Everything stops hurting when it’s free.
My husband got a double dose of this joy recently when he popped into the doctor for his flu injection. He was already chuffed (and had told many people) about the fact that being a senior entitled him to the injection for free.
But imagine his glee when he came home with two little bandaids on his arm, having received not only the coveted free flu injection but also an injection for shingles.
Shingles? Just why did the man who has never had shingles nor has ever talked about a great fear of getting shingles, get a shingles injection?
“Oh, it’s free when you’re over 70,” he said, clearly delighted with himself.
He has gone on to express his delight at getting this jab at the doctor to many people, even enlightening them on the actual cost of the injection were you inclined to get one under the prestigious age of 70. One particular friend of ours even congratulated him on the move, reminding him of the devastation of the condition in his advancing years.
He of the manor who watches baseball and practices his speaking German all day long, feels he has saved us some money. Until now, I never knew that immunising himself against shingles was high on his bucket list.
But we all do it. If it’s free, we feel we “may as well”.
Take the drunk man at the wedding, intoxicated not on love but on the bar tab (and clearly forgetful that his hapless friend has to pay for it at the end of the event). And who hasn’t dived gleefully into the chocolate box as it gets passed around (and yes, I am definitely guilty here).
There is something magical about receiving something that you haven’t had to dive into your wallet for first. It frees you up to be the bigger man – to shout the drinks at intermission, to pay for parking, to lash out in other ways.
For every action, they say there is an opposite reaction. And having survived the jab, I am wondering what the consequence might be. Certainly the hand in the chocolate box leaves me with a headache. And we all know that the staggering wedding guest will long be remembered.
But as for a 70 year old with a clear shingle-less future. I just wonder what is in store for him. The flu?