Patsy Porco

Delayed Gratification

In Aging, Humor, Valentine's Day on February 14, 2017 at 3:17 am

It’s Valentine’s Day, otherwise known as the one day each year when couples over-spend in order to prove the depth of their love for each other.

After 25 years of marriage, I might be a little jaded, but my cynicism is practical. My husband and I haven’t stopped celebrating Valentine’s Day. We just move it forward by a few days. The date we celebrate depends on when Walgreen’s reduces the price of their Valentine’s candy by 75%.

I’m not crazy. Why would I settle for one small heart of chocolate that costs $20 when I can have a shopping-cart full of giant hearts for the same $20 a few days later?

I learned the hard way. In our first year of dating, my husband and I were on the way to dinner when he handed me a box of beautiful handmade chocolates (that his friend’s sister made and forcefully sold to all of his friends). I was touched. They were almost too pretty to eat. The candy set the tone for the evening. I was giddy with romance and anticipating our romantic dinner.

When we got to the restaurant, my husband gallantly came around the car to open my door. I stepped out of the car and the expensive candy which was on my lap fell onto the ground and scattered all over the parking lot. That was embarrassing. And expensive for my husband.

Now I get truckloads of marked-down candy that tastes as sweet as it would have on Valentine’s Day, and if I drop it in the street, it’s really no big loss.

candy-heart

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

In Aging on January 27, 2017 at 10:40 pm

I went to see an ear-nose-and-throat doctor today regarding my chronic sinus pain.

While I was at the reception desk, the woman checking me in, Mary, told me that I had an outstanding balance of $15.

“How can that be?” I asked. “I’ve never been here before.”

She looked at me in confusion. “Yes you were,” she said. “On December 5.”

“No,” I said. “I had an appointment, but when I called I was told it was canceled.”

We appeared to be at an impasse. “Oh, just go ahead and add it to today’s bill, and we can figure this out later,” I said.

Mary shook her head and ran my flexible-spending-account card through her credit card machine.

While she was busy, a doctor walked into the office and stood behind Mary. He looked familiar. Very familiar. Had I seen him on television?

Then I looked around the office. It seemed to me that I had seen the same coffee machine and basket of complimentary snacks before. That’s when it hit me.

“I have been here before!” I said. Mary looked up from her work with a wary smile. “This appointment is to review the results of the CAT scan I had!” I said. “It’s been so long since my last appointment that I forgot all about it.”

Mary glanced gratefully at the glass separating her from me and nodded.

“Sorry,” I said. “My Alzheimer’s is acting up.” She laughed, in a we’ve-all-been-there-before kind of way. But it wasn’t sincere. I have a feeling she talked about me after I left.

There’s something about doctors that brings out the crazy in me. It has the same effect on one of my sisters.

She recently went to the doctor and told him she suspected that she had a tapeworm. She said the doctor looked very nervous and asked her, “How do you think you contracted it?” He then headed to the sink to thoroughly wash his hands.

Somehow they determined that she did not have a tapeworm, so she broached her next concern. “Could I have an X-ray for lung cancer?” she asked him. When he ascertained that she didn’t have any symptoms that would call for such an X-ray, he suggested that perhaps she should go home and lie down.

As she was leaving, he asked, “Are you seeing anyone?”

“No!” my sister exclaimed. “I’m happily married.”

“I was talking about a psychiatrist,” the doctor responded.

doctors-office

Off With Its Head

In Food, Humor, Sushi on January 14, 2017 at 10:35 pm

One of my brothers once told me that, if you wanted to kill a tapeworm that was inside of you, you had to wave a piece of meat in front of your mouth. He said the tapeworm would work its way toward the scent and its head would pop out of your mouth. When the head emerged, you had to grab it, pull it out a little, and then chop off its head with the knife you had standing by. It had to be a big, sharp knife, he said.

To be honest, I never really believed that this was the most efficient way to kill a tapeworm.pngtapeworm. I wasn’t even sure that it was a real way to kill it. Fortunately, up to now, I’ve never had to worry about killing a tapeworm that lived in my digestive tract.

Today, a friend of mine upended my complacency. She posted an article from a reputable source, NBC CT, that said that a salmon that was caught off the North Alaska coast had a tapeworm in it. The article said that, “The tapeworm, known as Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense, has caused thousands of infections in the Asia Pacific since 2008, according to the Washington Post” and that a study found “an increased popularity of eating raw fish and ‘global importation’ has caused the reemergence of the tapeworm.” The article went on to say that “researchers determined people who eat raw salmon caught in North America may be at risk of contracting the tapeworm infections.”

Well, hell. I recently developed a love of sushi, after years of saying that, “I ain’t eatin’ no raw fish.” My fear was of catching parasites. My sushi-loving friends, and some hipsters I know, all said that my fear was unfounded, and that sushi and sashimi were safe to eat.

It turns out that they were wrong. I’d better sharpen my cleaver.

cleaver-159513_960_720

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