It’s My Cold and I’ll Cry if I Want to.

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There comes a time, in most people’s lives, when the wheat must be separated from chaff. It is a time that tries men’s souls, and women’s patience. That’s right, I am talking about that cursed time when people catch a cold.

Of course we all suffer differently. Some, like my husband, do so silently. He shuts inward, becoming quiet, drinking tea, water and soup, his misery bore only with a rare heavy sigh. He fights it, at first, with all his might, taking vitamins and zinc, refusing to give in to the inevitable as long as he can. When it’s no longer possible to deny the obvious, he bundles himself, rests and medicates.

I, on the other hand, do not roll that way. I believe firmly and unshakably, that misery loves company, so as soon as first symptoms appear, I surrender. I become convinced that I am at the death’s door, and every sniffle, sneeze and cough gets me that much closer to the grave. The grim reaper reaches his cold fingers towards me, I can see the end, I see the white light and …. I’m called a drama queen by my laughing daughter, my son pats my head in a condescending way, my husband prepares me tea while wisely ignoring my moaning, and nobody, but nobody understands my suffering and how great it is.

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When it comes to colds, I give women everywhere a sullied reputation. I become a whining, insufferable limp noodle. I even get on my own last nerves. Yet how can anyone empathize or sympathize if they don’t know that agonies I am going through? Sure, I am playing the victim, but only because the perpetrator is impossible to punish. There is no one to blame (unless someone in the family gave me the cold, then there is definitely someone to blame!) and nothing to do except drown in all sorts of liquids and take stupid medications that sort of mask symptoms, but do absolutely jack shit to cure the cold.

There is a Russian saying: A treated cold lasts seven days. An untreated one lasts a week. We don’t have a cure for the common cold because it is a complex, evolving illness that also takes individual paths in individuals. So yeah, it is actually easier to put an astronaut on the moon then to cure a cold. But it all comes down to how, once a person catches a cold, handles it. And I refuse to be gracious in my wretched misery. Let better and bigger people fight it with dignity. I will surrender my dignity for a soft blanket, much medication, my mom’s chicken soup, sweet hot tea and whatever sympathy and pity I can garner.

Written by

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.

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