I think I'm blaming Jennifer for this.
Yeah, Jen. I mean you.
It's all your fault.
It would never have happened if you hadn't gone and brought it up.
This was going to be my Thanksgiving, too.
And there we were, at Applebee's, right after I had sampled Shannon's apple sangria stuff, you said it.
Need I mention who had sipped that sangria directly before me? Jennifer?
You said that it was a darn good thing we'd had some before Shannon, who has a lingering case of Mono, since she would have undoubtedly made me sick, since everything makes me sick. And then you joked that I may well have caught something from you, since you have a freakishly strong immune system.
Doctors have written journal articles on how samples of Jen's white blood cells, when left on metal or plastic or in one of those little glass test tube dealies, have eaten their way through like some kind of industrial acid, killing any biological matter they touch.
Okay, well, I made that up. But it seems like that, when I'm miserable with a fever and a healthy dose of antibiotics, and Jen has a little sniffle that goes away overnight. And we have the same illness.
Back to my story. What happened to me after sipping that drink, you ask, innocent readers who are not Jennifer?
Oh, nothing much. Except for my getting sick!
Yeah, Jen. Laura has a cold, a nasty, sore-throat inducing, stuffy-nose cold. I'm taking my asthma meds and cold meds and any minute now, will be so high that I will float away and get caught in the library's fancy dome.
And I blame you.
Okay, fine. I don't blame you. But the irony is not lost on me.
However, now you know that the weird symptoms you've been experiencing are an actual illness.
So, glad I could help.
This wouldn't be such a big deal for me, except that Thanksgiving is next week. And we all know what that means.
Since my childhood, when I carried my lunch to school in a Jasmine lunchbox from the Disney movie Aladdin, I have been sick for every Thanksgiving without fail.
One year, I started feeling sick in the car on the drive up to Gran's house. I kept telling Mom that there were sparkly lights. See, that's how high my fever was. But instead of checking, they kept driving, Dad yelling at me for being so testy with Paul and for complaining. When we got to Gran's, they sent me to bed. Then, the next morning, Mom woke us up with a knock on our doors, I got dressed in the clothes she told me to put on, and went downstairs.
Later, I became so cold, I could not get warm. But Mom had told me not to go upstairs because my grandparents wanted to see me and because she was making most of the dinner and needed my help, since I am the oldest and also a girl. So I sat on the couch, in between jobs, pulled a throw over my feet, and pretty much lost consciousness.
I remember my uncle, who is two hours late to everything without fail, meaning I'd slept for a while, discovering me all pale, since I was in the way. And he told my mom, "Hey, I think Laura might not be feeling too well."
This was bad.
Because Gran was on steroids, blood thinners, and just about every other Serious medication you could give a person. So her immune system? Nonexistent.
I was then quarantined. Cordoned off in my room with nothing to amuse me but 1. a Sailor Moon marathon or 2. a Love Boat marathon. I spent the rest of the day changing channels between the two, and I can tell you, plot wise, there really isn't that much of a difference between them.
Well, maybe a little. High fever, remember?
Finally, after dark had fallen over northern Indiana, Mom came up with some dinner for me. Turkey, stuffing, and some green bean casserole, which back then I did not eat. There were no mashed potatoes, no sweet potatoes, no gravy, and no black olives, because while I was lying in bed smelling all this fantastic food, my family was eating it all and leaving me nothing.
Since that miserable Thanksgiving, I have told myself each year that the following year will make up for things like not getting any food or having hallucinations. And every year, something different and bad has happened, like my being in a car accident and snapping my ribs like kindling.
And now, I have a week to get over something that usually takes me three weeks to beat: the common cold. If this doesn't go into a sinus infection and if it doesn't make asthma freakiness start and if I don't make the rest of my family sick so they can give it back to me right before the holiday, then maybe, just maybe, I can salvage this year.
But considering who's coming to dinner...that might be a wasted effort.
Is dinner out an option?