Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sore Throats and Phlegm. (With that for a Title, You’re Anxious to Read More, Aren’t Ya?!)

So my intention was to write about our wonderful few days away, but I’m back at work already and dealing with a sore throat and phlegm. Lots of phlegm. Sorry to be gross, but I feel like crap, so I thought I’d spread the wealth. Not literally, of course, as I politely cover my mouth whenever I start hacking up a lung. After all, Mom did teach me a manner or two. But if I’m miserable, it seems only fair to make others miserable as well.

What’s that? It doesn’t? Shocking. And all along I thought it was in the Constitution or something: “If Jane is miserable, then everybody’s miserable.” Hmm…now that I think about it, perhaps it’s an Amendment since technically I wasn’t born when our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution and they couldn’t possibly have anticipated the world revolving around me. They should have, of course, but I won’t quibble. Everyone makes mistakes.

I’m joking, of course. The world doesn’t really revolve around me (except perhaps in my own mind).

But my big question for today is: why is it that whenever I board a plane to go anywhere – whether it’s for a couple days or a couple weeks – I come back with a sore throat and/or the cold from hell??

A few years ago the airplane-and-subsequent-cold connection occurred to me, so I started taking Airborne® before, during and after the flight. I figure if a second grade school teacher developed it and it has “17 vitamins and nutrients!” then surely it should obliterate any nasty cold germs trying to settle into my sinuses and chest cavity. Besides, there are several exclamation points on the packaging and if they feel strongly enough about their product to include exclamation points, then who am I to argue?

Sadly, those 17 vitamins and nutrients weren’t enough to combat whatever germs I’m dealing with now. Maybe they missed something important, which would’ve handled the problem altogether and I would be phlegm-free as I write. Probably they should work on their formulation a little more and come up with an 18th ingredient.

Vince’s uncle suggested I try an old family cure of gargling and then drinking some apple cider vinegar. I looked at him in absolute horror. I mean, the closest I come to ingesting apple cider vinegar is when it’s mixed with oil and tossed in a nice Asian coleslaw with plenty of crunchy sautéed slivered almonds. I’m about as likely to drink it straight from the bottle as I would be to do a shot of tequila. And, believe me, my tequila shooter days are long over.

Now, however, I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have given it a try. It couldn’t be much worse than how I’m feeling right now, could it? On the other hand, projectile vomiting all over someone’s expensive marble floor and granite countertops could have been a wee bit embarrassing. Not to mention that projectile vomiting anywhere in your host’s home will result in an immediate withdrawal of any future invitations.

So now I’m back at work. And, unfortunately, I couldn’t call in sick as I’m extremely valuable to my employer and there were many, many tasks that could not be delayed a second longer and could only be handled by someone as highly skilled as I am. This is basically code for “We didn’t want to do any of your work, so we left it all for you.” Nice, huh?

I just have to keep repeating to myself, “Job security…job security…job security…” And, no, clearly I do not work for the government. If I did, calling off sick the first day back after vacation wouldn’t have been a problem. Or at least it hasn’t been a problem in the past whenever one of my government-employed friends has called off sick following some fabulous vacation.

I used to marvel when someone I knew had surgery to repair an ingrown toenail or something and would be off work no less than 3 months and, before returning from their sick leave, would also take their originally scheduled annual 2 week vacation.

How do I get a job like that?!

The answer is I don’t. Those kinds of jobs have always eluded me, probably because I grew up back in the day when we had to be “responsible.” We weren’t allowed to take a sick day for a mere sniffle. Pretty much the only acceptable excuses for getting out of school when I was a kid were extreme swelling of limbs that required a visit to the ER or fevers in the triple digits. And, believe me, I couldn’t get away with faking any symptoms with an RN for a mother.

Oh well. There was one consolation to working today. If I’d taken the day off, I’d have been forced to look at the dust bunnies that accumulated during our absence and the loads of laundry that need to be done and the toilets that need to be scrubbed. Oh, I would’ve ignored them all, of course, but I would’ve been forced to look at them just the same.

Maybe on the way home I should swing by the grocery store and pick up a bottle of apple cider vinegar. Or...maybe I’ll just stop at a bar somewhere for a tequila shooter. It is, after all, Cinco de Mayo and it may be the perfect day to test the tequila shooter waters again.

Yeah, and with those as my options, I’ll do my best to refrain from reporting what happens after ingestion.

Excuse me. I believe it’s time to hack up my other lung now…

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