Getting old can bring with it wisdom, an ability to deal with difficult circumstances and a greater appreciation of the the value of human life.
It can also bring with it a lot of ‘uh-oh’ moments that hopefully are not captured by someone with a YouTube account and a large following.
I had one of those moments this week. Rather than hide it and hope nobody finds out, I figured I’d share. Laughing feels good.
I was at the oncologist laying on my back while a machine beamed radiation into my body in an effort to kill the cancer. I had to pull down my shorts to expose the area from my stomach to about half of my private parts. The technicians and nurses lay a towel across the area for which I am grateful. I feel a little vulnerable with people in the room, staring at intimate portions of my ageing anatomy despite understanding that it is necessary.
It goes fast, and everyone is kind. They know me by name. We talk a little before and after about common things. Still I pull my pants up as quickly as I can while trying to hide my discomfort. I’m sure they know but we tacitly agree it didn’t happen.
I am relieved and stop by Albertson’s to pick up some groceries on my way home. I look down and see a white square hanging from the left leg of my shorts. I assume it is my long underwear – the elastic is a bit worn. I look around to make sure there are no witnesses and pull up on the waistband but instead of disappearing up my short’s leg the square is now a rectangle. Confused I decide the white fabric waving like a parley flag from my leg must be a broken pocket. I stick my hand in my pocket, intent on pulling up the torn edge so it is out of view, but the pocket is intact.
And then it dawns on me.
In my haste to pull up my pants after my treatment I pushed the towel that covered me INTO MY SHORTS! Well what could I do? I now had about a foot of white towel hanging from my leg. I proceeded to pull and roll it as quickly as I could and stuck the resultant melon-sized bundle in the trash can. I didn’t look up but definitely heard snickering as I headed down the aisle to get some yogurt.
The next day when I went for another dose of radiation I confessed to inadvertently stealing a towel and when I told the story we all had a good laugh.