Although only recently named by my husband, my family has been suffering from this fever for as long as I can remember, and it is not confined to my immediate family. In fact, the fever can have some deadly flare-ups when my extended family gets together. The story that follows is a result of the fever, although at the time I didn't think I was infected, rather I thought I was championing for a very noble cause.
When I was about ten years old, my family went on vacation with my mom's sister, Kelly, and her family. My Aunt Kelly is very susceptible to the fever, and in a fit of hysteria she made up and taught me a little ditty that went something like this:
"Pubic hair, pubic hair, I will always take care of my pubic hair."
I wish I could write music and share the tune with you because it was truly lovely. And, we danced around, laughing and singing this song over and over.
But, being ten, and perhaps a little naive, the term "pubic hair" was not in my vocabulary, so that it is not what I heard in this song. I instead thought we were singing "puby care" in the lyrics, and although somewhat strange, I immediately thought I knew what this meant. And, I liked it!
Once the fever wore off, I continued to sing my new little song, much to the exasperation of my mom. Finally, after serenading my family with a rendition of "puby care" while riding in the car, my mom had to put a stop to it.
"Gretchen! That's enough of that! That song is completely inappropriate!"
"But, Mom," I replied, deflated, "what is so wrong with taking care of old people?"
My mom was clearly unaware that a "puby" was an old person (or at least it was in my mind), and all along I had thought I was spreading the word about the care of the elderly. It had made perfect sense to me.
"You're right, honey. There's nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong with that at all."