Recently, a local newspaper headline read, “Will H1N1 shots come in time?” The answer? “Not for this girl, they won’t.”
I have the flu. I don’t know if it’s swine flu. Which, of course, we’re not supposed to call “swine” anymore because it’s insensitive to farm animals ... or men who behave badly ... I can’t remember which. What I do know for sure is that when you have it you don’t really care what it’s called.
Traditional wisdom says there’s nothing I can do now except rest and “push liquids.” My friend Rob is a great believer in this. He takes a shot of whiskey at the first sign of a flu.
Also the second, third, fourth and fifth. Another friend, Laurie, says her family remedy of choice was rum laced with lemon and honey. Did it cure you? “Sure,” she said. “Or if it didn’t, you didn’t really care.”
Those who claim rest and liquids are all a sick person can do to feel better are missing one other important option. You can also whine, complain, and generally arrange to be waited on hand and foot. Being struck by flu is your excuse to become “Diva for a day.”
There is an art to effective demanding. You need to hit that fine line between what will get you a response of, “I’ll do that for you right away, my poor sick honey,” or “I’m leaving you here to die alone.”
I will illustrate:
Me: (making pathetic groaning noises as if every cell in my body is infested by some horrible disease. Which, as it happens, is the case.)
My partner, Liz: Can I get you anything?
Me: No, no. Just ... (faltering a little) ... remember me as I was.
Me: But maybe ... a little orange juice.
Liz: Juice. No problem.
Me: Fresh-squeezed is nice.
Liz: I’ll get oranges.
Me: In my favourite ... you know...
Liz: Xena, Warrior Princess glass. Got it.
Me: Served with warm homemade biscuits and that marmalade we saw in the gourmet shop in Tuscany.
Liz: You’re on your own, Sunshine.
Now many of you may be asking, “Does demanding attention really make you feel better?” The answer, of course, is, “Darn right it does.”
This flu will run its course soon. In the meantime, I’m going to have to be satisfied with that ol’ “rest and liquids” and, if I manage it, someone to fetch me my bunny slippers.