The Caretaker II

Those of you who are among my longer-term readers or those who have gorged on all my writings may remember Karen. Karen was my ex-girlfriend who I tested from the start. She enjoyed the challenge that I presented to her. At first I charmed her in the usual way but I did not go all out with my weapons of mass seduction. I ascertained that I would draw her in much more readily through the application of challenging behaviour. This behaviour did not belittle or demean her (that, as it always does, comes later). No, instead this behaviour was designed to make her go the extra mile in order to please me. One of the particular ways that I would do this was by appealing to the nurse inside of her.

Karen was not a trained nurse although if she had opted for such a vocation it would have suited her considerably but she was an expert at caring for others and mopping their fevered brows. I used this to my advantage by repeatedly playing the sickness card. I have never done this with anyone else because generally I like to maintain the impression of being fit and healthy but with her I knew it would grab her and it was another method of presenting a challenge. I would feign stomach pains, a sore throat, a bad back, stabbing pains in my feet, headache, blurred vision and such like. If I did not want Karen going out all I had to do was call her and make groans down the telephone and she would come over and embark on her nursing routine. She would take my temperature, gently check the affected area with her fingers, peer into my mouth, place her hand against my brow and so on in respect of whatever affliction I had dreamt up. I would lie in the bed moaning and groaning and asking her to stay and look after me. She always did. She would sit in the chair in the bedroom and watch over me, shuttling back and forth with food (if of course I felt upto eating) hot drinks, cold drinks, medicinal drinks and whatever else I could think of to have her running around after me. She would make soothing noises, massage where it hurt and kiss it all better.She revelled in this role and of course the very next day I was fully recovered and able to go and play golf despite her advising me not to.

“Nonsense,” I would reply as she urged me to stay in bed, “the fresh air will do me good. It was one of those 24 hour things wasn’t it? You can’t keep me down for long, not with you looking after me.”

She would smile and hug me, delighted at my recognition of her nursing of me.

Karen enjoyed ski-ing. She was a real ski nut and massively enthusiastic about it. I less so. I don’t really get it.You ski down a slope once and there you are you have done it. Why go up and around again? Why keep going over and over the same thing repeatedly? Makes no sense to me. She had booked a ski holiday for us both at Val Thorens and we had an impressive chalet (which of course meant chalet maid) to look forward to. As the holiday neared I made repeated comment about how my right knee was giving me trouble. I had injured it when playing football when I was younger and repeated matches thereafter took their toll on it so that occasionally I would wear a brace when playing but it was not anything which ever stopped me from playing my favourite sport. I naturally made reference to the injury as causing me considerable pain and concern as the departure date neared.

“Should we not go?” asked Karen.

“Oh no, I would not want to spoil the holiday. I am sure I will be fine.” I answered.

“Well only if you are sure.”

We flew out and once there I explained that my knee was giving me real trouble and I had decided I was not going to risk any exacerbation of the condition by ski-ing. The friends we went with were suitable sympathetic.

“But please don’t let me stop you, you carry on I will be okay, Karen will look after me.” I announced showing how much of a trooper I was.

“I will just read outside the nearest bar and admire the view with Karen.”

I looked at Karen. She made to say something but did not do so and gave a small nod. Thus Karen did not ski once that holiday but instead she sat with me outside the Bar Hibou and we read, talked and drank beer until our friends returned from their day on their slopes. If she had any complaint she never articulated it but continued to ensure I was looked after. She would walk slowly alongside me to make sure I did not slip as we walked from the chalet to the bar. She would place me in a chair and then allow me to stay there all day, wrapped up with the sun on my face and whatever I needed to hand. She once again showed she was up to the task and would readily put my needs well ahead of her own. She took great care of me. I cannot say I did the same for her however.

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13 thoughts on “The Caretaker II”

  1. What oh what did you do to her H.G.? That girl was top shelf material! And I know from how you have spoken of her in past blogs, you were as attached as one can possibly get to an appliance.

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  2. I am sorry that it didn’t work out with Karen… she seemed to be one of the few who got really close to your heart… maybe too close? I do feel sorry for her by the skiing slope though. Wow, she was quite the trooper wasn’t she. Take care, HG. 🙋

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  3. Ohhj HG c’mon!! Going to the alps and fake a knee injury 😖😖??
    Stay in a sunbed the whole day 😖😖?
    Why on earth would you do that?? Its boring!!!
    It fueled you to the top to see how she put your needs over hers?? I suppose thats it if all you look for is fuel then I suppose that was it???
    Ohhh no … Poor girl…
    Im also an alp freak and A snowboard freak!!
    I would die if this happens to me.. I guess I would also stay but not in the excited and happy mood!!
    I can just shake my head

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  4. Oh how close to home is this. HG how did it end with her?
    I cannot tell you how many times I had this done to me. If she had gone skiing her friends would have shamed her and you would have been angry. How can this maneuver be countered? The harpoon is not so easily removed LOL. OF course if you need something removed I will find the finest surgeon, take you for your procedure, massage your feet and get you the best medicines and foods until you are well…of course THEY never get completely well for long….

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  5. I had an N that played this game too. Spent 6 years with him carrying on about every little health issue like it was the worst thing to happen to anyone. At first I was like your Karen; at his beck and call to nurse him through his ailment. As his behaviour got more and more dramatic, I grew tired of his panic attacks and constant hypochondriac phone calls to his Dr. and was less inclined to baby him. I guess that was part of the reason he started looking for his next victim and wasted no time (48 hours from “We’re done to moved out – with most of my household furniture while I was at work) in moving in with her a year ago.

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  6. My ex was always playing the illness card. Like the typical empath and very much like Karen I would always put his needs before mine. I even went home early from my birthday day out as he phoned to say he was being discharged from hospital and wanted to go home. I went immediately but when I got there he said that he had to wait they hadn’t finished his discharge he didn’t go home that day so I had to go home and come back the day after. He’d cancel days out at the very last min he’d wait till I’d driven for 1/2 hr to his house and then be in bed claiming he had headache, stomach ache etc etc. but never thought to call me and tell me he was ill. i’d still have gone but wouldn’t have packed the car for the day out. if I said I wasn’t feeling well he’d make me go out regardless 😔

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  7. Football? Are you talking about American football or soccer? I’m surprised that you turned into a cry-baby, but hey….whatever it takes to feed the beast.
    Tell me something. If you knew that one of your empty fuel tanks was writing a tell-all blog about you, would you read it?
    Brilliant post, by the way…as usual.

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  8. Lessons…at some point the “light” is seen by those who have little to no boundaries because they always put others first. Sometimes the payoff for sacrifice is worth it, others not (despite the deception/manipulation involved) The choice ultimately lies with the caregiver. Life is about choices and lessons. The question is…. for some of us, would we change our ways if we knew the truth or still value the intimacy of spending time with a loved one in any case? …..

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