This sounds like the first line or even the title of an old song.  This is actually one of my mother’s favorite sayings.  And it was never used in a derogatory sense either.  Instead, it was a lighthearted way of saying “well who the hell do you think you are, Mr. High and Mighty?” to whomever rightfully deserved it.  It was accompanied by her straightening her back and neck and looking down her nose at some imaginary “little” person.  I always imagined some proud cock (rooster, that is, to all you perverts) strutting around the farmyard, thinking he was better than everyone else.

I’m giggling right now just thinking about it.  My mother is a lighthearted, naturally, optimistic farmer’s wife with the energy of a 16-year-old and the endurance of a marathon runner.  She is almost 75.  Makes me sick.  Generally, on a monthly basis, I beg her to give 1/4 of her energy to me.  We’re working on the transfer, but science has not progressed that far.  I have derailed myself again.

Before I became ill, I do believe that I was ordinary.  Yes, I was a type A personality.  I was the fastest runner.  I got straight A’s (the only crooked A I received was in math).  I obeyed my parents, I did not go to parties and I did not get drunk.  I did my chores (which I hated) without complaining.  I did what I was told.  I was a classical pianist.  My sense of humor was still locked in a closet.   I fell into that “I love me, who do you love?” category.  I was headed for the stars.  I could have BEEN a star.

But when I became ill, something cut loose.  Instead of a proud, multicolored cock strutting around the farmyard – all of a sudden I turned into this dark humored, deranged, slow walking prairie-chicken that fell on her side 6 times a day.  You have to understand that I was 16.  Yes, the sense of humor was there, although no one really understood it at the time (including me).  And the

“I love me, who do you love?”

turned into

“I just ran into this fencepost, who are you?”.

Eventually, I got to the place I am in now, where I can say in an almost eerily accurate voice to my mother’s:  “I love me, who do you love?” to myself from time to time.  Or I might think it of a movie character.  I’m far from being serious, people are allowed to think highly of themselves.  Like when I make it out of bed and get dressed.  In the morning.

You see, chronic illness has taught me my place.  It has taught me humility.  It has taught me that I am still a strange, dark humored, slow walking prairie-chicken that still falls on her side all the time.  And takes quite a while to right herself.  It has taught me that a lot of people can laugh vicariously through me.  And that’s a good thing!

 

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