Lately I’ve been checking my lymph nodes a lot. I have a lot of stuff to do and I don’t want to get a cold. I am obsessed with not getting a cold. Every month I spend up to 50 dollars on snake oil products that are supposed to fight the sniffles. I do this even though I know that if Mama Sniffles wants ya, she’s gonna get ya.
Getting a cold is the adult version of being grounded. It means you can’t have fun for at least a week. But you can’t use the opportunity to take a time out from life and watch movies and drink gingerale. You have to do your work. You just have to do it joylessly.
The work I do is pretty fun, but it’s still work. I have tricks for making it more fun, though, such as smoking and, in the evenings, drinking. When I’m sick, the best things I have are Nicorette lozenges and hot toddies. Another thing that makes working fun is the prospect of seeing people during non-work time. That really keeps you going when there’s a lot of work to do. When you have a cold, you can’t do that.
Never seeing people is OK when you’re a kid or in a relationship or one of those magic people who can live with a best friend. It’s not so OK when you’re single and you live alone. Going out and seeing people is an essential part of the bachelorette life. Without that, you can start to feel like a crazy witch who feeds on her own filth. When the fever comes, you start to imagine that the whole world is dead and you are the only one left. For me, the only thing that can make that better is listening to “Hands Up” on repeat.
“Hands Up” is the musical equivalent of digging a security blanket out of storage. It is something you do during the wit’s end portion of a sickness, when comfort is way more appealing than dignity. This happens with colds, except, unlike with flus, you still have to go to work the next day. That means you have to get your dignity together in the morning. Unfortunately, your dignity is all rumpled and snotty because you peeled it off as soon as you got home and then used it to blow your nose.
Colds are probably better than flus, because they don’t kill you as often. But at least with flus you get to take a time out from life. Why don’t they make a cold vaccine already? They must have one already, but they’re not giving it to us because it would shut down the snake oil industry and put a lot of people out of work.