Off the Grid

On Christmas Eve day and Christmas Day, I unplugged.

Time off the grid was not boring. I had good food, good times with family — card games and board games. We played Crazy Eights, Headbanz, Funglish, Backgammon, and Taboo. We went outside and cut down a tree. We decorated the tree. We went caroling. We ate, we drank, we laughed.

I did not check email, Facebook, Twitter at all. Oh, noble me. But I made one mistake — I checked my voicemail. I wondered if one of my brothers or parents had called. No, instead there was a phone message from Elizabeth, the funny nurse at the dermatologist’s office. She said the last biopsy was fine, but that I had Grover’s Disease. She said, “It’s just a minor skin irritation that seems to strike old Italian men and you and me.” (I told you she was funny.)

How would I know how “minor” this skin irritation was if I couldn’t Google it? I wondered what Wikipedia had to say.

It was one thing not to update my Facebook status (‘I am making bacon for breakfast’), but quite another not to be able to peruse medical journals and find a cure for this disease that — who knows, could potentially ravish me in an instant? Why call it a disease if it wasn’t serious? I had a very good reason to search the world wide web. But noble me, I did not. I shrugged. What could I do about it any way?

I made a joke at the dinner table, “I just learned that I have Grover’s Disease. It sounds like something you get at Sesame Street.” My sister in law said, “You’ll soon be turning blue and furry.” Funny. (I know a lot of funny women!)

Well, my two days off the grid passed. I got on line. The first thing I did was check Grover’s Disease at Wikipedia. Indeed, it’s an uninteresting and very minor skin irritation. Thank God I did not ruin my social media and internet sabbath to learn that. Sometimes it’s just better not to know.

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