After having eaten Thanksgiving dinner over the space of three hours, we are now playing word games; which frustrate me; so I’m playing my own word game here. Earlier in the day, the nine cousins staged a production of “scenes from Cheaper by the Dozen,” after a twenty minute rehearsal. My brother played Mr. Gilbreth, my sister was Mrs. Gilbreth, and the rest of us crowded into an imaginary car, exchanged insults with other drivers, and did the bit where Dad sticks his head in the hood, Billy honks the horn, Dad jumps, and Billy revenges his own sufferings by repeating Dad’s line, “I bet you jumped six and nine-tenths inches!” We then skipped to where the lady from New York comes to introduce birth control, and is sent to recruit Mrs. Gilbreth, only to have the twelve children sprung upon her. Our script consisted of the three or four eldest having the book memorized, and ad-libbing our lines; the younger children, whether in the book or in our lives, mainly have parts consisting of being pushed around, so that went very well. The play was so riveting that our father fell sound asleep.

Yesterday, after the episode of the scrubs at the VA, I started to consider the nature of scrubs, and indeed of the whole OR costume. It is obvious that this outfit was designed by men. First, it is a well-known fact that men usually like to wear ugly clothes, and all to look alike. Instance, all armies; modern gentlemen’s suits; and other traditionally male occupations, such as policemen, mail-men, and – plumbers. Secondly, V-necked scrub tops, coupled with the prohibition against wearing anything underneath them, particularly if you want to scrub. Nothing else to be said there. Thirdly, paper caps kill a hair-do like nothing else, not even a windy, rainy day. Fourthly, as a nurse pointed out to me yesterday, masks destroy make-up.

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