In Oct. 25 IssueRussell County NewsBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
"Here," I said, thrusting my forehead toward my wife, "does it feel like I have a fever?"
She rolled her eyes, laid the back of her hand across my foreheard, and sighed.
"No, honey, I don't think so," she said.
"But are you sure?" I pleaded.
She nodded, and I knew what was coming…
"Actually, I've had a sore throat," she said with a slight crackle in her voice.
"Oh, really?" I replied. "You haven't said anything about feeling bad."
"Well," she cooed, "I may be coming down with something."
Every fall, I get sick.
Not just "sorta" sick, I mean, head-pounding, eye-swelling, coughing, hacking, sneezing, and not-very-pleasing sick.
And I'll be darned if I'm going to let my wife steal my glory.
Because I was the one who was sick first.
I am the one who feels bad.
I am the one who is sicker than anyone in the history of the world ever has been.
If the Guinness people had a category for the "Sickest Person" (wait, that doesn't sound right), it would be me.
Now, I'm not one to constantly point out how bad I feel.
But surely it is noticeable to my family, friends, (Hmmm, do I have any friends?), and co-workers as I grunt and groan while attempting to sit in, or rise from a chair, as I obsessively dig through drawers or cabinets "looking for some good medicine," or as I occasionally mention how truly, unbelievably awful I feel.
When I am stricken by my annual illness, I skip shaving, take out my contacts (puffy eyes, you know), and am prone to wearing the same clothes during each day of my malady. (Which could explain that smell…)
I guess I'm hoping for that rare example of empathy when someone says, "Oh my, do you feel bad?"
And I will somehow manage to shakily rise to my feet, tell them through my strained voice that I am doing just fine, and manage a weak smile as I shuffle away.
Oh, but there she is…my wife…with her high-pitched, cartoonish sneezing, rough cough, pale skin (oh, that's normal), and sad, weary eyes.
It never fails that someone says, "Oh looks like you're both sick…but she's got it worse."
If I wasn't in such an anemic state my blood would surely boil.
Someone will usually say, "Yeah, you better take good care of her."
What about ME?
Does my slow and painful gait not illustrate my dire condition?
Can you not see steam rising from my head due to my ferocious fever?
Is my cough not similar to a beying bullfrog?
Somehow wifey is still "hot" even when she's got a "cold."
"I've been feeling bad for the last two days," she says.
"Oh yeah?" I say. "I have been feeling bad for the last THREE days."
"Whatever," she spits back. "I've had a sore throat, headache, and bad cough."
"OK, but I've had a sore throat, headache, bad cough AND an upset stomach," I confidently assert.
Each of my coughs is met by a louder cough of hers from across the room.
All of my sneezes are matched (and doubled) by hers.
If I use one tissue, she will use two-and leave them wadded up in plain sight for me to see.
When our "battle of the wits" reaches a fevered pitch (Oooooooh, nice pun!), one of us will challenge the other to "go to the doctor if you feel so #$%&*@' bad!"
Oh, but of course not.
We're not that sick.
The viral atmosphere (there I go again…) is interrupted by the sniffle and cough of one of our children
Suddenly, all our our attention, our thoughts, our prayers, are lavished on the croupy child.
"Mommy" and "Daddy" are miraculously cured.
Maybe we didn't feel that bad after all.