Monday, February 21, 2011

Feeling Better...But Terribly Cranky

Since childhood, my tolerance for discomfort has been minimal.  My sister was the one blessed with steely stoicism (born of necessity...but I digress).  Moi?  I fall more along the lines of Camille.  I detest feeling less than 100% and if I'm going to suffer, I want to make sure I'm not alone.  I can manage with some degree of decorum and grace - for about 3 days.  Then I get scared that I'm always going to feel terrible.  That I'll get stuck in this compromised state.

The sign that I'm feeling better has always been the same:  I get cranky. 

Very cranky. 

Very, very cranky. 

Although consciously I recognize that it's a phase of healing for me, the things around which that crankiness shows up have changed over the years.  One particular shift was noted as I took to the streets for the first time in two weeks to forage for food.

Walking the few blocks to the market, down the little cobbled rues, through the canyons of ancient stone buildings accompanied by the music of the ubiquitous fountains in this fine ville, I noticed a couple of behaviors that really irk me.  As in 'irk-me-on-a-regular-basis' kind of irk me.

The first is a double whammy as it is both disgusting and a health hazard:  Men blowing their snot-filled winter noses directly into the street.  That's right, folks.  They hold one nostril shut with a thumb and blow the shit out of the other nostril.  Second verse, same as the first for the alternate nostril.

(See how cranky I am?  I swear when I'm tired or cranky.) 

It's a common wintertime vignette that gets played out daily on the streets.  You'll be walking along and all of a sudden, a fellow will lean a bit forward, thumb lifted to shut down one nostril and then watch out!  Absolutely disgusting.  Beyond disgusting.  It's a veritable health hazard.  There should be stiff fines or gloved police handcuffing the offenders and hauling them off to some cell where they can blow their snot hither and yon - alone and cut off from humanity - until they can behave better or they die. Whichever comes first.

The second behavior takes place year round.  How lucky are we?  This would involve men relieving themselves whenever the urge strikes them. No bathroom around?  No problem!  That's apparently why there are walls...and bushes...and sides of the roads.  Around any given corner in our little ville one can see a fellow pull his willy out in broad daylight to pee - against a wall...or into the bushes.  I've seen no one using a fountain yet but probably only because I've not been paying attention.  Really people?  This behavior makes sense to me if one is camping in the outback, or skiing for an entire day without stopping for lunch. I try not to think about a day spent at the seaside.  But just in the street during the course of a day?!  Puhleeeze.  The café waiters may give you the stink eye but they'll not bar the door to their bathrooms, I can assure you of this.

So with that off my chest, I'll go back to the chores at hand of moving my apartment...which is happening all this week.  Add moving stress to my Miss Cranky Pants state of mind and there may well be another rant in the offing. 

As long as you are not one of the above mentioned offenders, I'm here to wish you a lovely rest of your day. 

If you do happen to be one of those disgusting aforementioned offenders, get a bloody clue and knock it off!  Your mothers would be disgusted with you. 

Ciao,
Leslie

15 comments:

leslie said...

Welcome back. You have been missed! I know you're cranky but the way you wrote that was funny. I'm glad you're feeling better and I wish you all the best with the move. I hope you'll take some pics as you set up your new home.
leslie

laura said...

Ugh! That is so horribly disgusting! I haven't yet noticed men doing that nostril thing up here, but I haven't been looking for it. I'm really grossed out. I'm sorry you have to deal with that! That would bother me even if I wasn't sick.

Deborah said...

Get properly well soon, Leslie! We've been missing you. Even your Tales of Nasal Evacuation and other Sidewalk Scenes...

la fourchette said...

leslie, thanks for your good wishes and such a warm welcome back. I'll definitely do some pics in the new digs.

laura, disgusting, indeed. You are *so* lucky. Perhaps it's one of those things unique to the south. And yes, it bothers me even when I'm not sick. But being even just a bit under the weather and it kicks off a major gag reaction. Just not pretty.

Thanks to all for reading today. I really appreciate that you're out there!

Ciao,
Leslie

posting will be a bit irregular this week as the move and catching up from two weeks down is the current priority. But I'll pop in and out. Stop in when you can!

la fourchette said...

Deborah, why thank you! Even the Nasal Evacuation Tales, huh?! This really opens up a mother lode of material! Be careful what you ask for ... or miss! ;}

Anonymous said...

So glad to have found that you are back! I have missed reading of your adventures. . . .I am now caught up! :o) (Although I can not seem to find you on facebook. . . .which i have now tried looking 4 times with little success. . . . . . .) Ciao and chat soon
AnnMarie ;o)

la fourchette said...

AnnMarie! I'm so happy to hear from you! Let's catch up!

Ciao,
leslie

donna said...

i'm right there with you on that suffering thing....we could be identical twins on that account...(my zen practice goes flying out the door ) ....when i have to do something difficult..... (or undesirable, or less than pleasant)...... like your move coming up...... i treat myself extra specially, wonderfully well..... (a splurge of some sort?)....so...be good to yourself, and do something nice for you......

Char said...

hope you feel much better soon

and ugh, i think i got sick just reading that

la fourchette said...

donna, ah yes. I don't think my fear of getting stuck in a state is exactly what Buddha had in mind when teaching 'be in the moment'...clearly I need some revision. I like your idea of some sort of 'splurge'...that doesn't involve moving expenses. Hmmmm...something to think about!

Char, thanks for your kind wishes. I'm on the mend - that's for sure. And yes, I suppose a warning of some sort might have been in order for this post. I'll keep it in mind for the next time.

Thanks to all for being there...and reading!

Ciao,
Leslie

Kitty said...

Oh Leslie.... (shudder)
The mental image I have of the snot-thing. Gah. At least up here en Bretagne they use voluminous blue & white cotton men's handkerchiefs. And use them... and use them. Gah.
But yeah, the picnic tool performance, always. I have watched men walk out of a house, even though the loo is right there so they can go pee up against the side of the house. Why? Maybe they think the fresh air and sunshine helps it grow and flourish. Maybe it's a kind of advertisement, like a peacock with it's feathers. Hmm... peecock... (smirk)
I'm glad you're on the mend, I had proper grippe a couple weeks back, so, sympathy from moi!
Now, I do NOT envy you moving! I hate hate hate it! Next time I leave where I'm living, it's either by professional movers or feet-first in a zipped black bag! :)
Hugs and quiches from Kitty xx

la fourchette said...

Kitty, how civilized, you up in the north...with your handkerchiefs and covering noses and mouths. How terribly civilized. ;} What is with this peeing thing?!? Some kind of primitive patriarchal code? Really, guys, no one cares to see your business pulled out to do its business. Really. We.are.not.impressed.

It sounds like you really do understand this year's bug. Yikes. Each day is better and better, I must say...so that's very good news. Hope the same is true for you.

I've made plans with professional movers ... on Sunday. I also hate moving...not sure if I hate it enough to make the black bag proclamation but this move might put me over the top!

Thanks for the hugs...and quiches! Much better than the take out pizza that has been nursing me back to health in my torn apart kitchen!

Ciao,
Leslie

See Kate run. said...

Oh Leslie, that is positively foul. Nonetheless, your post was delightful (it made me laugh).

Thank you for injecting some cranky sunshine in this dreary February day. <3

Carla said...

Ciao leslie,, Glad you got that off your chest.. I am with you.. I hope the sun is shining and the men are behaving themselves. Carla x

la fourchette said...

See Kate run, yes. Yes it is. Made you laugh, huh?! Thanks! Hope the days in your 'hood begin to brighten...Spring must be around the corner. (Hope you're taking some well-deserved breathing room!)

Carla, Sun is shining. Men are behaving themselves...or at least I'm not noticing them if they are not - too much going on with the move.

And to all of my lovely readers: this little rant is not to say that this is such a common practice that the streets are...well...err...'slick'...if you know what I mean. I can overstate things when I'm, you know, cranky. But to have seen both things in one trip - let's just say it tossed me over the top!

Most of the move is over. Now it's the countless final items that demand time and attention in the transition...more on that later.

Thanks to all for stopping in!

Ciao,
Leslie

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