In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 30, 2006 / 1 Nissan, 5766

Ahhh, to suffer nervous exhaustion!

By Garrison Keillor

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I went to the Mayo Clinic last week for the annual ceremonial physical, hoping my doctor would send me off to a hospital, one of those really nice ones with a sunny terrace where you sit in your bathrobe and beautiful brunettes bring you fresh orange juice. The diagnosis would be nervous exhaustion, I guess.

Back in my youth, people like Doris Day and Rita Hayworth and Natalie Wood got hospitalized for nervous exhaustion, and so I've always considered it a glamorous ailment, but what are the symptoms? My medical dictionary doesn't say. Probably they would include (1) extreme paleness and clamminess, (2) palpitations, (3) dilation of pupils and flaring of nostrils, and (4) piteous whimpering, things like "I'm-a waiting for you, Mama" or "I kin hear 'em singing!" I recall heroes in Victorian novels who collapsed from nervous exhaustion, and they were carried pale and trembling to bed where they lay for a few days and then decided to quit the bank job, break off the engagement to Daphne, and build a cabin of clay and wattles in a bee-loud glade and write poems.

But that's not what I want. I just want some time off.

My doctor is a Minnesota Lutheran so he's not up on nervous exhaustion. He asked me how I was and I said (as I was brought up to say), "Fine." He then proceeded to do the pump-pump-pump of the blood pressure cuff, the tap-tap-tap of the kneecap, and to note my complaints   —   headaches, gummed-up sinuses, inability to remember names of people I used to know   —   and take them up in a businesslike fashion.

Sinuses? Try putting your head over a sink and pumping salt water up your nostrils.

Memory loss? Forget about it.

Headaches? He sent me off to have my head examined. In an MRI machine. You lie on a narrow trough which is retracted into a massive cyclotron where you lie perfectly still for an hour in a space exactly the size of Grandpa's coffin, and if you are claustrophobic, this will send you right up the wall, and if you are not, you soon will be. You expect to hear Igor say in his adenoidal voice, "I have tied him down, Master. Shall I throw the switch?" The machine bangs and whirrs and you lie there in your coffin awaiting the Last Judgment, and the young lady running the experiment says on the intercom, "You're doing a great job, Mr. Keillor." A great job of playing dead.

I couldn't bring myself to tell the doctor, "My nerves are shot and I want to go to a hospital for three days. One with a terrace and fresh orange juice." I thought he might tell me to get a grip. Or jump into salt water and breathe it up my nostrils. The truth is that there are only a few hospitals that treat nervous exhaustion and they're in Los Angeles and you must have a publicist.

The longing for hospitalization goes back to childhood: I wanted my parents to notice me and wanted my siblings to kneel and beg for forgiveness as I lay gazing up at the Good Shepherd, radiant beams shining on my face, weeping angels beckoning from a hole in the clouds. It's a lovely fantasy, but the reality is that hospitals are dangerous places. People get sick there. Weird bacteria, zonked-out interns, the occasional serial killer. And people you never cared for descend on you bearing inferior chocolates and wilted zinnias and cheap balloons that say, "Happiness Is Knowing You Are Loved." They camp at your bedside for hours reminiscing about all the cancer victims they used to know. And worst of all, my sandy-haired gap-toothed daughter would not find a hospital amusing and so she would visit me for the minimum-daily-required minutes and wave goodbye and skip out the door.

So I dropped my little blue gown and pulled on my pants and came back to the living. When you have a daughter who is eight, you must schedule your collapses from nervous exhaustion. She has a full schedule of swim classes and school and church activities, and we're going to Alaska in July, so it appears that August is my first opportunity to fall apart. I am looking forward to it. We have a sunny terrace at home, and I can sit there in my bathrobe and whimper to my heart's content, and if the bees get loud I will throw some salt water at them.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Garrison Keillorís "A Prairie Home Companion" can be heard Saturday nights on public radio stations across the country. Comment by clicking here.


© 2006 by Garrison Keillor. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, INC.