June 27, 2014

Imagined Sufferings

The other day when we were eating out, the husband reached over for the camera and took a snap of me. He then handed it back, saying: "Look how pretty you are!" This made me realize I may have been going on a bit much lately about being "old, fat, and ugly". As he likes to point out, that is all in my head, unrelated to any measurable facts, like what the scales say, and all about how I´m feeling. (Except that perhaps I am older. Every day.)

Pretty with beer.
We have a saying in the family that was minted by my husband´s father, who was a notorious freezer - he would never dress enough when going out, and once he got cold he always wanted to return home, ruining the mum-in-law´s expectations of a nice outing. Once, when the mum-in-law was scolding him for not dressing properly, he said: "It´s no use putting anything on, the cold is intestinal." (Sw = invärtes) At least he could always make her laugh, and it became a standard expression for all kinds of easily remedied or imaginary sufferings.

The mum-in-law´s partner in later years, after she was widowed, was also a man who couldn´t, or wouldn´t, dress. He famously went with her on a two-week cruise in Russia with no long-sleeved garment whatsoever. He also refused to buy anything, which didn´t stop him whining, so she lent him her cardigan (which was of a mannish style) and bought a Russian style one for herself. It wasn´t a bad acquisition (as vacation purchases usually are), she loved that cardigan and wore it to shreds.

She had one more suitor, about a year ago, who invited her to his place for tea. When we asked how it went she said that they had gotten on fairly well, except that he had complained about cold feet. (Swedes never wear shoes in their homes, it is considered very unhygienical, some wear slippers.) She asked why he didn´t get himself some wool socks, that would help. "It´s no use, they just wear out." That sealed it for her, she was not having another man in her life whining about being cold!

Looking at the picture, I realize that prettiness may be intestinal, too, and literally at that, since I love a cold beer on a warm day, and a true smile is the best makeover there is!


  1. Your husband's response sounds like the perfect wake-up call. What a great photo. It's sometimes best to see ourselves as our loved ones see us, but in this case the camera agrees. :)

    1. Thanks, yes it is good to change perspective once in a while.