I’m sick. Not Cancer sick, or chemo sick, or even sick and tired of scratchy Tatum and these ridiculous hats. I just have a cold and by dose is wunny. Having spent all my chits regarding Britty-pity, I’m not expecting speedy noodle soup delivery. It’s quite enough that I have a captive audience and something completely mundane to kvetch about. But if someone could make a bit more tea…
I completed a phone interview with the nosy nurse who needed to check off all of her pre-op boxes before next week’s surgery. Thank goodness she reminded me to curb my recreational drug usage and remove all of my risqué piercings. Poor thing. I didn’t tell her until after the domestic violence screening that yup, my husband is that Dr. Lee. During the whole pleasantly awkward conversation (pre-op nurses are not so jokey), I was stifling my coughs and hoping she thought I always sound this mannish. I don’t want anything to postpone the swapping of these prow-of-a-ship expanders (call me Sea Bitch) for a more reasonably sized silicone set. I’m ready to shut the door on this nonsense, run Tatum up a flagpole, and resume embarrassing myself without the help of prosthetics.
I realize now that Maria will be reading this and won’t let Adam operate on me if I have even the smallest suggestion of sniffles. So obviously, I’m feeling better already. Nope, no fever here! I know I’ll get a text from Momma Maria later, reminding me not to swallow fistfuls of aspirin this close to surgery, inquiring if I really want that noodle soup, or just letting me know for the umpteenth time that she’s thinking of me, and that any cup size query is no one’s business but mine. Maria is The Nurse in Bernie’s office, and she brings her heart-on-a-sleeve, crying-right-along with-you, tell-me-what-you-really-need-ness to all of her patients—even the ones who aren’t the wife of the boss. There are hundreds of us who have unloaded our secret, deepest fears onto Maria. And because I know she carries them in her heart, I often find Maria in my prayers, asking for her to be unburdened of our sadness and terror. I wish we could somehow return the Peace she gifted to us when we so desperately needed it.
I’ll bet not everyone is lucky enough to have a Maria, but I hope that other women sweating under Tatums do. Next week she will sacrifice another one of her vacation days to babysit me through humiliating backless gown moments, and then make sure Bernie remembers to eat something. She’ll have someone else pick up her son from school, so that I make it home to see mine. Bernie and I will sail through another dreaded day, as Maria sucks up all of our nervous apprehension like some Italian, bustling, bossy Dyson. And should anyone attempt to foil her carefully laid plans for the day, then you’ve got a problem to solve… called Maria.
Just thinking about her and her fierce competence, I feel compelled to drink some juice and get a good night’s sleep. And as my head hits the pillow tonight I hope you’ll join me in saying a prayer for the Marias of the world (especially mine) who take us into their loving hearts and make everything infinitely better. Wuv you, Maria (sniffle).