When the blazing heat of summer fades to the coolness of fall, and again when the freezing winter temperatures warm to the sunny sixties of spring, I can count on getting a head cold.
What others tout as the best weeks of the year, I consistently dread as two of the bitterest weeks in the world of weather, mostly because they are two of the bitterest weeks in the world of Aurora’s immune system.
Sure enough, we had a shockingly beautiful weekend here where I live – sunny and sixty-five with a light breeze. So, naturally, I woke up on Sunday morning with a sore throat and a headache. I can just feel the head cold coming on, despite the gallons of water and green tea I’ve drunk all day, the 800 mg of vitamin C I’ve pushed and the steroid nasal spray I’ve snorted.
I’ve become an all-out druggie in the hopes of kicking this virus before it takes hold, but today at the office, I discovered that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to stay sick for a few days after all.
I get rebuked all the time for not spending more time at the water cooler socializing with my coworkers. In my end-of-year reviews, I am always told that I need to actually care what Sharon planted in her garden this weekend or how Donald’s football team did in their playoff game.
Even if listening to Gertrude’s twenty-minute dissertation on quilting techniques makes me want to claw my eyes out, I have been coached to at least pretend to take interest in my colleagues’ lives outside of work. Apparently productivity and efficiency mean nothing in the face of warm fuzzies and verbal petting.
Anyway, today when good ol’ Hank asked me about my weekend and I mentioned off hand that I spent all day Sunday feeling like I was coming down with a cold, he suddenly had to run off to a meeting. Surprised, I shrugged to myself, only to find (groan!) the ever-chatty Kathleen walking into the coffee area. She went on and on about her daughter’s work in Japan until I coughed and then suddenly *poof!* she was gone, too.
So I have discovered the silver lining to my seasonal sickness: I can play nicely with the other children, listening attentively to all of their adventurous tales of mediocrity for a full five seconds before coughing abruptly and watching them scurry away from me, fearful for their lives (or perhaps just their health).
It’s a win-win situation: They stay healthy, and I get to wander the hallways of the office in peace. Victory is mine.