Thursday, July 16, 2009

Comfortable Couple Worry

Once in high school, my mom told me I wasn't allowed to have a boyfriend (which was sweet of her, really, to think that I had so many interested prospects out there). She also told me she would know if I got a boyfriend and started having relations because my "hips and thighs would get wider." Of course, as is customary of a good teenage daughter, I didn't believe her.

Years later, it finally became clear what my mom was trying to say. What she seemed to be trying to explain to me was the phenomenon of Comfortable Couples, and how I would grow to be attracted to a relationship of that nature, eventually turning into a Comfortable Couple myself.

Comfortable Couples often adopt a slovenly dress when at home with each other. They rationalize their frequency of wearing stained sweat pants to each other by saying things like, "But no one's going to see me but you!" As a Comfortable Couple, you will realize just how rarely you dress up when you come home early from work one day to discover your boyfriend trying on his new shirt, looking longingly in the mirror, turning this way and that. When you catch him and ask him what the special occasion is, he will fall into a foul mood, complaining about how you never take him out anymore and how he never has anywhere to where his new shirt to.

Date nights will be instituted and after a short while, they too, begin taking on a comfortable tempo. For many Comfortable Couples, date nights will involve an inordinate amount of time devoted to locating, discovering, driving to, consuming and enjoying food. And then waiting for digestion to complete to make room for dessert. As much as you both enjoy eating, you also enjoy each other and promise to always love each other no matter what.

That "no matter what" provides people with wriggle room. Sometimes that wriggle room translates to allowing oneself to gain some weight. Which is what my mom was trying to tell me: "Your hips and thighs will grow wider."

Needless to say, Alan and I love eating together. We are those people who will drive 45 minutes out of our way to get a good bowl of ramen and who will plan a day trip around the main event of eating pastries. It is this love for food and love of eating as part of my Comfortable Couple that makes me so incredibly sad that Alan can't eat. There's a whole host of larger problems at hand (such as the still blocked bowel, the pain, etc.), but the fact that those problems are preventing him from enjoying an activity we love so much breaks my heart. He hasn't eaten now for almost 2 weeks, 2 whole weeks without nutrition. Yesterday he tried to eat since the doctors seemed to think he was better, but it didn't work and he only ended up reeling in nausea and stomach cramps. 2 weeks seems to be the point when people trapped in their cars in deep snow banks start eating their tires or the car seat stuffing, so I'm pretty sure he is near the point of starvation. You would think someone besides me (ahem, the doctors...) would be worried about this. Pretty soon, these hips and thighs are just going to disappear.

29 comments:

Emily Rose said...

No eating for two weeks, wow. I know when I could not eat because of chicken pox on the lungs when I was 6 they pumped all of my nutrition into my body through an IV in my arm. That was not fun. Good luck to Alan.

Sobrina Tung said...

I've never heard of chicken pox on the lungs before but that sounds pretty horrible. I hope they give Alan the fake food through the arm IV soon. Thanks for your well wishes!

My Blogger... said...

Good Post and blog..

mysterg said...

Why is it that when we are trying to get the attention of our loved ones we try really hard, yet when we are with them, we just let ourselves go like we don't have to try anymore? That for me is one of the reasons why relationships break down. The hips and thighs may disappear but at least you aren't taking him for granted. Hang on in there.

Amy said...

I was in the hospital once for almost a month with the IV food... and trust me there is nothing better than the first bite of real food after that. Take him some place nice- and definitely have the dessert. He is lucky to have someone like you who cares so much about him... keeping you guys in my prayers.

2busy said...

Beautifully written. I hope he gets to enjoy his first bite of broth real soon.. :(

Jessie said...

my hubby and i do the same thing - we love our food together.

i'm sorry to hear about alan. hopefully things turn around soon for him. he definitely needs IV food.

Marie said...

Well that really makes sense about the comfortable couples. I never thought of it like that.

Michelle Johnson said...

I'm so sorry to hear Alan isn't eating. The doctors really need to try IV food. Will he be needing an operation for the blocked bowel? Or, did they say he'd recover on his own? If this doctor doesn't do something soon I'd take Alan to another doctor to get a second opinion. He deserves some happiness like the rest of us. Hope all else is well.

Erin P said...

I can feel your despair as you go through this with Alan. Keep faith that you will not be completely consumed by his illness even though it feels like it now. Your writer's soul will bear you through it.

Heliotrollop said...

This post was touching and heartbreaking and beautiful. I wish you and Alan the ability to return to the simple pleasures. (Great blog & congrats on Blog of Note!)

Jujubeez said...

Well isn't that a fine how do you do? Poor Blogger boyfriend Alan, hasn't he suffered enough? I truly hope you get to the bottom of things. I'm sure he's been tested but it sounds like Celiacs disease.

Jujubeez said...

Silly mommy brain running without the required 3 cups of coffee, it's a blocked bowel. That sounds like...er, well, awful.

Jana said...

Oh my goodness, Im so sorry that you both have to go through this. Alan is so blessed to have you. love your writing, and your heart. hang in there Alan!!!

missyellowjeans said...

I was so lost in the text that when I realized that the happiness slowly faded I was caught off guard.
When I hear cheesy love songs that talk about the power of love and it does things that normally wouldn't happen if the love wasn't there, it makes me smile because when you actually have a personal experience and all you can do is love the person it really does do wonders. I hope Alan gets better and I hope you two can get to eating some yummy pastries.

Becca said...

I'm really enjoying your writing, but sorry to hear about Alan.

Sobrina Tung said...

Sorry to do an ambush at the end of this post with a bit of heavy heartedness. :/ Alan's going to get the PICC line today so that he can start getting fake food pumped in him. Hopefully this will be what he needs. I'm positive it will help because it sounds like it's helped many of you through some rough spots. A lighter post coming soon...

Cindy said...

hope the procedure went well... *sigh*

Shaista said...

Dear Sobrina,
This was a really wonderful 'find' through the Blog of Note. My mother was just saying today that the most cheerful people are often the ones with the greatest difficulties. I have Lupus and am in and out of hospital - just recently for three months, and had a PICC line too. Shame they've made Alan wait two weeks for a feeding tube. Hope it went in ok?
Good luck over the coming days. I shall look forward to reading you.
Shaista

Sobrina Tung said...

Hi Shaista,
Thanks so much for sharing a bit about yourself. It definitely gives me hope to hear about other people's health stories. Hope you're doing well now and get to stay out of the hospital for an extended period of time (aka for the rest of your life).

AISHALIFE-LINE said...

Nice story.But I feel sory for Alan.I hope he will fine soon.

J.Me. said...

Ohh! I feel so bad for Alan! It sounds like you are really understanding through all of this, and he will be eternally grateful, I'm sure! It must mean a lot. I really hope he gets better soon. =(

lliteratti said...

nicely writen, really sad to know about allan, He definitely can benefit from parenteral nutrition(one of many fascinating medical terminologies we health professionals use). Is it operable? for young ppl and early stages chances are better with surgery.
All the best.

KISS Principle said...

Sending love and light for ease and grace to Allan in his experience.
Thank you Sobrina for the beautiful perspective on Comfortable Couples.
It's amazing how we become complacent with our closest relationships, not only with our partners, also with our parents, children and those closest to us. We will often treat a perfect stranger with the best of manners and consideration and we will sometimes assume it's ok to speak rudely to our partner and family members or not consider them or their feelings because we know they are always there.
Great rule of life is always treating others as we want to be treated and always treat ourselves as our guest of honour!
Love to both of you.

Katherine said...

I love the idea of comfortable couple and think that's what I've fallen into. Not that I'm complaining.

I hope that Alan gets to enjoy real food again soon, and that there will be any long afternoon excursions to find the perfect pastry.

Wuthering said...

Oh Sobrina, I'm so sorry for you. Yeah, they need to give Alan food from an IV. Take care, Both of you, give Alan a hug from me.

My Life Out Loud said...

I too am a comfortable couple who used to love eating and dinning with my comfortable mate. The days of yore have drastically changed since I was diagnosed with celiac disease. Have the docs checked him for that? Good luck on your endevor of figuring out what the heck it wrong, it can be a long and stressful road (one I know all too well)...but there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Alan is fortunate to have you as you are to have him, a person who you were just dating, and not at the "not matter" what stage with would never stick around for this. Cherish what you do have.
~Peace and Love~
Life Out Loud

Constance said...

I found your blog through blogs of note and ended up enjoying it so much that I read through quite a few of your older blogs! I'm so sorry to hear that Alan isn't doing any better yet. For what's its worth, the both of you are in my prayers. It breaks my heart that two people so young have to deal with such a heavy burden.

Thank you for sharing.

Danielle Conway said...

Wow, this must be a really tough and horrible experiance for both of you. I hope, wish, and pray for the best.

On a random side note, I really enjoy your blog and style of writing.

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