Reasons that I think I am invincible, despite mounting evidence pointing to the contrary, or: When Nature Attacks.


In the last week, I have gotten:

1. The flu,

2. My very first seasonal allergy attack,

3. My period.

But I am not complaining.  No!  Not at ALL.

Historically you see, I have regarded each of these afflictions with the following mindset:

1. FLU: Calm assurance.  I never ever get the flu, and therefore, will never (ever) get the flu.  I am healthy with an immune system made of steel.  While other, weaker souls may succumb to that time of year collectively known as Cold and Flu Season, my clear nasal passages and unafflicted sinus cavities will shine like the Statue of Liberty.  A beacon of hope for downtrodden sneezers and snifflers everywhere, an object of public envy and also one of personal pride.

2. SEASONAL ALLERGIES:  Smugness.  Oh, I know what an allergy attack look like.  But not because it’s happening on my face.  Tut tut!  I’m the one who doesn’t get sick, remember?

I do live with a major allergy sufferer though, that being my husband, and simply shake my head with an exasperated sigh every time he blows up into a sneezing attack.  “Why is he sneezing so loudly!” I think.  “And with such frequency!”   If this is what mold/pollen/cedar does to people I want no part of it, thank you.  Fortunately for me, my body opted out of allergy season a long time ago.  Like the flu, I am also invincible to allergies.  So YAY ME.

3. MY PERIOD:  Superior acceptance.  My period I cannot avoid.  But just because it will definitely come every single month, that doesn’t mean I have to turn into a whiny bitch upon arrival!  Please.  I’m not like other women.  When period comes, I put my game face ON.  Periods are natural and beautiful and our sacred connection to both the moon and to each other, our strong, global sisterhood, and will you ever see me whining about cramps or headaches or just suddenly bursting into tears for no good reason?  No way!  As earlier stated, becoming a whiny bitch is a CHOICE and my choice is no.  I will be gentle and kind while on my period, rather like Disney’s Cinderella personified, full of grace and charm despite my sufferings.

… Well.  Let’s just say that the past five days have rather POKED HOLES in my theoretical attitudes towards ALL of the above.

Apparently, I am not invincible.

This is a startling discovery.

Realizing how facetious this statement may sound, I generally skip around life with a confident (naive?) attitude toward Nature, and the potential harm Nature could do to my body.   Not that I go looking for puddles of cholera to play in or anything.  I just behave as if I am special in this way.  I don’t get flu vaccines.  I don’t tote around hand sanitizer.  I kiss Ross when he gets sick (SUCKER!) because I know I won’t get it.

Which is why last Saturday was — in a word — shocking.

I got the flu!  What?  Me??   Fevers don’t happen to meeee!

But despite the fever, despite the sore throat, in the end I wrapped up the whole experience in a fairly positive and zen frame of mind.  I learned things during my fever and felt all the better for it.  So there, Nature.

And then … Tuesday.

Tuesday was the fateful day in which I discovered that I — allergy season non-sufferer — am in fact HIGHLY ALLERGIC TO CEDAR.

This is when my attitude toward Nature started to change.   Dramatically.

All day long on Tuesday, I felt feeble.  I felt weak.  (Note the lack of blog post on Tuesday.)  I Tweeted that I was curled in the fetal position, snotting and sneezing.  My whole body hurt, and I couldn’t complete a sentence without blowing my nose.  I sounded like a goose due to a new, unattractive, honking cough. 

When Ross, whose allergy season off-season is right now, walked in the front door, I immediately accosted him and said, “IS THIS WHAT ALLERGIES FEEL LIKE?  Is it??

He listened with quiet sympathy.

“Like your whole face is dissolving into a fiery, liquidy MESS?” I continued.   “Like your nose has suddenly turned against you?   Like your whole body aches, like you are utterly exhausted and like you just generally want to DIE??”

I demanded answers.  But rather than match my level of hysterics, Ross just responded serenely with a, “yes.  That is what allergies feel like.”

Well fuck you, allergies, I thought.   I don’t think you are zen-ly helpful at all.

That night, Tuesday night, I almost couldn’t fall asleep.  Because in addition to the flu and the cold, I was also suffering from a mysterious, nameless illness, only this one is not new — this one is quite common in the slim file that makes up Tolly’s Bodily Afflictions.  This one is called, the No Matter What I Do, I Cannot Get Warm illness.

Do any of you suffer from No Matter What I Do, I Cannot Get Warm?  It’s infuriating.  I take hot baths.  I get in the car, blast the heater and roast myself.  It is an inner, deeper cold that I can’t seem to shake, and it happened on Tuesday because that was the day Austin, Texas suddenly turned into Antarctica.  After an hour and a half of stomping around and whining on Tuesday night, Ross suggested I put on his enormous hoodie … on top of my existing two pants, undershirt, top shirt, and sweatshirt.

And to my chagrin, the hoodie did help, somewhat.

It was in this vulnerable and pissed-off state that I greeted MY PERIOD on Wednesday morning.

“Well great.  This is JUST GREAT.”  I thought.

Screw the Sisterhood.  This was not the time for periods.  This was not the time for whining, for crying, for turning into a bitch.

All of which I did yesterday.  Grandly.  I whined because I had to get up early and run errands, I cried once because the water wouldn’t heat up fast enough while washing my hands (?), I turned into a bitch inside of my head and dreamt last night that Ross going the wrong way on a one-way street and I had to kick him out of the car and show him how to drive properly (??). 

It’s funny because I’ve always assumed that men were far more childish than women when it came to illness.  But my experience is in fact proving otherwise.

Right now, I just want to scream and say, YOU WIN NATURE!  You win, asshole.  You win so hard, this is the way I feel about my germy, achy, emotional body right now:

This post was eventually supposed to turn into a review of Trace at the W Hotel … but I guess it’s a little too late now.   Oh well.

Please check back in when I have a more positive outlook on life.