Opposites Attract

Posted: July 10, 2014 in Family Stories
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My husband’s family tells stories about ailments with unfathomable enthusiasm. Colonoscopies, arthritis, trigger toe, prostate cancer and warts – nothing is too private to pass down the sister-brother telegraph line relaying maladies both large and small.
Fifteen years ago my mom had a cancerous breast removed and didn’t tell my sisters and me until a year, maybe two, later. For a month our dad nursed her. He alone monitored the drain tubes, fed her, and delivered medication while we daughters continued blithely on with our lives – oblivious to her discomfort. Her explanation? “I didn’t want to bother you.”
And that is what our family does. We keep ailments to ourselves.
On the other hand, my husband’s family laughs uproariously when they’re together, they play games and tease, remember the old days and look to the future. My family eats an entire dinner – including dessert – not speaking a word. That’s not to say we don’t have fun, we do. Out on the back porch Mom and Dad discuss books, the news, and who drove down the alley and took the broken stove Mr. Jenkins tossed out on Monday. On the front porch Dad points to the “fairy rings” in the lawn and asks Mom if they were there yesterday.
Of course, three hours may pass between these conversations.
In silence.
So, it must be true. Opposites attract.

  1. Steve says:

    Must be?? Super, way, very, totally true!!


  2. RL says:

    What a true reflection of our little family, aren’t we lucky? Thanks for sharing the excellent writing.


    • Thanks for reading this, Ranny. I was listening to Donn on the phone with Bob then Margo then Scott then … and it’s all about who can one-up the other in the ailment department, only they don’t realize it. Love you.


  3. tempestletrope says:

    Your husband’s family sounds like my mother’s. Your family sounds like my (late) father’s. When my great grandmother passed following a bad fall, my father’s aunts told him not to tell me and my brother. I surely don’t understand this logic. Were we supposed to go on writing letters to a woman who had in fact passed away?
    Thank you for visiting The Netherworld.


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