'Put a clove of garlic in your vagina tonight. That'll heal the infection for sure,' Ms. Barbara assures me. According to her, garlic heals everything. Put a little on a wound, swab a little garlic oil in your ear for infections, take a few capsules to ward off a cold. When in doubt, use garlic.
The first time I was confronted with this extreme belief in garlic's healing power, I was definitely more open to it. When I found out I had Group B Strep when pregnant with Adelle, I took at least six capsules to try and kill the buggers. Apparently, the hospital wouldn't let me take another test to see if the bacteria had gone away. My mother-in-law's logic; 'Get rid of GBS so that I will not get antibiotics during labor so that I will not get yeast infection.' As crazy as she sounds, that is actually what happened.
So here I am, taking garlic like nobody's business at three, five, seven, nine months and it doesn't even matter because the hospital won't let me test for the bacteria again. As a last minute resort, Ms. Barbara practically begs me to consider putting the garlic in my vagina. At first she tried to get me to put yogurt up there, 'Yogurt with acidophilus of course.' Then, it was the probiotic capsules, 'Just insert one about a couple inches deep. Heat should melt them.' I tried to appease her by telling her that I would definitely do it that night, whatever hocus pocus she wanted me to try, but every time I looked into my fridge, the yogurt and probiotic containers seemed to be hiding from my hands and especially from my vagina. I couldn't muster up the courage to tell her that I couldn't put foreign, edible objects into my private parts.
'Tie a string around the garlic clove. Peel it first of course.' God, I hope so.
'You could insert a hole to pull the string through, but it might smell.' No shit Sherlock. I bet Alex will cuddle up with me tonight. Not.
'Anyways, put the garlic in there overnight and the heat will soften it up some.' Just what I need; garlic puree in my VJ.
'When you wake up, just pull it out and throw it away.' No, I'm actually going to use it in a broth.
Ms. Barbara isn't the only one who believes in a magic food. In the case of my dad, it's a magic drink...scotch. My dad believes that scotch can heal anything, cure all, and has the ability to make any pain go away. The first he does after taking a seven hour flight to visit us; he pulls out the bottle of Chivas Regal and pours a shot for everyone. The sentence 'Dad, don't you wanna sit down or wash up?' doesn't seem to make it through his head. He barely looks at me as he pours another. When Adelle was colicky, he told me to rub a little scotch on the inside of her mouth, when she was teething, he told me to dip her chew toys in the golden liquor. When Alex had a bad hangover (not surprisingly from drinking with my dad the night before), my dad tells him to make some ramen and drink some scotch.
My father doesn't consider himself an alcoholic, but a scotch aficionado who must, one day, pay a pilgrimage to his beloved's native land. The only place he'd really enjoy in Europe is Scotland where he would be gorging himself on every variety of scotch. I'm sure he would fit right in with all the whiskey loving, beer guzzling Scotsmen. He might even learn a new remedy scotch offers. Perhaps that's why my dad gets along with Alex so well. They both handle their liquor pretty damn well.
If Ms. Barbara ever offered my dad a clove of garlic, I'm sure he'd eat it. I think he's the one person who would understand her and believe in every single healing property of garlic. Then, I'm sure he would chase it down with a little scotch.