A blog named BETTY

Monday, November 26, 2007


Thanksgiving was at our house. It was wonderful. It was exhausting. I've pretty much been in bed ever since. Including most of my birthday. Sigh.

Being in bed so much has given me a lot of time to think (what can I say--I couldn't find the remote for awhile there). It's allowed me the luxury of fine-tuning my "I am made of paper" theory. Seriously, while going through chemo and recovering from it, it ran through my mind constantly "I am made of paper." I'd even say it out loud to people, like that should explain everything. They'd nod as if to say "ahhh...the made of paper condition. Gotcha" and change the subject.

So here it is: being made of paper means being so fragile that the slightest breeze or change in the weather or outside force can ruin you (or at least wrinkle you forever). In this analogy I, of course, am the paper (I think we've established that), and these outside forces are like unto a tiny little germ, missing a nap, or--heaven forbid--being forced to walk to the mailbox (you'd be surprised how evil can conspire against you). Those things can take days...weeks...to recover from when you're in a paper-like state.

As I've been lying in bed this week, it occurred to me that I'm not just plain paper...I am a paper boat! During the dog days of chemo, I was a paper boat made of rice paper: not water-safe in any sense. Just meant to be kept on a shelf out of reach (actually, maybe a really high enclosed cupboard, since I wasn't much to look at either!). I think that last year, I was a boat made of regular paper--could float for a brief time. Currently, I'm thinking that I'm a boat made of coated paper, so I can withstand water better and am stronger. But during weeks like this, my coating is a little thin. Someday, I'd like to be one of those toy boats made of plastic. Even dollar-store plastic would be great! It's probably too much to ask for to be Tonka plastic (surely they make boats, right?), but a girl can dream.

As if all of this weren't fascinating enough (!!), another level just occurred to me: When I had shingles and people asked me how it felt, all I could say is that it felt like I was turning into WOOD from the inside out. Paper...wood...get the connection? Whoa.

So, in summary, I think we can all agree that what we've learned is this: You should never, ever hide the remote from Erin.


Jen said...

I think we should take your remote forever, since in my advanced age I thoroughly enjoy a thoughtful metaphor (especially those involving paper and boats and water, etc..)I think when you become a "real" girl you will be made of Tonka plastic.