Kathleen McCall:
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2004-10-09 - 9:53 a.m.

By Doze


I have a head cold. This is not good, people. Not good at all. This is my weekend off - off from parenting, off from jobs. I'm supposed to be doing all sorts of things, including a good deal of nothing, and I have this thing in the front of my head that's surveying the neighborhood and thinking about buying more property, say in my chest. Gah!

I kind of forget that I get sick once in a while. The kids bring home stuff, and I don't usually get it. One kid gets sick, the other two of us often don't any more; we've met and shared most of the rhinoviruses out there, I think. I wash my hands carefully, ritually, at work, before I put them near my face, before I eat - but still, every once in a while, a one-horned virus makes it past my positive thinking and grabs me by the nose. Gah, I say!

Younger Daughter was sick a couple weeks ago, so I have a supply of "good" tissues, and I'm not sick sick, so I can go out and get juice or nasal spray or new shoes, whatever it takes to make a mildly irritatingly ill person feel better. Rental videos, maybe. Not that I'm so sick that I have to sit on the sofa, but I could. If I wanted. I could have Seven-Up, if I liked the stuff. Or ginger ale - I do like that. But I didn't want to be sick this weekend. I didn't plan it. I had other plans, some of which would directly expose BF to my germs. I guess I get to de-plan.

Thre's this weird ethical thing, with colds. It's not like you can really tell whose cold you GOT, but if I've seen you in the last ten days and you had one, it's going to look like you're the guilty party. Never mind that I'm out in the world every day, out in a world with snot-running face-sneezing grubby-handed children; you GAVE me your cold. I'm not really accusatory like that, but I am careful with others - always saying, "Well, my kid wanted to come to your party, but she's come down with a cold, so..." and giving you the pass-or-play option. What's funny is that so many people will pass at that point, and then send their children to SCHOOL with my cold-ridden child the next day, and everybody else's cold-ridden children, and think nothing of THAT - but then if their kid comes down with a cold, it was probably MY kid's cold, because I mentioned it. I don't know. We're all out there, and the paranoia seems a little much, but hey, what do I know? BF will probably say it's fine, and he's the one who REALLY can't afford respiratory disturbances. But others would say no, sorry, I just can't afford to be sick right now, like I'm a slacker - hey, I wasn't doing anything that counted anyway. And of course, there's that incubation-period thing, too, so the fact that I hugged you two days ago is probably just as dangerous as my stuffy nose is today. And then there are people like my sister the doctor, who say, "Sick people! Come here where I can TOUCH you!" I don't know if she'd also tell me to stay away from her with my lousy cold, though. People are not really rational. And they think Seven-Up will make you better.

I recently heard someone at work talking about that Seven-Up delusion. Apparently it's a family-of-origin issue - some people, like my ex, got Seven-Up when they were sick, and so they grew to think you couldn't be sick WITHOUT it; you have to have it or you can't get better. I think it probably started with wanting something a child with stomach flu could drink and not immediately hurl, and perhaps Seven-Up worked; I remember getting it sometimes, too. But some people have turned it into a treatment, good for all ills, and when the kids get head colds Ex is off to the store for that Seven-Up. The girls love soda, so when ill they demand their Seven-Up and I humor them - but now I realize I am raising another generation of people with the delusion that Seven-Up is good for whatever ails you. Since this belief appears to be widespread, it's a wonder the company hasn't grabbed it for marketing purposes. "Seven-Up -- because you care." They could get away with that, couldn't they? If you love your children, give them soda pop...

That's enough. I've been up nearly three hours, and I'm sick - sick, I tell you. Nobody will play with me today, and I don't have any soda. I don't even have any rental videos. I think I better go back to bed.

 

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