Saturday, May 12, 2012


Two things I really dislike get rants from me today.  The Mother's Day thing, I guess, is obvious.  I miss my little boy (who would now be in his 40s). It's fine for the rest of you to celebrate, but for one day, let me hide out in my cave and ignore the rest of you.  Mean spirited on my part, maybe, but very, very honest.

Enough of Mother's Day...

 Latex gloves.  I hate latex gloves.  I have had various caregivers who help me live with my various disabilities.  They have all been a bit eccentric, from the fanatical proselytizing Christian to the sweet elderly lady who thought that changing sheets every week was too often to my current one who is really quite good.  She does her work reasonably well and is nice and caring and helpful (except for about every fourth week).

Latex Gloves
The first one wore latex gloves when doing housework and laundry and the like.  I have no problem with that.  If she needed to put lotion on my back or legs, no latex gloves.  Likewise when she tied my hair.  Of course, if she had to touch sores or any bodily fluids, the gloves came on.  That is reasonable.  The elderly lady never wore latex gloves.  I guess she just didn't like them or maybe she was allergic.

My current caregiver wears them for everything.  Any time she touches me, she puts on those damned gloves.  When she helps me dress.  When she helps me walking.  Even when she brings me food.  (I still haven't figured that one out.)  She used to wear them when she tied my hair.     I put an end to that.  I am a keshdhari Sikh.  My hair are clean and well maintained and I hold my hair to be sacred.  Refusing to touch them is beyond insulting to me.  In fact, I insisted she take off the gloves or find another client.  She took off the gloves.

Latex gloves are gross.  It feels like a dead thing touching me.  As I said, I understand the purpose sometimes, but really...I asked her if she was afraid I'd give her cooties or something.  She didn't know what cooties are, so she explained it was for my  protection.  I almost lost my temper, but I kept cool.  "My protection?!  Are you dirty or do you have leprosy or something?  You do wash your hands after using the toilet, don't you?  I can't buy that bit about my protection.  You wear them for your protection, not mine."


"It's cooties, isn't it?"  I'm not sure if cooties only exist in the Western Hemisphere, so I'll explain.  No one is quite sure what cooties are, but they are the absolute worst and highly contagious.   The symptoms are varied and mostly innocuous, but always result in severe social problems for the infected unfortunate.  

Once you get them, it is very hard, even impossible to get rid of them.  So how do you get cooties?  Other than by associating with others with cooties, the usual way is by being socially unacceptable.  Cooties breed in young people who are "different," especially in noticeable ways.  The poor kid who can't afford designer clothes.  The intellectual, four-eyed kid who would rather read than gossip.  The bucked tooth girl with the strange accent that none of the boys want to date.  The crater-faced teenager with zits all over his face.  Fat kids.  Cooties breed especially virulently in fat.  Cooties is primarily an affliction of the uncool. 

Certain occupations can also give you cooties.  Garbage collectors, of course, have cooties by definition.  Most politicians have a very bad case, but some, such as Jack Layton (dear Jack, I miss him) seem to be immune.  Less lofty politicians, such as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton are surprisingly cooties free.  I am not sure why.  Some more prestigious professions can also make you highly susceptible to cooties, such as being a lawyer or a proctologist.  I have also heard that morticians have cooties, but I am unable to verify this.

A few professions will actually make you immune to this dread condition.  Veterinarians and for some unknown reason, train engineers, are known to be 100% cooties free.  Go figure.  So are the 1%, of course, but I'm really not certain about Paris Hilton.

Paris Hilton
They can also run in families.  If you have a sibling with really bad cooties, say a gay brother or a sister with cerebral palsy, people might get cooties even talking to you.  I have heard you can get cooties even being in the same room with someone with a super bad case of cooties, maybe a girl who doesn't shave her legs or wear make-up, but I think that is an exaggeration.  As you can see, these cooties are really a very dangerous thing to have. The cootified individual has few, if any, friends and has a lonely existence.  Even their family members may resent them for bringing cooties into the family. 

The thing is that I don't see how latex gloves can protect anyone from cooties.

Since many carriers of cooties are impossible to spot, I guess the only way to be certain to remain cooties-free is to live in a "safe-room" somewhere with no contact with other human beings.  Certainly you shouldn't become a caregiver dealing with people like me.

My caregiver petting my dog - without wearing latex gloves

End of Rant.  Thank you for listening

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