Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Four Nice Things

It's been a day of small but meaningful satisfactions.

1. This morning we had a meeting of the medicine-and-spirituality group at the med school. Last semester, I'd offered to do a presentation on patient metaphors for disease and the implications of those metaphors for treatment (patients who describe their illness as a "battle" may need to be reminded to take "furloughs" by getting enough rest, for instance). One physician on the committee was particularly enthusiastic about this idea. But it turns out that this semester's teaching schedule conflicts with the group's usual presentation time, so I thought I wouldn't be able to do it.

Lo and behold, they had an empty slot in June, after my classes are over, and they were trying to figure out what to put there, and I offered the metaphor presentation again. The response was positive, so I'll be doing it after all. The enthusiastic physician will be working with me, since the idea will have more weight with med students if a recognized clinician's behind it.

2. When I got home, Gary said, "This was waiting for you on the front steps," and handed me a large gift basket. It turned out to be from the folks who run our local Interfaith Hospitality Network. My parish has participated since 2001, first as a host congregation and now as a support congregation, and I've been coordinator or co-coordinator for quite a few of those years. The program director evidently had these lovely gift baskets made up for coordinators, with cards thanking us for our hard work.

Two months ago, I handed over our coordinatorship to two other people at church -- I'd gotten pretty burned out -- so I dithered about taking the basket. But I finally decided that I really have done a lot of work over the past seven years, and that I was entitled to keep it. Our new coordinators can have next year's gift baskets!

The basket includes lavender soap, herbal tea, and . . . chocolate. I was looking longingly at the chocolate, and Gary said, "It's for you. You have to eat it. I won't tell."

It's only a small bar. Maybe I'll split it with him.

Sigh. Told you I'd fall off that wagon!

3. Gary and I have matching wedding bands, a wide gold Victorian rollpress floral design. They're gorgeous, and we both love them. But Gary doesn't wear his in the house, and a few weeks ago, I noticed that he wasn't wearing it at a social event. I asked why, and he said it had gotten too big. He didn't want another one; we talked about having it resized, but I was nervous about that, because then it might be too small in the summer.

I kept telling myself that the ring is only a symbol, but because it's a symbol that's important to me, the situation kept nagging at me. So finally I said, very sheepishly, "Okay, I know I'm being ridiculous, and I hope you won't be upset with me, but it would really mean a lot to me if you wore a ring. It doesn't have to be fancy at all."

To my infinite relief, he agreed. So I ordered a very simple, plain sterling ring for him, and it came today and seems to fit. It's a little big, but not as big as the other one is.

Thank you for humoring me, Gary! I love you!

4. Longtime readers of this blog may remember that part of my church contretemps some years back involved an extraordinarily painful and ugly falling-out with someone who had been a cherished friend and mentor. After a long time of no contact at all (following vows never to speak to each other again), I sent him a very short "happy birthday" e-mail a few months ago, followed by an equally short "Merry Christmas" e-mail. I didn't get any reply, but I really didn't expect any; I just wanted to let him know that I was thinking kindly of him.

Today, incredibly, I had e-mail from him! He'd forwarded this link to a hilarious blog entry matching GOP candidates with Buffy villains. He included a brief note saying that since he doesn't follow the show, the parody didn't make any sense to him, but he thought Gary and I might get and enjoy it.

I doubt the friendship will ever be what it was -- too much hurt and broken trust on both sides -- but at least we're no longer enemies. It sort of feels like Easter came early this year.

As it turns out, Gary and I had already seen the parody, and loved it, but we did think that for fairness' sake, someone should match the Democratic candidates with Buffy villains, too. The choices are much less obvious, though. The only one I can really come up with is Clinton as the scary psych professor in Season Four, the one who turns out to be the head of the Initiative.

Can anyone think of candidates for the other candidates?


  1. Anonymous6:14 PM

    I think a much better Clinton would be the female British watcher who claimed to be assigned to Faith but who really just wanted the scary glove of power.

    Or how about Richardson, Obama, and Edwards as the nerd boys -- Buffy's arch-nemeseseses?


  2. This is unrelated to your post, but...

    I had my first day of work at my new hospital yesterday. On the phone number whiteboard was the chaplain, "Susan." I smiled and thought of you. I hope that she's as caring and tolerant.

  3. Good calls, Inez!

    And thank you, Ariel! What do you do at the hospital?

  4. I'll be an RN after I take my boards next month. For now, I'm a "nurse apprentice."

  5. Ariel -- Good luck on your boards, and with the new job! Where in the hospital will you be working?

  6. Thank you. I'll be on "6N," an orthopedics (and overflow med/surg) floor. I am quite excited.

  7. I just wanted to leave a belated comment (my first here) to say that I've only recently started reading your blog and just this morning followed your link to your Nov. 2006 post about the ordination process. I found that post incredibly moving, in part because my partner has been on the long and torturous ordination route for the Episcopal priesthood for over seven years now and is now with no clear path forward at all. It's been incredibly hard, mostly on her but also on me, and in the process my relationship with the Church has deteriorated to the extent that I'm not actually attending a parish at all right now. I feel great sorrow about this, but whenever I venture out on a Sunday and attend a service, I'm so full of ranging and raging emotions that it's far more upsetting than worshiping, so I mostly just don't go. Anyway, I wanted to say thank you for your thoughtful narrative of your journey, and I find it inspiring that you're still there, still serving, despite it all.

  8. Thank you, What Now! May you and your partner find comfort, peace, and joy -- and a clear path, eventually!


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