My wife is into different cuisines and let me know this morning that all of our meals this week would come from the Civil War Cookery, her new cookbook. Daily rations would come from favorite recipes of both Confederate and Union notables. Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, I couldn’t wait, I told her, to eat Mrs. Grant’s Corn and Lima Bean Chowder along with Major General Polk’s Killed Lettuce Salad. Breakfast would be in thirty minutes starting with Mrs. Colonel Thomas Higginson’s Orange Shake Drink, the favorite recipe of her a husband, once a slave. I am sure he wondered how he would survive the war and so did I.
My chest and jaw felt constricted and full of pain. I felt a shortness of breath. I could smell the coffee beans boiling in water that would be the Union version of brew. I made my way to WebMD to see if I was having a heart attack. The verdict was I would make it to lunch although maybe not dinner. Along the way I decided to take a number of other self-exams. The tests went rapidly but I was not relieved when I found I have a sleep disorder, Asperser’s Syndrome, Adult ADD, Lupus, was an insensitive spouse and not even the excellent athlete I thought I was.
Since I had trouble concentrating on boring work like editing, interrupted others that went on political rants I found annoying and lost my keys repeatedly I had an Attention Deficit Disorder. Since I worried that my boss hadn’t included me on the last 5 emails, I had an Anxiety Disorder. Since I fell asleep while watching TV, reading a book and listening to my mother-in-law, I had Sleep Apnea. I ascertained I had Asperser’s Syndrome showing I did not read emotional cues correctly. When I said my friend perished upon being speared by a dirty asparagus, I was told in the answers to the quiz that eye rolling did not mean glee but dismay.
Four exams later, I was hooked on this valuable tool of self-knowledge. I went on to find I had Lupus, since I was often tired. I learned that my sport of X-Gardening was not actually an extreme sport like plunging off a waterfall in a canoe but rather a hobby. So, it turns out I was not in the physical condition I thought. Determining death was near at hand, I went to the test provided by the Association of Financial Planners who determined that I hadn’t left my family adequately prepared financially and so proceeded to complete my Last Will and Testament. Since I also had a terminal case of Stage IV Procrastination, I decided to take one last test, What Mac N’ Cheese was right for me? Then just one more: Am I Addicted to Psychic Hotlines? Maybe things were not as bad as I thought when I read the results I had been given were based on mostly scientific research.