Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another Great Essay By Christine Miserandino

I don't read ButYouDon' every day, but so often they just have something resonates.

And this essay was just perfect after an afternoon spent trying to hide my fatigue and pain while appearing interested and engaged during an open house at the private school we hope to send our daughter to.

Don't get me wrong -- it wasn't a hardship to appear interested in everything we saw and all the conversations we had. I was interested, very interested. But I was also afraid that my pain and fatigue might be misinterpreted as boredom or disinterest. And that could easily be an excuse to disregard our application.

After all, Catlin Gabel has at least four applications for every opening. It's not like they would have to look hard to find someone else for the spot we're hoping goes to Ellie.

Adrenaline goes a long way for me in situations like the open house. I'm very engaged in what I'm doing, and I get an energy burst from the excitement I'm feeling. Which is great, until it wears off and I plummet way, way, way down.

Scott was tempted to ask the admissions director a question after we attended the end-of-day admissions and affordability session. But when he ran his question past me, I shrugged it off and told him what I thought the answer was.

But really, asking it (and making a personal contact with the admissions director) would only have been a good thing. At the moment, though, I only knew I had to get to the car before I collapsed in pain and exhaustion.

When we got to the car and I caught my breath, I said something to Scott about horrible I was feeling. "You should let it show," he said. "If we are accepted, you don't want them questioning why you don't get a job to help pay tuition because you didn't seem at all sick at the open house."

That last comment was in response to our finding out that one of their financial aid requirements is that both parents have jobs once the youngest child is in first grade.

I'd love to be healthy enough to hold down a job.

But I'm digressing. Christine's essay on hiding the symptoms of her illness just really resonated with me today. I do it too, sometimes consciously and sometimes subconsciously.

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