What Doesn’t Kill You

Being Sick Grocery Purchases

I had the unfortunate luck of coming down with a cold this past July 4th holiday weekend. As best as I can recall, it’s only the second time in my life that I’ve had any kind of summertime virus. The weather outside was beautiful with sunny skies and ninety degree temperatures, but I stayed inside huddled under a blanket while the air conditioning was on full blast. I felt cursed by either God, Mother Nature, or Rupert Murdoch — take your pick. Some all-powerful being is responsible for my suffering since getting sick is never my fault.

From the window of my home office, all weekend long I watched the residents in our community splashing around in the pool, getting suntans, and barbecuing hamburgers and hot dogs at the grills. They walked around holding containers of cold sodas and beer while children ran around amongst them.

I thought each and every one of them looked foolish. I hated them.

On the evening of the Fourth, if we leaned far enough to the extreme left corner of our living room couch, we could see at least part of a fireworks show going on at a nearby park. Although Gorgeous could have easily watched all of it by simply stepping out on the front porch, she instead chose to make it a romantic snuggle for the three of us: her, me, and my box of Puff’s Plus.

Good God, but there is absolutely nothing warm and sentimental about being sick with a cold. I just fail to see anything cozy about it.

Yet, every now and again I will read posts from bloggers who offer an affectionate recalling of the times that they stayed home sick from school and were coddled by a loving parent. They write of being plied with chicken soup and having a cornucopia of comfort snacks at their disposal. They also wax nostalgic of Gilligan’s Island reruns, siblings who played board games with them, and the pleasures of comic books instead of geography homework.

Fair enough. That Alice Nelson obviously made quite an impact on my g-g-generation.

Source: CNN
Source: CNN

Okay, fine. Those are your memories and who am I to rain on such happy thoughts? I’ve just got to break it to you for your own sake, though, that the extra dose of NyQuil you were given back then? It was more for Mommy’s sake than yours.

My own recollections of childhood sniffles are slightly less mawkish. My parents, unlicensed experts in preventive medicine, always made it crystal clear that coming down with a cold was a result of something your humble blogger had done wrong: I went outside without a hat, I walked around the house in bare feet, I visited a home where someone was sick, etc.

A boy who was more self-aware of his surroundings surely could have fended off the sickness from which he would later suffer.

My dad in particular, never wanted to see any of his children wearing their pajamas all day while they were sick. In later years, friends and compatriots of mine would enjoy the retelling of how Dad offered his own unique take on how to encourage his son back to health:

You should put on some regular clothes, Martin. You’ll feel better when you do.”

The usage of the conjunction “when” was a clever device, combining empathy along with an edict. Gorgeous now regularly delights in serenading me with this same admonition when I deign to lounge around in my skivvies beyond the 10:00am witching hour. Somehow I know he would approve.

I am currently passing through the very last stages of this summer cold. The sore throat and coughing have thankfully given way to the remnants of an airy, light buzz that in another era of my life would have inspired me to put on the vinyl version of Little Feat with Lowell George singing “Willin’.” These days, however, I’ll settle for a Sudafed, a hot cup of green tea, and Dr. Lonnie Smith on the organ. .

So beware of a summer virus going around. Wash your hands at every opportunity and do be watchful of others sneezing and coughing around you. Just remember, though, it’s your own fault if you end up sick.

Until next time…




20 thoughts on “What Doesn’t Kill You

      1. I’m not sure if that’s what it is. Maybe it is refusing to totally succumb to it. Or maybe it is mind over matter when you look good you feel good.

        A boss of mine 30 years ago told me I write better in a skirt. That is not exactly applicable to this story of yours, but I never do get the opportunity to tell people this. It still cracks me up. She was (and still is, actually) a woman! Can you imagine someone saying that today?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “Bitter! Table for one! Bitter?”

    I think that you should have switched from the Sudafed to the Sapphire. Everyone knows that a good martini goes further than a dose of cough syrup. Sure, you’re still coughing, but now it’s because of gin!

    Seriously, I hope you are feeling better soon.

    As a single gay man, I have to admit I much prefer to be sick alone. I need no one to see me bleary eyed and red nosed and unwashed for 2 – 3 days. The cats are enough and even they decide they have had more of me than they care for after a while.

    Also, anyone knows that “Green Acres” is THE show to watch when you are under the weather. Lisa Douglas makes everything better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And don’t forget the running to the bathroom every ten minutes ridding whatever it is that you just coughed up — a sure reason to always be alone no matter what your sexual orientation!

      A few times I did contemplate the merits of a Sapphire. Alas suffice to say my stomach and brain made a pact to reject it. I did finally enjoy my first martini in a week this evening.

      We didn’t get to see Green Acres (which I agree is indeed THE show to watch while sick). I could have used a few shots of whatever gen-u-ying syrup Mr. Haney was selling.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry about your summer cold – I’m not sure they are any different from winter colds, but somehow they feel different… probably because everyone else is out there having fun. I do often feel better after getting myself up and taking a shower… but I also like moping about and being babied by my husband. Feel better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right — a cold is a cold no matter the time of season. I am still not over this bugger and finally threw in the towel today and went to an urgent care place. Meds to the rescue!


  3. Ah, the tribulations of a Florida (or Georgia summer). You are more than comfortable in the cooled apartment. What did we all do before air conditioning? I should know as the ancestral home lacked AC. But then you go out.

    Around these parts – Live in a beautiful new apartment complex. It is so new that I have no shade trees at all, so my car sits under the hot sun for most of the day. The car is so hot, that when entering the car – you know it will take a few moments for the AC to kick in.

    At the supermarket parking lot – it is bad enough if it is just hot – but if it is humid as well – then my eye glasses fog up.

    The Publix has terrific a/c, then it’s back out to the car, and back home.

    I think the high temps plus the coming and going, in and out of air conditioning, is how we get sick.

    Hope you are feeling better as it is4 days after you posted.

    Remember the old saying: With medication a cold last two weeks. Without medication it lasts 14 days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I’ll have to remember that saying; somehow I’ve never heard it.

      Yeah, the running in/out of stores, the car, etc. It all means your body temperature is having games played on it. I for one think the gym is a primary reason for my cold, but I’m a terrible forensic scientist.

      I went to urgent care today and got meds. Hopefully that will get me on the road to recovery finally.


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