The Grabulous One

img_0761The evolution of the 21st century man occurs everyday. This one has a keen sense of what is likely to set a parent off. He doesn’t hide my keys, for example, but merely puts it on his mother’s night stand, in plain sight, knowing full well there are parts of the house where I am blind.

He comes up to me within earshot of his mother, and declaims loudly in his small voice, “Do you know how to speak woman?” I turn to him, pleading with my bloodshot eyes, “Don’t do it, man!” All I could manage was a whispered, “Nooooooo.” He grinned broadly, “You say the opposite of what you mean! Hahahahahahaha…” I turn to look at his mother and shrug with the deflated denial of a man found with women’s underwear in his coat pocket. She let me hang for a while, and let me off by saying, “He saw it on TV.”

Grabulosity is the incessant need to get the attention of the self absorbed parent. For me, I had more of its opposite, confabulosity, which was the self-absorption in response to overly attentive parents. As an only child, I can understand these intersecting emotional forces. It is the incubator of complexity and wisdom. Just ask my sister.

In medical school, our anatomy professor was very grabulous. There is a lot of hissing in the Ivy League. There, hissing, which is done by making a sharp Ssssss sound, like air coming out of a tire, is done to express displeasure, disagreement, and dyspepsia. To our anatomy prof, a lecture without hissing must have been an empty day indeed. He loved goading angry, over-educated women into fits of livid rage by attaching whatever body part we were being lectured on to a slide of a naked and inevitably hot woman. Foot anatomy? Naked chick with foot. Head and neck -always with a bit of breast. It was grabulosity at its finest and it was an epic display of one man raging against a changing world.

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