Sickmas Season

T’is the season with no reason: Sickmas.

Being sick is like being really sick. But worse.

Especially when you waste all your time taking preventative measures to avoid getting sick. But getting sick anyway. When Ms. Obsessive-Hand-Washing becomes Ms. Compulsive-Nose-Blowing or Mr. Vitamins-Daily becomes Mr. Cold-Medicine-Hourly. But Sally “Share her Drink” soars through December without sickness in sight. And January. And February. And March. One begins to grow cynical.

Everyone has gotten a cold at some point, but it’s one of those experiences we tend to block in our memories, and only truly remember the horrible awfulness of it when we’re afflicted again.

Allow me to elaborate.

It all begins with a sore throat, usually upon waking. You notice it. You swallow again, to confirm– maybe… maybe that was just a weird batch of saliva. Let me try it again. No, the tender lump is undeniably there. (But there is still hope.) Maybe this is a fluke. Maybe it won’t amount to anything (kind of like your dead-beat ex-boyfriend).

But alas, a sniffle. It’s time to embrace the fact that you’re sick (you knew it deep down, anyway), and hope to Deer God (imagine this frolicking deity prancing through heavenly forests) that the worst of this cold will not be the worst. This is the time to rest up, sip soup, keep warm.

Enter life’s obtuse obstacles.

Illness would probably subside more hastily if a proper remedial period could transpire. Of course, you have a job, because you like to indulge in such luxuries as food and a place to live. Okay, so don’t go to work, because you feel infernal and you don’t want to taint your co-workers and quite honestly Julia, you look pretty gross today. Except your boss will be mad, and you want to keep that place to live (that damned over-priced shack you dub “home?”).

Oh well, you’ll go to work. If you’re especially lucky, you’re also a college student, which is even worse. You need a doctor’s note in order to have your absence excused, but any American with the average half a brain would know a cold when it knocked them upside the head with mucus. A doctor would only tell you to do the same things your mother’s been telling you for twenty years.

So, maybe you’ll skip class and miss attendance (and the notes, and consequently, exam points), or maybe you’ll go to class (and feel like death all over your notebooks, and blow your nose every three minutes while the professor lectures, and get your classmates sick). Either way, your head feels hot and heavy, your eyes are warm and dead, your nose is profusely vomiting snot, and your stomach is about to turn inside out from the mucus that’s been sliding down your esophagus in between nose-blows.

Eventually it’ll get better (if you consider the incessant cough that replaces your runny nose an improvement), but first it’ll get worse, and if you’re strong, you’ll make yourself weak from not giving yourself a break, and if you’re weak, you’ll get stronger faster from canceling your life for a week. And if you’re smart, you’ll learn not to play tongue tango with the hot but sniffly Australian guy at the bar last Thursday night– next time you’ll choose a hot guy who isn’t infectious (at least, not with a cold).

Happy Sickmas!


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