Long commutes don’t make for happy commuters, however, when my long commute is accompanied by disco backbeats, it’s a groovy ride. Lately there seems to be a disco revival on the airwaves with songs like Daft Punk’s Get Lucky and Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines. To me, disco is the epitome of dance music – from Donna Summer, to Gloria Gaynor, the Bee Gees and everything else in between, disco makes me wanna shake my groove thang, baby!
I also really love the look of disco: big hair and hoop earrings, sequin crop tops, bell bottom jeans and metallic strappy sandals. Fun, flirty, FOXY!! So as I start daydreaming about what outfit to wear for my debut on Soul Train, I also begin reminiscing about my childhood during the disco era…
My dad introduced me to disco while we lived in Saudi Arabia – parties and social events among the ex-pats took centre stage in a country where non-residents had to live by a different set of rules. He bought my sister and I disco medley eight-tracks and cassettes which we would listen to seated across the front row of our very large Buick Park Avenue (no seatbelts) on our way to go rock climbing on the hills just outside Taif or swimming in the Red Sea. To us, my dad was Superman…he spent countless hours playing with us, taking us on adventures and teaching us things, without ever exhibiting any weakness…there was nothing he couldn’t do!
What was his kryptonite?
After a pretty hectic couple of weeks at work, when my husband complained that he was “coming down with something” and had general aches and pains, I knew it was time to brace myself… while most men are extremely capable and have strong conviction (stubbornness), they are no match for the common cold.
Typical stages are as follow:
Stage 1: Subject pouts and is generally grouchy. Higher than normal level of stonewalling when asked if something is the matter.
Stage 2: Levels of grouchiness now complimented by grumpiness. Subject declares that they are not feeling 100%.
Stage 3: Subject has succumbed and is now staying home from work and cancelling all other commitments. Although still grouchy, subject appears almost sad and defeated and now, really looking the part wearing the “I’m not 100% uniform” consisting of old sweats which have been worn for at least 48 hours straight. The beard/facial hair is coming in, hair is greasy, and there’s a general mustiness wafting from the couch (aka the “day bed” or the convalescing spot in front of the TV). This stage is further characterized with random balls of scrunched up (blech…used) Kleenex and empty chip bags all over the house (including in our bed), as well as multiple sachets of chicken noodle soup and used teabags in the disaster zone formerly known as the kitchen. The subject’s cold has taken over!
Stage 4: Subject’s significant other begins to come undone…nothing is where it should be, there is one more person to pick up after, and I am running constant interference between the children and the patient! I am getting totally overwhelmed…and no longer looking “100%”.
As an aside, I came across the term “man cold” from Urban Dictionary:
The name ‘man cold’ disguises the true terrible, debilitating disease…nearly all men will die from …unless they are administered immediately with large amounts of mindless TV such as daytime TV, or childrens’ cartoons…essential that they not move from bed or a comfy sofa to allow for rehabilitation, and must have tissues and man cold medicine…brought to them constantly by a nearby female.
***I will preface here that although my husband does not expect any of these things, he will not accept ANY help. No advice on how to be more comfortable, and certainly, no comments on his improvement….why???? Lest I jinx it???!!
I will further preface that even if I have a cold to end all colds (you know the ones with puffers and antibiotics, excruciating headaches, bouts of hot flashes and chills, and a pitstop at the bathroom every 15 minutes) I still make myself go to work, get food out on the table, do homework and read a bedtime story (well…maybe not that last bit…)
Stage 5: Subject feels better. There is a grand public announcement of improvement and survival of the great adversity. Subject struts around like a superhero that has vanquished his evil foe. Significant other raises a white flag to exhaustion…but wait!
Although it appeared as though things were finally back in balance, I made the mistake of declaring that I desperately needed to take a break. Not five minutes later I was asked to fetch a glass of water no less than four times, asked where a particular lego character was (recall: the man cold has turned my house into a warzone and lego characters ARE TINY!!), whether I wanted to play baseball in the backyard, what we were having for dinner, and so on…
Stage 6: Nuclear stage. I lose it…but things aren’t at radiation levels quite yet…not until I’m diagnosed by my husband while he now runs interference on his way out to start the festivities with our two boys that hmmm…perhaps I’m not behaving normally. Perhaps something is up with me.
And just as I’m about to follow him outside and use my incinerating heat vision, a disco melody starts to play in the background, and I remember my groove…I Will Survive. I look outside, and I see him running around the backyard at 100% with my boys who have looks of excitement, awe and admiration, and I get it. That although my boys are probably doomed to put their future significant others through the same cycle, like their father, and like my father, their kids will be their only kryptonite.