An Incurable Condition

Posted on October 7, 2015 under Storytelling with 2 comments


There’s no cure for this malady



If a person lives long enough, they will come down with some form of affliction or another. I bumped into a buddy in the automotive section of the Canadian Tire store the other day, and he told me his knees were shot and one of his shoulders was always achy. I suggested to him that, like an automobile, the warranty on our bodies eventually expires.

We all get colds and the flu, despite our best efforts to ward off evil spirits, with many of a certain age resorting to an annual flu shot. Heck, some people try to ward off evil spirits with evil spirits in the form of a hot toddy laced with dark rum.

There are more serious illnesses that pose risks, including diabetes and heart disease. Cancer continues to be a scourge on the health landscape. And despite mankind’s best efforts, there are some conditions that can be managed but remain incurable.

I was out for my morning walk a few weeks ago and met a friend going in the opposite direction. His wife is normally on the walk with him and, upon inquiry, I found out that she was under the weather that morning. She has Irritable Bowel Syndrome and on days when it strikes she has to stay close to home. While not wishing to minimize her discomfort, and at the risk of seeming heartless, I quipped, “It could be worse. She could be suffering from Irritating Husband Syndrome.”

And what, you ask, are the tell tales signs of Irritating Husband Syndrome? Rolling of the eyes is a dead giveaway that a gal suffers from this condition. Other clues include heavy sighs, both hands gripping the hair, hands on the hips and, the most dreaded of all, the silent treatment. Yes, men, when you have rendered your wife speechless you know that the doghouse can’t be far behind.

I polled several of my female friends to try to get to the bottom of this epidemic. I discovered the following as the most egregious offenses: putting laundry in the dryer when you should know it has to be hung to dry; yelling and burping and farting while watching sports on television; failure to notice the tub when you offer to clean the bathroom 5 minutes before company arrives; leaving stubble clinging to the side of the sink after shaving; and finding any excuse to miss a social function that calls for more than jeans or sweat pants. I guess there’s no cure for a pain in the arse.

But the single most aggravating thing that a man can do is wield the remote control with impunity. We try our best to explain that it is not easy to watch golf, football and baseball, at the same time, while avoiding all advertisements; even with split screen TVs.  My wife has discovered that it is almost impossible to pull her hair out with her hands on her hips.

Let’s face it. There is simply no cure for IHS. As long as men and women continue to cohabitate, this plague will persist. Thankfully there are support groups – just bring wine and your sense of humour.

The other day, my bride of thirty three years and I decided that it was time to review our estate plan. We did some minor tweaking to our wills, powers of attorney and personal health care directives. As is often the case, we discussed mortality and what life would look like if one of us died. “Do you think you would marry again?” I asked innocently enough. “Êtes-vous fou?” was the quick rejoinder. She can speak French when she needs to. “I have spent 33 years training you. I’m not about to start training anyone else.”

We briefly touched on the notion of eternity. My guess, without asking, is that living with IHS is as close to eternity as most women want to get.

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