Nothing tests the bonds of matrimonial bliss quite like a spouse’s illness. And I don’t mean something serious like The Cancer.
I can, and have, overlooked raised toilet seats, toilet paper rolls placed incorrectly (yes, it’s a thing) on the spindle (over the top, damn it, over the TOP!), empty toilet paper rolls with nary a replacement roll in sight (although this typically falls under the purview of The Hell Spawn, but they are HIS CHILDREN, after all), various bodily expulsion noises, gnarly underpants tossed blithely on the floor and left to molder, and one rather questionable canine adoption.
But nothing, NUH–thing, trumps them all like a bona-fide Man Ailment. Ladies, can I get a “hallelujah”, please?
Our household is in the cold, merciless death grip of the dreaded, someone please hold my hand, dun-dun-DUN!, Man Cold. Cue the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
What began Friday evening as a little tickle-type cough has morphed into the medical establishment’s porno equivalent of Typhoid Mary Does Suburbia. Everything about The Man Cold is overblown (pardon the pun) and over-the-top. The gag-inducing, near retching of the cough, the theatrical gasping for air, the moaning worthy of any XXX-rated porn queen…is it pain, pleasure, Memorex? Where is Ron Jeremy when I need him?
Y’all, I’m hanging on by a thread here, contemplating if doing a smidgen of hard time in a neon orange leisure suit is worth finding the perfect spot to hide a body. Then again, there’s that whole jailhouse girlfriend thing and body cavity searches to contend with. Decisions, decisions.
Himself’s answer to my own occasional foray into post-nasal drip and annoying cough is to suggest that I take to my bed and sleep it off. The reality of his own rhinovirus romp is to make camp in The Royal Recliner in one of two modes of attire: sans shirt a la Redneckian with his pelt of chest hair molting onto every surface imaginable or the always fetching combo of bathrobe/socks/house slippers a la Ye Olde Geezer. Readers perched precariously on the tip of his drippy beak, TV remote in hand, he settles in to channel surf, sniff lugubriously and moan like a D-list starlet…or Sharon Stone.
Yesterday afternoon’s exchange went a little something like this…
Have you taken anything for it? Yes, Tylenol. And how’s that workin’ for the cough? Not well. Noooo, reaaalllly? Who would’ve thunk it? Take some Dayquil. It’ll make me tired. No, it won’t; it’s called DAY QUIL for a reason. But, they’re horse pills! Take ’em with enough water and they’ll flow down your gullet, easy peasy. No. Fine, then take the damn Nyquil. It tastes nasty. How about a nice fluffy pillow. Over your face. Until you stop coughing. And breathing. How’s that sound? Fine, I’ll take the Nyquil.
I handed him the bottle, but being that I’d tried to amputate a finger earlier in the week, was having difficulty removing the cap. Handing it off to him, I expected he’d do as a mother would and open it up, pour it up, and swallow it down. But, no. He tried to hand the germ-ridden bottle back to me! Hell to the no! I don’t want those cooties. I have a quilt retreat coming up and have I mentioned that if I get sick I’m going to kill you? Looking miserable, he quaffed the nasty concoction, toddled off to bed and I left the house. Upon returning, I found him once again in all his recumbent splendor, sounding like Darth Vader’s long lost brother, Darth Snotticus. Come sit with me and hold my hand. Negative, Ghost Rider. I thought you were laying down. I can’t get comfortable. I just know my ribs are going to hurt so bad tomorrow. I smile, trying to conjure that golden crown my mother assures me will be mine once I get to Heaven (assuming I don’t lose it and go Full Metal Jacket) and failing miserably.
It’s then that it dawns on me: I can hear running water which can only mean one thing. His Awesomeness is bathing and my chances of having my own hot bath are slim to none and Slim just left town. I hightail it to the master bath, flinging off clothes as I go, ramp up the hot water to “poach” and dive in. I manage to rinse the suds from my hair as the hot water peters out. I cannot type the words I uttered. I can, but I’m all about sparing my mother having to make that phone call and use both my first and middle names.
I stand in my towel, dripping water into the ugly hunter green carpet the previous home owner just thought was swell, and yell through the front bathroom door to my eldest child on the other side while he luxuriated in his own piping hot bath water. And by that I mean I opened my mouth and my mother came out. I hope you have kids just like you! I hope they use all your hot water and you’ll know what it means to sacrifice for your babies by bathing in cold mountain spring water while your most treasured bodily bits shrink to the size of raisins! Or something to that effect.
After toweling off and slithering into comfy pjs, I flopped indignantly into my recliner figuring, what the hell, if I’m going to get sick, it’s already been incubating for days. After several tense minutes, His Awesomeness exited the bathroom and declared I think I’m getting what Dad has.
Cue the liquor.