I don’t remember much about my year in the Girl Scouts except it was mostly a failed experiment in cookie selling, group activities, and my one badge. Still, I’ve not forgotten the motto: Be Prepared.
This came in handy last week when I came down with my first bad cold of the season and had to stay home. You see, I’ve discovered over the years that folks really don’t like the sick, especially when the sick can pass on a virus during the end of semester rush. And if you’re single and don’t live in the same town as your family, then you don’t have anyone who is obligated by law or blood to take care of you.
And, to be honest, some of my friends are not the best nurses out there. One is known, after hearing symptoms, to tell of all the people with similar symptoms who died within two months. Another who took me for a medical test yelled at the nurse as I was being taken away, “And if you need to pull the plug, you have my permission!” And a third would involve me in a thirty-minute cell phone conversation about why the soup I’d asked for is not a good choice, has too much sodium, and she’s buying me broccoli instead.
So, for many reasons, I was prepared for illness. Runny nose? I had the ten boxes of tissues I’d bought at Costco earlier in the fall. Sore throat and aches? I had both the large-sized NyQuil and a giant box of popsicles to relieve the pain. Food? I’d bought five microwavable chicken noodle soups a few weeks before.
And let me apologize to the folks who offered to bring me stuff. I know you’re out there, and I appreciate you. But it wasn’t the flu. And I wasn’t bleeding (well, except for one night when my chapped lip split open). So I try not to overdo my neediness. Yeah, I felt bad, but I could have gotten myself out to Kroger to buy soup if I had to. But I didn’t have to.
Maybe, though, that’s the best of both worlds: Be prepared to take care of yourself, but be grateful for the offers of help.