“Talk me down, Sherri,” she whispered. “Hurry up. Talk me off the ledge before I injure my husband.”
“What’s going on?” I asked. “And most of all, if you have a weapon in your hand, put it down!”
“We both have the flu,” she said with a loud sigh. “Well, let me rephrase that. I have the flu. But of course, ‘Baby Huey’ is convinced that he has malaria.”
Well, it wasn’t really necessary for her to go into all the details. After all, I’ve divorced a few Baby Huey types. I know that secret urge to place a pillow over a man’s whiny face ... and then sit on it.
“Actually, I am puking a lot more than he is,” my friend snapped. “But guess who is being the nurse? Yeah, me. The only person in the house who is dealing with the problem of projectile vomiting.”
That conversation reminded me of one of my ex-husbands, who I loathed.
Due to endometriosis, I always felt like hell for at least two weeks out of every month. But I dealt with it. I went to work, anyway. I cooked and cleaned and did laundry, anyway. But then came the day that my big baby spouse came home with the stomach flu, while I suffered the purgatory of PMS.
“My tummy is upset,” he sniffled.
“Do not say ‘tummy,’ ” I growled. “It makes me want to harm you. Grown men don’t say ‘tummy,’ you big sissy.”
“Will you get me some soup?” he wailed.
“Love to,” I grumbled. “I’ll just sprinkle it with arsenic for taste.”
“Nothing,” I smiled. But as I stirred the soup, I thought about beating his hind end off with the wooden spoon. I thought about standing back, with my hands on my hips, and saying something like, ‘Well, it looks like I might have broken your nose with this out-of-control spoon. Now you have something to boo hoo about.”
“I am so sick,” he whined. “I’m dizzy. And I have severe stomach pains. I might need to go to the hospital.”
I rolled my eyes so many times, I’m surprised they didn’t get stuck staring upward at my eyebrows.
“I’m also chafed,” he said in a tearful voice.
“Chafed?” I stared at him, with my face contorted in one of my best, “You disgust me” expressions.
“Yes, chafed,” he said. “You know – down there.”
Maybe a swift kick down there would solve the problem? I stomped into the bathroom and returned with a container of powder.
“Do not ask me to powder your chafed areas,” I said firmly. “It won’t end well. You’ll be sorry. You won’t have anything down there anymore that could be chafed.”
“Oh my gosh ...” horrified, he pointed at the floor. “What’s that?”
I looked down. “Oh that? Well that’s just my uterus falling out. But let’s not worry about me and my poor old womb. Let’s worry about how you and your icky tummy and your nasty chafing problem.”
A former Southsider and an award-winning journalist and humor writer, Sherri Coner resides in southwest Florida. To learn about her books for women and to join her on Facebook, visit www.sherriconer.com. She also speaks to women’s groups. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.