In Which I Become Part of the Problem
I’m no Howard Hughes, but I have a germophobic streak that makes me rant about people who go to church sick, go to the gym with the flu, or especially who go onto a packed airplane while they are coughing and sneezing.
Cut to me last Tuesday morning, with a suspiciously sore throat and non-refundable tickets on Delta to the most important business meeting of the year. I tried to dismiss the sore throat. With my allergies, I often feel like I am coming down with a cold for weeks at a time – sore throat, headachy, runny eyes.
“I’m not getting sick, I’m not getting sick, I’m not getting sick” I chanted as I sat in the 10 mph traffic on my way to the airport, between panic attacks at missing my flight. Still, I stopped and stocked up on Hall’s Mentho-Lyptus drops, generic cough syrup and purse-sized tissues just in case.
I made the flight (“Cutting it pretty close,” commented the helpful skycap) even though I had to valet park my car, an action that I am sure will cause me endless grief when I submit my expenses for this trip. By somewhere over Texas, I was certain that my throat wasn’t just allergies. I was officially someone I had spent much time railing against, and there was nothing I could do about it. That’s ironic, isn’t is, Miss Germaphobe?
The one day I get sick is also the one day I have to fly across the country. THE GODS ARE MESSING WITH ME, AREN’T THEY? You can tell me.
To my fellow travelers who ended up with my cold: mea culpa. My deepest apologies. I hate myself a little, if that helps.
Life seems to be deeply invested in humbling me and teaching me compassion. Maybe that’s the meaning of this all. I don’t know. All I can say is: thank God for those mentho-lyptus. Those things are like magic.