Tuesday, November 3, 2009

what not to say

lovely people with whom we have become friends over the years, invited us over for a glass of wine and to get an update on what's going on with me. let's call them "bob" and "carole." they are seven or eight years older than we are. carole is a counselor.

after a drink or so, bob told me the story of the Chindits, the 3rd Indian Infantry Division that fought against the Japanese in Burma during world war II. the Chindits were gorilla fighters, mostly made up of nepalis soldiers led by an eccentric Brittish colonel. the nepalis were known for being friendly, happy, family-oriented, physically diminutive people but when they attacked the japanese, they became fierce, brutal, and terrifying warriors, and actually drove the japanese out of Burma.

bob disappeared and then reappeared with a beret that had an authentic Chindits patch, and gave it to me to wear when i lose my hair. we all agreed that this was a wonderful analogy for how my immune system was going to defeat my cancer cells, and carole was obviously pleased with bob for having come up with such a thoughtful gesture.

as we all relaxed around their fireplace, we had another drink and bob leaned back into the couch and began to philosophize. bob asked me, "how old are you?" carole, sitting across the room, was suddenly on alert. "fifty-five."

"hmmmm... you have raised two beautiful daughters, you have had a reasonably good marriage with this guy--" carole's eyes narrowed suspiciously "--and have accomplished more meaningful things in your work than most people--" at this point carole's expression turned to one of horror as she realized just where this was headed. "so, if it doesn't work--"

that was it. carole launched herself across the coffee table, landed on his lap, put her hand over his mouth and said, "you are NOT going there!" bob continued to try to make his point "bud ah wuz onwy twying to--"  however his words were not understandable as by this time carole had stuffed a napkin into his mouth and was holding a throw pillow over his face. she was clearly considering suffocating him.

i haven't laughed that hard since i was diagnosed.

1 comment:

  1. That's the hardest I've laughed all day - people are amazing, aren't they?

    Can't wait to see your hat - may it go well for you this week.

    Carol (without an "e" :)