I Guess I'm Sick

I am the kind of smug person who never gets sick, which is making the fact that I'm sick right now not only uncomfortable but also baffling. What happened to my superior immune system? My ability to stare down the common cold? My talent for evading influenza?

I sat next to a kid in fourth grade with chicken pox and didn't even get it. That's how much I don't get sick.

If sickness had a wanted poster it would have a picture of me on it.

But today? Today, I'm sick. So much so that I'm even thinking of recanting my position on those tissues with lotion in them. "Spare me your slimy tissues!" I used to announce. "And keep your lozenges and Purell, too."

When people would begin to detail for me the rituals they went through to avoid getting sick my eyes would glaze over. I could achieve the same and I didn't have to sleep with a humidifier, gargle Echinacea or waterboard myself with Emergen-C. I also didn't get a flu shot, since I hate shots. And before you wag your germy finger at me, I'd just point out that everyone I know is sick and everyone I know gets flu shots.

In fact, my mom got it first, and then my fiance got it and since I make out with both of them, it was only a matter of time. Wait! What? That's not what I meant to say.

What I meant to say was since my fiance and mom hadn't seen each other but I had seen both of them, they decided that I was probably a carrier. I resented their attempts to play House. Plus, I found it insulting that they would blame me -- the healthy person. Is this how you treat someone with a superhuman immune system? They should have been studying and celebrating me, not trying to bring me down to their level with accusations and finger pointing.

But it's all moot because today I am one of you: one of the coughing masses with a headache and runny nose and sore throat and stomachache and all-over yucky feeling. And I'm so, so tired. Like imagine you kept an elephant up for a week, that's how I feel, which isn't very flattering, but I'm just saying, I suspect it's hard to wake up an elephant once it's out. What do you use? A peanut on a stick?

The real kick in the pants is that the plague from which I'm currently trying to recover set up camp on my days off, after I returned from a work trip. My first thought was that I was lucky I didn't get sick while working because that would have been difficult. I was quick to congratulate my traitorous immune system for, at the very least, it's timing. But then I began to resent the fact that I would be spending my days off feeling like crud.

I've had countless conversations with friends that go like this:

Friend: "I'm really sick."

Me: "Maybe you should take a sick day?"

Friend: "No way, I'm saving my sick days for something fun!"

So I guess I'm not alone in wishing I were sick on their time, not mine.

So the real question though is why now and why me? Did I need humbling? Was I flying too close to the sun? Was I shining a little too brightly? Was I making others feel less than? Yes to all of them, I hope.

But if you think I'm going to have any sort of new attitude once I recover -- if I recover -- you're wrong. All I've learned is flavorologists need to quit churning out new Oreos and instead turn their attention to cough syrup because holy hell it's disgusting.

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