of. It's my job to make sure Wolf brushes his teeth. Mick's dental hygiene should be his own responsibility. But if he had moldy teeth and breath that melted steel it's for sure that I'd be the one getting the snitty comments and dirty looks.

Sheesh. It as though this servitude and feeling responsible for jobs that really shouldn't be mine are woven into my DNA. What's it going to take to cut myself free? Feels like this guilty onerous obligation is there at the molecular level. Dopey as all hell. Time for it to stop.


Unplugging and deprogramming myself as best I can, ~LA


PS: My apologies for the overtly hetero-centric bent of this entry. I can only talk about how it is for me- straight, middle-class, middle-aged female. I honestly don't know if gays and lesbians come under the same fire for their mates' behavior and grooming. xxoo


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