I took a trip down my virus memory lane recently; those good ol’ days when your temperature was taken with a mercury thermometer and a spoonful of sugar helped the cod liver oil down.
By the age of 12, I had already gone through the big three at our house: chickenpox, measles and mumps, oh my. That was back in the fifties when the conventional wisdom was that when one kid in the neighborhood caught the measles, other mothers would send their kids over so everybody would get it and be done with it. Of course, it was also in the fifties that parents thought it was a good idea to rub whiskey on a baby’s gums to alleviate teething pain. Unless you lived in a dry county like us and all you had was your mom doing her best to console you. And, in a way, that was the best medicine.
With Mother’s Day coming up a week from this Sunday I’m reminded of those little things we look on as adults as inconsequential, but at the time were anything but inconsequential. Things done best by mom. Like her treating my bee stings with vinegar and baking soda, or my scraped knee with Merthiolate. And watching over me when I had chickenpox, measles and mumps.
Mark Twain said it best, “My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.”
Speaking of the above-mentioned memory lane, the conventional wisdom of my friends in those growing up years was that picking up a penny would bring good luck, that stepping on a crack would break your mother’s back, and if you break a mirror you’re doomed. My mother, on the other hand, would issue her own warnings and demurs that were basically scare tactics. I learned eventually that despite everything I was led to believe by her and other grownups that my eyes didn’t stay crossed, TV didn’t make me go blind, and I ate an apple a day and still got the measles.
I guarantee that if she were alive today she wouldn’t let me leave the house without a mask.
Anyhow, the coronavirus has still got me working from home, at least most of the time… and last Friday I noticed something; Friday’s no big deal. It just doesn’t have that oomph, that magic, like it does when I’m at the office. I mean, there’s nothing like being at work all day, anticipating the weekend and that “five o’clock whistle.” Yay!
Working from home, five o’clock Friday is just “well, yeah, okay...” and you stay sitting in the same chair.
Another thing. Who’s that long-haired dude looking at me in the mirror? Am I having a bad hair day/week/month?
All my adult life I’ve heard people – mostly women – use that “bad hair day” term at one time or another. I’m not sure what constitutes a bad hair day, and I gather it could be for a number of reasons, but for me, it’s usually the need for a haircut. Like now.
Back in the sixties I can’t remember ever hearing the phrase bad hair day, at least from the girls in my high school class, and that may be because they all seemed to affix every follicle on their heads together with hair spray. Industrial strength. It was like concrete, where all the hairs were one big wavy shaped block. I’m exaggerating, sure, but all I can say is that you daren’t get too close because once I almost got my eye poked out by an errant chunk.
OK, I’m one to talk. My unruly hair has always given me problems and it started at the onset of Beatlemania when I was a teenager. Dang that Ringo Starr. Trying to look like him surely set me on the road to perdition. And my buddies at school giving me the nickname Ringo sure didn’t help.
It got to the point where my English teacher put a dollar-fifty in my hand, telling me to march straight down to the barbershop because it was touching the top of my earlobes. I dutifully complied, but not without stopping off on the way back to put a couple of nickels in my favorite pinball machine at the bowling alley nearby.
But let’s not stop with bad hair days, maybe we should have a bad face day too. You know, for when you have puffy eyes from allergies or that cold sore gets out of control. For me, it’s all of those things, plus that patch of facial hair that my razor always misses.
Speaking of facial hair, I saw a post referring to an ill-fitting face mask on the internet that said, “I have the underlying condition of a full beard.”
Next thing you know, feed-bag shelves will be bare.