Thursday, May 5, 2011
lions, tigers, and . . .
Last night at work a verbally aggressive resident was tailing me and I had been informed by the night nurse that he punched an aide for not giving him a second helping of mashed potatoes fast enough. A lousy reason for sure and now he was staring at me like I was a bug under a jar waiting for him to determine my fate. All those aggressive behavior training classes refused to surface in my head and I wondered how much it would hurt to have my nose broken. All I could do was look him in the eye and say, "you're scaring me and I don't like it." Beneath all his tension and dementia did lie the soul of a gentleman, a father, a husband, a nice guy who once worked for the railroad. He apologized and I am still amazed that worked and it probably will never again so I better go back to class.
I don't think my father got a good night's sleep during the seventeen years between my two marriages. He took to lecturing me as if I were a country cousin moving to the city. It didn't help that he overheard me telling my sister about a really stupid escapade my friends and I carried out back in our dancing-'til-dawn days. The details are beer blurry but I do know it involved putting a chili dog in a mailbox following a nasty encounter with a postal employee back at the bar. "Might be good to remind yourself you're a woman," he commented, "and a small one at that." Yikes, sexist Sonny. He breathed easier when Dave moved in with me and he chortled when I complained that being married is like having two fathers. "It's amazing no one has shot you," was another of Sonny's comments regarding my social life, man, I must have been some little hottentot.
I don't really miss those days, there was a lot of uncertainty and heartache and lonely Sunday suppers of scrambled eggs, my children with their father. And I really don't doubt my store of courage. That virtue comes roaring to my lips when Mr.Pick-up Truck the Size of a Barn cuts me off in a cloud of exhaust smoke. It's my grand kids who are teaching your kids all those neat, nasty words out on the playground . And there I go again, mistaking courage for stupidity, some things never change.