Today for St. My Mom’s an Asshole Day (observed every year the day after National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day), Mom and I wore purple. St. My Mom’s an Asshole is the patron saint of fibromyalgia sufferers, missing important occasions and socks lost in the dryer. Mom (who is also my press secretary and executive assistant) hasn’t been on Facebook much this week, so I was mortified when I found out that she hadn’t notified me of Denise‘s efforts to raise awareness for fibromyalgia and its sufferers.
Fibromyalgia is a big word so I asked Mom to look it up for me. One thing that I took away was that it means an extra sensitivity to pain. It made me think about how I’m so sensitive to smells, and Mom is not, and because Mom doesn’t sense what I sense she gets impatient with me. Sometimes I feel a smell and it is so intense and distracting that I can’t ignore it and have to stop whatever I’m doing, and she has to wait for me. What if I felt pain like I feel smells? That would be tough, and I bet I couldn’t enjoy my favorite activities like crashing through the dog door at 100 miles an hour, pulling on the leash until it chokes me, or playing Bite Each other with my friends. Add to that weakness and fatigue, and that pretty much makes people like my friend Denise, who overcome their condition in order to run, pretty much superheros.
So to observe St My Mom’s an Asshole Day, we dug to the very bottom of Mom’s drawer (and I mean the *bottom!* Mom hardly has any purple) to find purple(ish) shirts for each of us to raise awareness to other self-absorbed jerks like Mom. Mom found an old tank top that was too big for herself, and a lady’s form fitting tank for me. Once we pinned up the neckline, the shirt actually fit me kind of perfectly: which means that me and Mom have the same sized thoraxes. Am I embarrassed to wear a girl’s shirt in public?! Heck no I’m not! Because if anyone had the nerve to make fun of me, I’d get a chance to tell them all about the important reason that I’m wearing this shirt. And then they’ll feel like self-absorbed assholes.
Because you know what, guys? You never know what challenges someone is dealing with when you see them out there on the rail-to-trail running path of life. It could be fibromyalgia, or an abusive Mom who makes her boy dog dress in women’s clothing and makes him work through Egg Time, or some vague condition that makes people run at paces that are disappointing to their long-suffering running buddies. We’ve all overcome great odds to get to where we are, and we all deserve butt scratches for getting out there every day in spite of it all.
–Oscar the Pooch
(PS Did you know that National Fibromyalgia Day is the same day as National Foam Roller Day? It just seems cruel to have a day raising awareness for a condition that causes chronic hypersensitivity to pain to be on the same day as a simple object whose only purpose is to create intense self-inflicted pain.)