2009.01.21 No special needs, but he's lacking Ls

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

My husband is one of the most extraordinary and lucky people I have ever met. He can take vigorous walks or cross country ski without ever having to stop and blow his nose. I, on the other hand, never leave home without a stack of folded tissues in my pocket.

“Use your sleeve,” he says, but the level of mucus leaving my drippy nose can not be alleviated by sleeve wiping, and besides that, it’s gross. I tell him this and he has more advice.

“Just do like a real outdoorswoman. Turn your head to the side, cover one nostril and blow.”

I think that’s perhaps grosser yet.

I tell him I suffer from a condition.

I can hear him pooh-pooh me just by the way he raises his eyebrows and tilts his head, not by any words he speaks.

“It’s true,” I say, “it’s genetic. Just like there are people whose urine is affected by asparagus and people who think cilantro tastes like soap.”

I can’t imagine the injustice of a life spent not liking cilantro—it’s one of the most majestic of foods. When I sniff cilantro it just makes my whole body smile. It’s like entering an altogether different world of flavor, engaging all the senses.

I look up my leaky nose on the internet and indeed there it is: exercise-induced rhinitis—a runny nose caused by exercise. I send David the link, but he has no comment.

He is such a lucky guy, so unencumbered by the burdens of daily life—at least the burdens I face daily.

He can go long periods of time without visiting a bathroom, whereas I take advantage of every bathroom I pass. It’s not just that I have a thing for bathrooms... because I do. I like to check them out in restaurants and even the public areas of hotels. Gas stations? Not so much—but if we’re on a journey and that’s the only stop we’re making, I’m all over it.

I vow to model his light packing prowess, but I think I am doomed in that department, especially when visiting warm locales such as Miami and New Orleans in the winter months. I just hate being cold as a result of an inadequate supply of clothes. So, my suitcase contains as many long sleeves as short ones.

David doesn’t mind wearing the same clothes over and over. Me, I can’t put on the same shirt I sweated in yesterday. But David? I swear the man just doesn’t sweat. Not in daily life and not even when exerting himself.

We went cross country skiing the other day and while I breathed the heavy heaves of a woman about to drop dead and sweated myself into a state of cold wetness, David spoke in normal tones and hadn’t even begun to perspire.

He treads so lightly on the earth—he hardly ever buys anything, he’ll eat most anything put before him, his needs are so few. He’s the antithesis of a special needs person in every way. I’m a leaky complicated kind of crazy mess in comparison.

The only thing he’s lacking is Ls.

A friend asked if I was into numerology after I wrote about the 50/58 guiding force behind celebrating from David’s birthday to mine. I don’t think I am so much...although I still have that number 57 dogging me every now and then.

But I realized it’s not just numbers that influence my life...letters are also part of the picture—specifically the letter L. I noticed it when glancing at an email I sent with the subject “LL meeting.” That made me chuckle...I’ve gone from three Ls to two Ls.

I used to be a La Leche League (LLL) leader (I suppose I could say four Ls then) to being an LL: Lenawee Librarian. I probably wouldn’t have noticed this if my name weren’t full of Ls...two in Colleen and one in Leddy.

Ls seem like a good thing, if only because lucky starts with one and also other wonderful words like life, love and laughter. And David doesn’t have any. Maybe he isn’t so lucky after all.

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