Wednesday, August 6, 2014


The only thing I focused on this morning when I undressed take off everything waist up, and prepared to have my annual mammogram, was the funny little sign in the dressing area and the sentence Thank you for your cooperation. The gratitude was directed toward those women like myself who, instead of tossing their used gowns in the bench in the dressing room (which was difficult to open, even when you realized that it could), dispose of their gowns in the obviously marked receptacles outside the dressing area. I immediately wondered what it would mean to be uncooperative in the general sense. Let's say I long to be uncooperative in the general sense. There are things unbloggable, and then there is lunch with Sophie, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a cup one-half juice and one-half water. There is my glass of water, filled to the top in a blue Moroccan glass, the last of its set to not be broken. There is a telephone call from a friend and there is a dog, Valentine, barking at the back door who needs to get out. I'll be right back, I said to Sophie and walked to the door to let the dog out. I heard the crash and the glass shattering and nearly simultaneously knew that Sophie had grabbed the glass, brought it to her mouth and then tossed it to her left, onto the floor. I ran back into the kitchen, cursing myself for leaving her for a moment, even to let the dog out, and carefully stepped over glass to unstrap her from her chair and pull her out. She was dripping wet but no blood. I picked her up and carried her out and put her down and walked with her to her bedroom, pulled off her clothes, struggled to pull them off because she wouldn't cooperate. She won't extend her arms when she's cold. I couldn't get her shirt off. She draws her knees up, tightly, to her chest. I couldn't get her pants off. Come on, Sophie, please, I said. Cooperate. I went back into the kitchen and began to sweep up the glass, heard the dog bark to come back in and -- where is this going?

Basically, I'm looking for opportunities where I don't have to cooperate. Do you know of any?

Thank you for your cooperation.


  1. Good Lord. I'm wracking my brain to come up with a do-not-have-to-cooperate scenario.
    That's a really hard one. And I've spent the last two days with a four-year-old and a two-year-old and they don't seem to have to cooperate with anything they don't feel like cooperating with but they're children so...
    You should have just thrown that gown on the floor and walked out. That would have shown the universe that you have cooperated enough.
    Like you'd ever do that.

  2. Elizabeth, some days are just slogs through mud aren't they? Today I'm tired of trying & tired of nothing being easy and I'm taking a minute to think of you and commiserate - even though I can't begin to understand, really.
    I'm sorry about that pretty glass. And poor cold Sophie and the oblivious dog and your cooperation-fatigue. I hope tomorrow is better. If I was there I'd have hugged you and helped sweep up glass.

  3. Its sometimes hard to be a cooperator. I'm sorry about Sophie---- and the glass!

  4. I pick up dog poo because I'm a good dog owner and a good citizen. I go to births whenever and wherever I am called, even if I'm tired and not in the mood.

    I ignore the lease your dog signs at the unofficial dog park where Felix can run and swim and be a dog. So there's that for non-cooperation.

    Pretty sad because I'm so damn good all the time. Although I worked in a hospital where the docs threw everything on the floor, dirty bandages, sharp instruments, syringes you name it. And we lowly nurses aides had to clean up after them. So I think about all the people I might be helping. Sos there's that.

  5. Oh my gosh, I love this. New school year and teachers were informed we could NOT use the laminating machine in the media room. Only a chosen few who had received the proper training could touch said machine. The chosen few - a secretary and an aide - were not pleased to be chosen. And the teachers' laminating requests began to pile up. I waited until the area was clear, snuck in and laminated it all. Cooperation is sometimes overrated. Very sorry about your glass.

  6. Sometimes I have no idea what to say. This is one of those times. I guess I will say that as much as we think we know from what you share here, we really have no idea of how you do it. I am humbled by it, the knowing but not knowing. Words feel inadequate.

  7. Thank you for my first LOL of the day. I long to be uncooperative, too.



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