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  • Writer's pictureVedashree Khambete Sharma

A Pain In The Neck and Other Considerations

Updated: May 30, 2021

In Greek mythology, there was a monster who Theseus had to fight. This guy had a bed he tied his prisoners to. If they were longer than the bed, he cut off their feet. If they were shorter, he stretched them, presumably with torture devices, till their spine snapped.

I may be wrong, but this may just have inspired the traction therapy I’m going through right now.

Because now I have spondylitis. And a trapezius spasm. Along with all my other delightful ailments.

It’s been caused by – I kid you not – sitting on my ass all day at work. As opposed to practicing mixed martial arts, which is what other people do in advertising agencies.

So every day I have to go to this clinic where a nurse straps me in with belts tied to this machine which proceeds to tighten them till my spine stretches. Once from the neck up. Once from the waist down.

It’s fun. Much like getting kicked in the fork is fun.

Anyway, I have plenty of time to think while I’m being tortured healed in this manner. And today I thought of the phrase ‘let herself go’. I say ‘herself’ because I’ve never heard it used for men. It’s always a woman who has let herself go after her wedding. Or childbirth.

The implication is usually physical. It means instead of treating rice like it killed your family and gymming till you have lucid hallucinations, you’ve slacked off and decided to chill. Like a happy newlywed or exhausted new mother might want to do from time to time. It means instead of being lipsticked and rouged all hours of the day, you’re bumming around in track pants and granny glasses.

It means you have stopped giving a single fuck.

And I don’t know why this is considered somehow a failure on the woman’s part, instead of wildly liberating.

Because consider what it means to not let yourself go. Purely in terms of language, when you don’t let yourself go, you hold yourself back. And that’s plain wrong.

Did those suffragettes choke on milk so that someday we all can decide to do the heavy lifting for patriarchy and just hold ourselves back? I think not.

So take a page from Elsa’s book (Pookie is in a Frozen phase) and Let It Go.

And by ‘it’ I mean ‘yourself’.

Also by ‘monster’, I meant ‘bandit called Procrustus.

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