Crochet

Crochet: (n) needlework done with a needle with a large hook at one end.

I know nothing about crochet.

Yet this, by the way, does not discourage my need to espouse.

I have never crocheted. I don’t think I’ve even seen someone crochet, though they could have been doing it incognito—because since I don’t know what it is, it could be done before my very eyes and fool me for sure.

But I do recall that I had a great-aunt who decided to crochet me a sweater, since I was so overweight that it was difficult to buy them in stores. (As you can see, the premise for the gift was already somewhat flawed.)

So she set out to do this sweater for me—and then, six months later it arrived in the mail.

It was huge, and the color of straw.

In other words, it wasn’t yellow, it wasn’t brown, and you couldn’t even call it brownish-yellow or yellowish-brown. Although it was brand new, the flatness of the color made it look like it had been worn for many generations. And even though it was very large, when I put it on it felt funny. It was like one shoulder was crocheted shorter than the other, and the left-arm length was about three inches too long. It also had no buttons—you know, in the front, so you could join it and turn it into a sweater instead of a human horse blanket.

But it was warm, and it was the first piece of clothing that had come my way for a while (since in my era there was no such thing as “big men’s shops.”)

I decided to wear it.

My friends tried to be nice, but finally, when the class clown walked in, unaware that everyone was attempting to be sensitive about my misshapen garment, he just burst into laughter, which caused everyone else to feel free to mock at will.

You would think that this would have cured me from wearing my crocheted sweater—but because it was mine, and warm, and because I refused to be intimidated by the foolish fashionistas, I ended up donning it quite frequently.

Matter of fact, I kept it for two years, which is quite remarkable for an adolescent.

I wore it until one day, in study hall, I was suffering from a severe head cold. I had no Kleenex and feared that my entire brain was ready to run out of my nose and into my mouth. I reached up with my sweater and ran it across my nose, trying to sop up unwelcomed mucous.

You can tell by my description of the event that my wheaty-colored sweater could not be worn again.

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Cough

Cough: (v) to expel air from the lungs suddenly with a harsh noise

“Wow. That’s a nasty cough.”

People have said that to me over the years and I to them.

It’s really sad that “cough” has such a bad reputation. Nobody ever praises it for any of its rehabilitating qualities. Once we hear a cough, it remains nasty in ourfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C
minds until it’s gone.

Of course, the reason it arrives is to help us.

Without the cough, our bronchial tubes and lungs would fill up with mucous and suffocate us. Would we like that better? Probably not.

Seems like we’re really obsessed with being critical of the cough. It comes along to remind us—to tickle our awareness—that things inside us need to be expelled. Otherwise we will never get well.

Once a cough arrives, it really is not trying to make us sicker, but would like us to get better as soon as possible, offering its hack to help out with the whoop.

But still…

We hold the cough in low regard.

Maybe it’s because deep in our hearts, we think anything that happens to us which isn’t whipped cream and candy to possess some level of injustice.

When people get sick and die, we complain—and often turn bitterly to the heavens and say, “Why did God do that?”

No one ever thinks to pose the question to the King of the Universe, “Why didn’t you send a better cough?”


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