Okay, I’d shut down, but I had to boot back up, babble just a little before heading out into this near perfect New England day to fiddle fart with the plants out back and get back at finishing up with the shed and garage, now that my back and head and neck and legs and guts aren’t all screaming at me not to.
And it was the pain of the past few days that kind of led me to do it, because pain is one of those things I’ve always been really good with, in terms of taking it, back when I had the kidney stones old whats his name the doctor who played softball with the Lums Bums and Rocket Loungers up at Seapark, can’t remember his name, I can see his face, but he was the one who met us at the ER when I started that monthlong ordeal, or a few days into it, and said geez, your bowel sounds have all shut down, your system is in shock, and then gave me a shot of demerol or something and made clucking noises about pain and its meaning.
Little did he know how much of its meaning I would learn over the next month when the urologist he referred me to refused to zap my stones because I lacked insurance, and I had to simply go through passing them. Good sized ones, too. While a full time student no less, had to drive long distances, the narcotics were used very sparingly.
I was pretty balls up about it.
And of course, that is the title of this little missive. Why I had to turn the computer back on. It’s a feminist thing.
Balls up is something guys get, and girls, too, if they just kegel a little, or think about guys making their tallywhackers jump, or the tension one feels when doing something daring, kind of girding up of the loins and all.
One of my co-workers, a Lowell gal, one of her favorite expressions was “Sack up, Sally”, something that for whatever reason irritated the crap out of my man friend of a co-worker, a millennial who hated gender based stereotypes and the idea that having courage (and really, that’s what sacking up is all about, stepping up and doing what needs to be done, despite fears or uncertainties or whatever) was strictly a male attribute, one attached to balls, or to which balls were attached, I guess, that women were just as courageous as men, and men just as vulnerable as women, and so it bugged him.
Nick Sands used the expression in the flick about the Sunshine Makers, not sack up, but balls up, and when he used it it just so amused me because he’d done something so audaciously out there bold and did it with a straight face and forty or fifty years later said, well, yeah, I guess that was kind of balls up, and I smiled.
Thing is, I’m totally balls up. And I’m a woman. And then it occurred to me, that’s it, women are just so naturally balls up, because, well, our gonads are up inside our bodies, protected from the ravages of the external environment. Betty White was no fool. We endure the pain of menstruation and childbirth, the former often kind of funky, often pretty intense, and these days, walk through life with it like it’s nothing, and it’s something, and the latter is one of those things that's sometimes life threatening. It's not so much that the masculine gender worships that, but those who really live with it closely certainly learn to respect it.
The stereotype of men as really wimpy when sick is a stereotype, and no, not all men are wimps when sick, but most tend to be, at least from the perspective of a woman, but it occurs to me that men aren’t wimps at all, it’s just that women are freaking tough.
Balls up tough.