There are a lot of things one could say about a 26-year-old professional who still sucks her thumb. “Emotionally broken” or “product of abuse” are probably the most fitting, in my case. One that’s hardly ever mentioned, however, is the bomb immune system that comes with the habit. Considering the fact that I will find a way to discreetly sanitize my hands after the “Peace Be With You” during Mass, it’s probably for the best that I’m subjected to germs through less common means, anyway. Otherwise… I would die. Mysterious ways, yo.
I use the term “discreetly,” quite loosely.
My point here, is that I rarely get sick. When I do, however, it’s always with something strong enough to break through the immune system of Achilles. About once a year, I get the opportunity to dramatically post Facebook status updates about how I am Patient Zero and everyone should say their goodbyes, because we are all going to die. I may even quote Hocus Pocus with “This is the end. I feel it. We are doomed. I feel the icy breath of death upon my neck… Goodbye. Goodbye cruel world. Goodbye to life.” It all depends on the amount of energy I have, since I spent about eight hours sleeping on my couch, yesterday. No really. I took breaks to sleep while writing this. You’re welcome.
This year, it all started with ice. You see, we don’t really get snow in my area.The weather app on my phone called it a “wintry mix,” but that just meant “lots of fucking ice.” So, I prepared. Niki came over Thursday night to marathon American Horror Story with me and we interrupted the ramblings of a group of broken souls to go get deicer. We each bought two cans and I figured I was set. That stuff works like magic. The company doesn’t specify, however, that it only does so if you put it in the car, as opposed to leaving it on the kitchen counter. Someone is going to be getting an angry letter.
So, on Friday, I left my substitute teaching job during my planning period, to get a salad for lunch. I ended up with a pack of Reese’s Bells, as well, but I’m a member of the Participation Trophy generation, so it still counts. When I got back to the school, the roads were still clear and dry. Five hours later?
Fine. I’m lying. It still, however, was far too much ice for my sad little scraper, which was proven when it snapped in half. I started the car and wondered how long it would take for the ice to melt as I regained feeling in my fingers. Then I saw the blood. I don’t even know what happened. My best guess is that the ice scraper cut my finger when it broke. I went inside, got some bandages, came out and took another try with the remaining pieces of the scraper. After a bit of struggling, I was rescued by a Big Strong Man. Suck my dick, modern extreme feminists. I take care of myself every day and I even tried in this instance, but I was thrilled to be the damsel as another teacher insisted I get in the car where it was warm, while he cleared my windows. I thanked him kindly and decided I’d go straight to the gym, because I knew I wouldn’t be getting out again, after I’d gone home. Besides, what could a little “wintry mix” do during my one hour workout?
It wasn’t actually as bad as it had been before, but I still didn’t have deicer. My scraper was still broken and the one I’d bought at The Dollar Tree was just sad. So, I decided to walk to Wal-Mart and grab another can of magic. This wasn’t gym clothes weather, folks. I walked uphill in freezing rain, wearing nothing but knee-length leggings, a t-shirt, and my Northface. Unsurprisingly, Wal-Mart was sold out of anything and everything intended for winter weather, so I trekked back to my car, this time downhill in ice, and decided on another method of dealing with this issue: avoidance. So, for the next twenty minutes, I continued texting Gaily about my latest online dating flop.
Me: I could work to fix this problem, or I could sit in the car with the heat on and eat Reese’s Bells.
Me: I am going to die alone. Right here. In my car.
Gail: Better to die alone with a Reese’s Bell than to die with Engineer whispering “I knew you’d like it” in hot breath on your neck.
Hey. At least this time I wasn’t overreacting. Even Gail thought he was clingy. EVEN GAIL.
Every man Gail has ever dated.
Finally, I realized that the ice was melting and I was free to get out of my car and scrape the windows with ease, regardless of my near-nudity.
… aaaaaand Monday morning.
There are a handful of worst times ever to be single, such as when a family member dies, when you’re stranded on the side of the road, and… when you’re sick. I have officially done all of these this year. Despite my humorous melodrama, I am not actually that high-maintenance of a patient. I don’t need someone to sing Soft Kitty to me or clean up my vomit. There is just something uniquely awful about being home alone, too exhausted to stand up and get a glass of water, and having no one there to give a shit. Furthermore, do you have any idea how difficult child safety bottles can be to open in quarantine? At one point, I could not hold my head up long enough to read a trashy romance novel I’d already read, and which therefore required no concentration, but someone had to go get medicine and run by the post office. It would have just been nice to have someone to do that and maybe even a load of dishes. It’s not a selfish wish, as I’d be more than happy to return the favor in a week when he contracted The Black Death. Soup for soup and all that. I’d just like someone with whom to trade that favor.
I suppose part of the problem was my idea to check out a bunch of movies from work, in preparation for being iced in all weekend. If you’re ever in the position to be ill and snowed in alone, do not watch Yours, Mine, and Ours and Pillow Talk.
I couldn’t have 10 kids if I wanted to, because I’m running out of time!!! I may never get to have ANY children, because I keep turning men down! He just wanted to know if he’d done something wrong when I hadn’t texted him for a few hours, even though I’d told him I had company. What’s the harm in that?!? What if I have pneumonia and it just gets worse and worse and I really DO die alone!?!?!
They’re right! The only thing worse than a woman living alone is one who insists she likes it! I couldn’t even meet a man that way, because there’s no such thing as a party line anymore! Why can’t they bring back party lines?!?
No, really. Skip the romantic comedies. The more rational part of my brain had to talk myself out of joining another paid online dating site out of distress. Believe me, that part was not particularly present as the delirium set in, either.
I’m just trying to remind myself that these are the good ol’ days. One day, I’ll be cleaning poop out of the carpet, while a two-year-old screams in my ear, longing for the days when I only had to deal with my own sickness. At one point, I woke up on the couch, in utter despair at the quiet. When I’m sick at 35, I’m pretty sure I’ll want a time machine to kick my own ass for that thought. In the meantime, I really do enjoy living alone most days. I’m aware that yarn bombing my living room and playing the soundtrack to The Great Gatsby on repeat are activities I’ll have to keep to a minimum when I live with a boy. I have no delusions that the hot pink and teal Christmas tree will be on display when I’m not the only one who has to look at it. These years will be missed and cherished. Now, to just get well and process that fully.