It happened yesterday. I was walking along, minding my own business when BAM! I walked right into it. One minute I’m perfectly happy and healthy, the next I’m a sneezing phlegmy mess. Now I’m huddled up here on the couch, surrounded by used Kleenexes and lukewarm tea. I have Ebola. Or a head cold. I’m pretty sure they feel the same.
In case you can’t tell, I’m a bit of a baby when I get sick. I blame it on my mother. When I was little and I would get sick, my mother would take care of me. She would tuck me into bed, roll her television into my room and bring me a Popsicle every three hours. I would only get a Popsicle if I was very good and very quiet. I always got the Popsicle. Now that I think about it, my mother had a pretty good thing going. I could be puking my guts out but the promise of a Popsicle kept me from disturbing…whatever it was that she was doing.
Now I am a grownup. Now there are no Popsicles. Now, when I get sick, everyone else becomes very needy. I cannot tuck myself in bed because the short people in our house are breaking things, having emergencies, and making huge messes. They are entirely unreasonable. They can see that I am sitting here on the couch with a temperature of 108 (my thermometer says 98.6 but it’s obviously broken because I feel more like 108). Still, they insist on demanding things like clean laundry, help with reading, and food. Seriously?! Can you people not see that I am a walking virus factory, here? I should not be allowed anywhere near the kitchen, much less in charge of making your food! Do you have some sort of death wish?!
Sometimes they try to help. Sometimes they will offer to do things like wash the dishes, make me fresh orange juice, or cook dinner. This translates into “flood the kitchen, cut off their finger, or burn down the house.” The child offering these “helps” always seems to be the child with absolutely zero of the skills needed to perform the task. The children who DO possess the skills to help out are working on their own little task. They understand that I am in a weakened state. Now is their chance. They know that all they have to do is ask for things loudly and annoyingly enough and I will do anything to make them stop. Suddenly, not only am I most definitely NOT the one being taken care of, but I find myself putting a television in their room and promising them a Popsicle delivery service if they will just give me a little peace and quiet. I have no idea where I went wrong.
The Pastor is of very little help at these times. While The Pastor is a very talented person. He has no skills in the area of sympathy. The Pastor funnels all of his energy into the skill of being obscenely attractive. Not only does he not sympathize with me, but he seems determined to out do me. If I say I have a headache, The Pastor suddenly develops a migraine. If I have a cough, The Pastor is pretty sure he has pneumonia. I realize I am not alone in this. For some reason men do not like women to be sick. I’d like to think it is because they love us so much and hate to think that we could be suffering. I have a suspicion, however, that they are really just worried about who is going to make them dinner if we aren’t up to the job.
My friend, Sweetie Pie, is a very sympathetic person. Unfortunately, she also knows that there are very few maladies that are actually cured by Popsicles and television. Sweetie Pie is very into holistic medicine. My advice to you would be to avoid telling Sweetie Pie when you are ill. If you do, she will douse you with stinky oils and start forcing raw garlic down your throat. It works, but you end up smelling like an Italian dinner served by an old man wearing Bengay.
Sweetie Pie’s techniques do work, however. I am pretty sure that by tomorrow I will be off the couch and feeling much better. Smelly, but feeling better. In the meantime, I will sit here and look pathetic. Maybe someone in my family will suddenly develop a sudden onset of sympathy. If you want to bring me a Popsicle, the green one are my favorite.