Sunday, October 26, 2008

How much is life worth anyway

Back in 8th grade, I was in this pilot program for 'gifted' English students. We had read this French short story in which the main character makes a decision to go to prison for 10 years in return for alot of money. The teacher had asked me if I would have made the same decision and I said yes. He looked at me disapprovingly and went on to the next student who had said definitely no. How life was so important and no amount of money could ever make up for ten years of it, blah, blah blah. Although I usually could be counted on for the right answer in many other subjects, I clearly, to the teacher, lacked a moral center. I felt bad about this for a long time. It was just another example on how different I was from everyone. Of course the constant lack of money in my life compared to my peers had a part in my 'wrong' answer.

So now I will have to make a similar decision though no money is involved (except maybe the insurance company's and I'm not leaving a job like many people who are faced with this). To increase my chances of living from 66 to 76%, I need to put myself through 6 months of hell, which also could destroy my health-both short term and long term. Now I know the correct answer is yes and that's what the doctors recommend but part of me is wondering if it is really worth it.

It was the Moms group last night. Brenda couldn't come due to many competing family issues. We were at Jo's who spends much of her time making her house special. Everything is always so nicely decorated. Maybe when and if I can put this all behind me, I can concentrate on whipping my house into shape. We were there almost 6 hours having excellent food and wine though I am limiting myself to 2 glasses. Everyone was unusually talkative about their lives except me. I am just in a different place and a very scary one. I am going to have to figure out a way to make myself pleasant to be around and not make people sad or I will be one very lonely person.

On another subject: Italian culture. I was reading my travel magazines yesterday. In one story, some Americans had rented a house in a little Italian village and were taken back with the 'no clothes dryers in Italy' rule. To Italians, clothes dryers are a waste of energy plus they have lots of sun and very low humidity-clothes dry out very quickly on these special racks they have or lacking a yard, there are clothes lines. At any rate, one's clothes are on full display for everyone to see and this really conflicted with the American's sense of modesty. But in made me remember a walk Dana and I had in Castelvecchio last summer. We were outside the house where the nuns lived and the ladies' underwear was on full display. Lots of fancy, lacy underpants and bras. We were surprised and amused. Of course, we usually hung the underwear in our rooms and the other clothes out in the monastery's back yard racks.

It is Shanna and Ramy's first wedding anniversary today. So much has happened since then.

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