Stupid and Contagious

Is it a bad sign when you can’t read the answer on your Magic 8 Ball?  Seriously.  I don’t know if they’re using a darker, denser liquid in these things or what, but I can never get a clear answer…

I did get a nice fortune in my fortune cookie the other night, though.  Well, nice, if not grammatically correct:  “Happiness always accompanies with you.”

See?  Nice.

I keep all my fortunes. I stick them to my refrigerator with a magnet.

“A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance.”  Sweet.

“Every man is a volume if you know how to read him.”  Clearly.

“Good things are being said about you.”  In bed. Tee hee.

“Nature, time, and patience are the three great physicians.”  Okay, that one isn’t particularly good, but it’s a nice segue. Read on…


I guess I’m still getting over that cold I had last week because I fell asleep on the couch at seven o’clock Friday night and slept through phone calls from the friends I was supposed to go out with that night.  That’s okay, though.  No way I could have navigated three-inch heels after the squats I did on Thursday and riding that afternoon.

So, I wake up Saturday with my eye swollen shut.  Hmm. That can’t be good. 

I wash my face and go about my business.

My first birthday email hit my inbox at one-thirty in the morning.  It’s from the ex-boyfriend who was just here for a visit.  The next one is from the ex-boyfriend from thirteen years ago.  On my other email account, Eric shoots me an email at six in the morning.

My father sent me a very sweet email.  He lives and works in South America nine months out of the year, and my mom usually handles the b-day stuff, signing his name to cards, presents, et cetera, so this was a nice surprise.  My youngest sister sent me an e-card.

Then, my mom calls, sick with the flu.  She actually forgets to wish me a “Happy Birthday” during the phone call, but I think it was implied…

Karli calls.  Carrie calls.  When I tell them about my eye, they become instant Mother Doctors. “Oooh, sounds like pink-eye.”

“But I wash my hands. And I’m not eight.”

I blame the couch.

“You’d better go see someone,” they both tell me.

On my way to the walk-in clinic, Josh sends me a text:

“Good morning, Beautiful! Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Birthday.  Sending you a virtual hug and kiss.”

Isn’t he nice?


I get to the clinic.

The woman behind the desk takes my information.

“Your insurance should cover this.  Let me check,” she does some stuff with the computer.” It does.  Oh, and Happy Birthday.”


I sit and read for a couple of minutes before another woman comes to call me back.

“Come on, Birthday Girl.”

“Thank you.”

I weigh in.  I’ve gained three pounds.  Stupid scale.  She takes my vitals.

“I think I have pink eye.”

“Well, we still have to do all this.”

“Oh, of course,” I say.

The doctor comes in a few minutes later.  A slim, fifty-ish Pakistani man.

He smiles at me and starts to tell me a joke.  I can’t understand anything he’s saying, but I laugh anyway.  He keeps smiling.  I smile back. Then it dawns on me that he’s trying to flirt with me.  Are you kidding me?

He gets to work.  He’s checking my lungs.

“Um,.  I think I have pink eye.”

“Just take some deep breaths.”

I comply.

He moves from the back to the front.  Hey! Watch that stethoscope, Buddy.

“Are you congested?”

“Um,.. Well, a little. I had a cold last week, and I still have a bit of a cough.  Really, though, it’s my eye that’s bothering me.”


He moves to my eye.  I look at his chin.  I look at his forehead.  I look left and right.

“You have severe bronchitis,” he tells me as he’s writing in my file, “and pink eye.”


“You’ll be contagious for three days.  And I’m prescribing you an inhaler, antibiotics, and steroids.”

“Do I really need the steroids?”  Three pounds!

“Okay, no steroids,” he agrees, “But come back if you’re not feeling better.  Oh, and Happy Birthday.”

BTW.  Does anyone know how long it takes for the residual smell of an entire can of Lysol to fade from goose-down cushions? Asking for a friend.

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