“Does it hurt?” asks MayBelle’s sister as they talk on the phone one afternoon in June. MayBelle is late for her appointment with the acupuncturist, and she should have known better than to call her sister with only ten minutes to spare. Their phone calls last an average of 45 minutes and you can set your digital watch by this. But MayBelle was desperate for a piece of information that only her sister could give her, so she gave it a shot and then ended up being late for her appointment.
“Sort of,” said MayBelle, trying to speak in a whisper as she entered the all-natural health center. She didn’t think cell phones would be appreciated there. “I’ll call you back.”
The truth is, the slight prick of the needles hurts much less than the leg pains MayBelle has been complaining about–don’t you feel sorry for her husband, Precious?!–for two years now. “Nothing wrong with your legs,” says the internist. “Nope,” echoes the orthopedist. So MayBelle has resorted to desperate measures, such as losing weight and giving up artificial sweeteners. Soon she shall have to say goodbye to the powered creamer she keeps in her purse since she can’t tolerate the lactose in the milk at Starbucks. What else will the long-suffering MayBelle have to give up next?
For now, she is feeling a bit better, and vowing to be on top of this “healthy living” approach before she turns 50 in two years. In fact, please remember her fondly in the morning at 11 when she goes to the physical trainer who seems to forget that MayBelle is 48 and out of shape.