My husband once had this professor who was a genius at pain control. Like, you could stick a needle the size of a straw into the nerve center of his arm and he’d just sit there. With fire shooting out of his fingertips that he couldn’t feel. Said it had to do with discipline of the mind. You know, staying calm and asking yourself, “What is pain, really? It’s just a sensation. It could be coldness. Or hotness. Or just a little pinch.” (Yeah. Like when doctors say, “This will pinch a little”? That kind of pinch?)
So, okay. I tried this the other day when I completely slammed my pinkie toe against the bottom corner of the bench my mother-in-law painted that sits in my kitchen. Swear.Word. No, that’s what I actually said because I don’t swear “Oh Swearword!” Then, with my pinkie toe throbbing, filling up with blood, and slowly turning purple, I remembered my husband’s professor, and I said to myself, “This doesn’t hurt. What is pain, really? Is it just coldness? Or hotness? Or freaking body ripping misery like my whole entire leg is going to fall off and I’d rather give birth on Pitocin with no epidural than slam my pinkie toe on that swearwordy bench again! My mother-in-law is trying to kill me! How stupid is my husband for giving me that mother-in-law so she could give me that bench?!”
Yeah. It didn’t work.
But I thought, in honor of Valentine’s Day, that I’d give it another shot. Relationships are hard. I mean, yeah. They’re full of joy and fulfillment and blah blah. But also, they’re hard. You have to give things up for the other person, like being able to leave your hair in the shower when you’re done. You can’t do that. Or growing your winter-leg-coat instead of shaving once the temperature drops. You totally can’t do that either.
When you’re in a relationship, disciplining your emotions is paramount to success. And maybe the best way to be able to do that for your significant other is by using these pain-management techniques taught by Professor NerveLessNess. i.e.:
“Hi. What’s that I smell? Is that dinner? Smells weird. Is it liver?”
(Okay. A little irritating. My meatloaf does not smell like liver. But . . . what is irritation? Just a sensation. Like a tiny flame on the end of a stick. No big deal.)
“And by the way, I didn’t have time to stop by the store for the cream cheese you needed. So when I was at the gas station I picked up some cheese whiz. Want a sip of my slushie?”
(Juuuust a tiny flame. Oops, now it’s caught the other twig on fire. That’s okay. I can blow it out. Blow. Blow. Blowhard.)
“And hey, I actually don’t have time to stay for dinner because I have a club meeting I forgot to tell you about. So, see you! Kiss the kids goodnight for me.”
AMERICAN FORK A kitchen mysteriously burned to the ground this evening around dinner time. No one was hurt, since one of the two residents was being chased down the street in his Honda Civic by the other, who was on foot. And quite frankly, was keeping up.