A buddy of mine (let's call him Ned), whom I worked with for about a dozen years, has come down with a wicked case of Shingles.
Ned has been completely incapacitated by this for the last 6 weeks, overwhelmed with pain, light sensitivity (it's in his eye), and exhaustion. The dude is a wreck.
My old boss (and Ned's current one) organized a call yesterday for Ned's friends and co-workers. He explained that since Ned had been out of commission for the last 6 weeks, his wife had been stretched to her limits taking care of him, the house, the family, and her full-time job. It was time for them to get a little help. Bringing meals over, entertaining Ned's kid, even phone calls to lift Ned's spirits would be greatly appreciated.
People had ideas about how we could help, someone set up a volunteer coordination calendar on a handy website, and we made a plan for how to try and make Ned's family's life a little better.
The first person to go visit Ned and bring a little cheer into their home? Why, the least nurturing person I know, of course: me!
I drove over yesterday afternoon with some groceries and some take-out Chinese food to go hang out with Ned and see if I could help out around the house. Ned is a hell of a nice guy and I genuinely like him, but the idea that I can go visit someone with a potentially chronic pain ailment and be nurturing and sympathetic is a pretty laughable one.
I believe my first words to him were, "Man, you look terrible!"
(I know that sounds bad, but in my defense, he did actually look terrible. I wasn't just making that up.)
I spent the next couple hours giving him a hard time about the way he was dressed, how squinty he was, and his computer password. Again, in my defense, his computer password was something like:
I haven't remembered it exactly, because there's no way a normal human could commit his password to memory, but it was about that long and contained about that combination of upper case letters, lower case letters, and numbers. I'm not saying that passwords like that CAUSE shingles, but it was the most ridiculous password I've ever seen, and he had the worst case of shingles I'd ever seen, so draw your own conclusions.
I'll go visit him again next week. I'm a ray of goddamn sunshine.