observations from sick bay

As if the previous week wasn’t crazy enough at work, I was (not so) lucky to jump start this week with a case of the stomach flu. First of all, this made me realize that it’s been a really long time since I’ve had the stomach flu. As in, so long that I can’t remember.

So really, there are very few occasions – if ever in recent times – where a sick day means I’m totally out of commission. Mostly it’s for the worst part of a bad cold where you find yourself on your laptop all day thinking, “I stayed at home….why?” But Tuesday, I was indeed pretty much out of commission. I spent the rest of the day (and night) mostly horizontal. Less chance of feeling light-headed and nauseous that way.

All my time resting on Monday and still home on Tuesday (half work/half rest) got me pondering some deep thoughts – or observations, as the case may be – that seem worth sharing. So here they are, in no particular order:

Observation #1: Grandmas are the best!

Maybe I haven’t actually had the stomach flu since I was little because somehow laying in bed on Tuesday and Wednesday immediately transported me back in time to days when I was too sick for school and my Mom would drop me off at my Grandma’s house. There I was with my Dorothy Hamill haircut in my polyester nightgown and my knee-high socks laying on her flowered sofa (you know, the kind that would sell like hotcakes now in a vintage store on Hawthorne), snug in a blanket. No clocks needed; the day was gauged by the television. Game shows in the morning, maybe an episode of the Love Boat. Early to mid-afternoon was all about the soap operas. Late afternoon, well, Three’s Company comes to mind. In-between, naps were plentiful as was generally being waited on as needed. Yep, sick days at Grandma’s house weren’t so bad.

Observation #2 (speaking of soap operas…): Victor Kiriakas has discovered the secret to…forgot aging gracefully…never aging at all!

Seriously, do these soap opera people take some sort of magic potion that keeps them from ever aging? I mean, how is it that Bo and Hope look exactly the same age as when they got married 50 years ago?? Is this not scientifically impossible? I believe it is, except in soap operas. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the storyline never progresses enough through time for them to have the chance to age. Like, I think Marlena’s fighting the Devil…wait…wasn’t she doing that when I was in high school??

Observation #3: Despite my initial judgements based on the TV ads, I think that Katie Couric’s new talk show is not bad.

In fact, I think it has potential to be a survivor, if you will. This really should not be a surprise – it is the type of format she’s best at, right? After all, I still think the producers at the Today show are kicking themselves for letting her leave Matt, but perhaps not as hard as she’s kicked herself. Let’s face it – they all let a good thing go there that they’ve been struggling to regain since. At any rate, she does seem kind of back in her element with this talk show and it reminded me of why I’m kind of a fan.

Observation #4: Jane Fonda, at 70-something, is gorgeous. And classy.

It so happens that Jane was Katie’s guest on Tuesday afternoon. I felt the same way I did about her when I saw her on Oprah a few years ago: she’s one of the most classy, put-together women I’ve ever seen at her age. Yes, she’s had surgery – which she admits – but she also points out that her focus was on keeping it as minimal as possible and interestingly enough, she told the doctors that she did not want to get rid of all her wrinkles. She wanted improvements, but wanted it to look real. Mission accomplished, as far as I’m concerned. And her wardrobe is impeccable. The part I tuned into also had her talking about her relationship with her dad and showed a clip from On Golden Pond. Such a great film. Mental note to add it to the Netflix list for re-viewing.

Observation #5: Ellen is a sell-out.

And I don’t mean audience seats. Ellen DeGeneres is so talented, I don’t understand at what point she felt compelled to make her talk show one huge product pitch. Correction: several huge product pitches. Don’t get me wrong – there still seem to be plenty of laughable moments, but when I see people who don’t seem to need all that embrace it (Oprah did it as well, right?), it makes me think maybe I’m just too naive to the ways of the world. (PS – clearly I’m not in product PR.)

Observation #6: Three-year-old children and the stomach flu don’t mix.

I’m grateful to have a partner who was there to take on the extra load for me when I was unable to do my share. For nearly 48 hours, I was in bed or on the couch while he got two kids breakfast, fed them, bathed them, dressed them, read books and got them to and from their respective daytime locations. (Not that he doesn’t do more than his fair share of that anyway…) Unfortunately, what he couldn’t do was make our beloved toddler understand that when Mom’s body aches so much that she can’t stand up straight, it’s not cool to greet her by climbing on her while simultaneously whining that she has stolen your “soft blanket” and you want it back. Seriously, is it really a whole year away before this kid turns four? I may not make it.

Ian, on the other hand, made me this lovely card and helped me carry laundry up and down the stairs:


Guess who’s my favorite child? (Right now.)

By last evening I was feeling nearly back to normal, which basically means that I was ready to run a marathon. No training necessary. In absence of that opportunity, I settled for actually trying to do something productive for work, booking Ian’s birthday party and completing other holiday “to-dos.”

Today I was back at work, thank goodness. Let’s hope it’s several more years before I’m reporting on this again.


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