But I was perplexed. I said to my husband, “That’s silly. I can tickle myself.”
I demonstrated by running a light finger down that flappy, bat-wing part of my underarm, the part I pretend all women have, even weight-lifting Amazons. Within a couple of strokes I had to stop and scratch away the tickle. “See?” I said.
“Mmmm,” he replied. This is his normal response to most of my comments, even when his mouth is not full of oatmeal.
I went back to reading.
Neuroscientists speculate that it’s important that we be able to distinguish between someone else touching, punching or fondling us, as opposed to just our own arm brushing against some part of our own body. That necessary ability to distinguish self from other prevents us from tickling ourselves even in a dream, so they say.
“It’s interesting,” the article went on, “that people with schizophrenia can tickle themselves and we think that’s associated with things like delusional and alien control of limbs,” says George Van Doorn from Monash University in Australia.
Schizophrenia? Oh, my.
When, I read this part to my husband, he broke out of his typical conversational pattern. “Well, that would explain a lot.” He gave me an extra-long stare before taking his next bite of oatmeal and returning to whatever dull thing he was reading on his computer.
I gave him a hairy eyeball and proceeded to have a conversation with myself regarding this silly idea that one cannot tickle oneself! Maybe by “tickle” they mean elicit a full-blown, laugh-out-loud guffaw.
Or maybe I should see a psychiatrist.