Don’t Judge Me

I stayed home sick today.

I don’t do sick days.

Yesterday afternoon, my throat started to hurt. I’ve been trying to not get sick. Lots of people in the office have been sick. One guy coughed in a meeting and joked he has The Plague. Coworkers have been out sporadically. I’ve been taking Airborne and Flintstone’s vitamins. Yes, I prefer Flintstone’s. Who wants to swallow a big, old One-A-Day for Women when you can chomp on a sweet, candy cartoon character from your childhood?

Don’t judge me.

For dinner, I finished up the pizza and wine in my fridge. Pizza and wine are never things I think about eating when I’m sick, so I figured I should swallow them fast before my throat was too swollen to do so. I was secretly hoping the wine would kill whatever microscopic germy bugs are attacking me.

Don’t judge me.

Surprise! It didn’t work. This morning my throat was still sore, but I was going to work. I walked the dog and was exhausted by the time I got back home. I cancelled my meetings. I may not be coughing and sneezing, but my brain had not booted fully. Time for a restart. I got back into bed without taking out my contacts. I tried to sleep but couldn’t warm myself up enough to sleep for an hour. Finally drifted off and woke at 11 am.

I put on some clothes and was about to walk out the door—without showering—to run some errands, like getting pet prescriptions and food, and perhaps getting myself some cold medication. Then I could lay on the couch, wallowing in my misery—drifting off while watching soap operas as the tissue box falls softly to the floor. Then I saw the grey hair in the mirror. The grey that is so obvious to me. The grey that looks so distinguished on a guy, but is a death sentence to a single, almost-40-year-old woman. I’d called on Thursday for an appointment with Wilson for Saturday, but it was too late, he was booked. I said I’d be on a waiting list. Then friends asked if I wanted to go wine tasting, or more accurately, if I wanted to drive them for wine tasting. Having just been driven wine tasting the weekend before, I figured it was only fair to pass it on. So I said yes. Then on Friday, I got the call about a cancellation at Wilson’s, but I had to turn it down since I’d already agreed to driving.

So before walking out the door for my errands, I decided that I’d call Wilson’s to see if he had an opening today. He did! The receptionist asked if I could come right away. I said I needed to shower first.

Don’t judge me.

It was lunchtime in downtown Sunnyvale, so the parking lots were full. I parked at the far end of the Macy’s lot and walked down the sidewalk to the corner opposite of Goodwill. I was clean, but my hair was a mess—not dried or styled. As I waited for the light, an older, black gentleman asked me if I’m a natural redhead. I said no, only in my mind. He said I have the attitude of a redhead and that he liked my swagger as I walked. I said everyone needs a little attitude. He agreed and wished me a good day.

I told Wilson that I’m sick. I figure as long as I don’t cough or sneeze on anyone, then I can contain it. In the end, what is the difference between me watching soap operas from my couch or Sunnyvale diners out the window.

I took a before picture. I could really use more sleep.

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While we were waiting for the dye to set, Wilson made me some tea and brought me some Hall’s cough drops. How sweet!

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A little while later, it was done. Grey hair gone. Sore throat still there.

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I hadn’t had lunch, so I walked across the street to Lilly Macs for a grilled cheese, tomato bisque and a hot toddy. A couple of my favorite people were there and working. They immediately took care of me. It was like being home. Actually better than being at my home since Perl and Pablo won’t help. They decided I needed chicken noodle soup instead of tomato bisque. I didn’t have the energy to argue. I know—I’m a vegetarian.

Don’t judge me.

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The hot toddy made me forget I was sick. As long as I was drinking it, I was just a girl, skipping work on a Tuesday afternoon with fantastic red hair and a cup full of attitude. As soon as I was out, I was caught slurping up the last drops through my straw. Just a little more to keep my throat from hurting. Please, just a little more?

Don’t judge me.

Instead, I left. I went across the street to Isabelle’s to see if I could find a party dress. She has some really cute stuff, but nothing that called out to me.

I headed towards my car, but was sucked into The Bean Scene by the temptation of a latte. My favorite barista smiled knowingly when he asked if I wanted anything else and I said no. My normal answer.

Don’t judge me.

I sat in the corner but then traded chairs with a guy who was going to be there much longer than me so that he could have his back to the wall. We talked. He’s an engineering grad student working on his resume. He loved the color of my hair and how it is shaded different from front to back. When my coffee was done, I excused myself as my throat started hurting and reality was setting back in. He was cute, but too young. Yes, I can flirt even when sick.

Don’t judge me.

Outside, it was starting to sprinkle. I looked up into the sky and smiled as I walked. Usually I hate the rain, but if I’m going to be sick, it might as well rain.

I went to the post office to pick up my mail. Some less-than-scrupulous person broke into and destroyed our mailboxes, so now I have to go to the post office to get my mail. That means I haven’t gotten my mail in almost a week because it is hard to get to the post office during business hours. The guy in front of me in line wasn’t really paying attention, so when he realized I was there and he hadn’t moved forward, he smiled. When it was my turn, a woman with her two teenage children walked in from the side and took my spot. The guy behind me pointed out it was my turn. I said loudly that they must be in a hurry for something important. He smiled at me.

I had a long conversation with the postal worker about our destroyed mailboxes. It is difficult for them to hold 50 homes of mail. It took until today before someone sorted all the units out. Before that, they were rifling though the bag looking for all the pieces. Glad I didn’t go until today.
As I left, the two guys from line held the doors for me. I thanked them and walked out into the drizzle. I looked up and smiled.

Don’t judge me.

I went to For Other Living Things to pick up dog food and kitty litter. I play a game with the staff there. It seems I have a doppelgänger, so every time I go, they have to guess whether I am me or her. He guessed correctly this time.

It was still misting out as we carried the bags to the car. I looked up and smiled.

I had one last stop at the vets for a prescription and then went home. Perl and I went for our walk. I made dinner. Pasta and veggies. I should have just ordered out, but I needed to get rid of the veggies and the best way is to eat them. So I cooked.

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Then I sat on the couch and watched tv for hours. Like a sick person is supposed to do. I suck at being sick. I’m bored already. My FitBit says I’ve walked less than three miles, so regardless of my escapades in the afternoon, I’ve been really lazy today. And now I’ll go to bed early.

Don’t judge me.

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