I woke up on Saturday with a pounding head, a stuffy noise and a sore throat.
I swear I hadn’t been drinking the night before!
I had just caught my kid’s cold. Lovely. I knew I was going to get sick when Tommy came home from school a few days ago with a runny nose. Then Natalie caught it. Naturally, I was the only one left.
I felt awful as I forced myself out of bed. I could hear Natalie calling for me from her bedroom.
“Mommy! I’m HUN-GEEEEE!”
I stood upright and my head throbbed. I had to squat down a few seconds because the room had started to spin.
I tried to stand up again and I nearly fell over. So I decided to crawl into Natalie’s room.
She found this amusing.
“Horsie!” she said and clambered onto my back.
She’s only about twenty pounds but if felt as though she were one hundred. I immediately sunk to the ground and Natalie slapped my head with her palm.
“Horsie!” she repeated, all insulted that I wasn’t moving. I was sort of splayed there in her room, surrounded by My Little Pony’s and her Little People sets. Her favorite stuffed toy Brobee stared at me from his spot in the corner.
“Mommy? Are you sick?” Tommy asked from the doorway. He was tossing me a bewildered look. I suppose it did look a little silly to see me with my limbs spread out as though I had been smashed and his sister on my back, angrily telling me to GO GO GO!
“I’m a little sick.” I struggled to get to my feet. Natalie slipped off onto the carpet and gave me an evil look before stalking off downstairs.
Well, excuse me!
I fixed the kids some cereal and sort of sat there at the table in a daze as they ate. I couldn’t even eat. When I’m not eating, you KNOW I’m sick because I love to eat. I put my head in my hands and tried to will the headache to go away.
When they were done eating I put on cartoons for them. This rarely happens downstairs—see, I can’t stand cartoons so I make the kids go upstairs if they want to watch it. So they were a little surprised.
“What’s this?” Tommy asked when Dora the Explorer filled the screen. I cannot stand Dora. I hate how she repeats the same thing over and over. At the end when she asks what your favorite part of the show is I like to say something snarky like, “When you shut up for two seconds…” Then when she’s all, “I liked that too!” I fall into a fit of giggles.
Hello. I’m Amber and I act like I’m five.
Anyhow, I told Tommy that he could watch cartoons because I needed to lie down.
Tommy still seemed at a loss.
“Cartoons? In the morning? Downstairs?” he said, wrinkling his nose as though he couldn’t grasp the concept.
“Yes,” I said, trying not to lose my cool.
Natalie was already attached to the show and was watching intently from the couch.
I turned and headed upstairs and fell into bed. My heart pounded angrily and I rubbed my temples. Then I closed my eyes and was about to drift off when I heard…
I love my balls! I love my balls! I love my balls, balls, balls, balls, balls!
Oh my God! In my foggy mind I started to panic that one of the kids had switched the channel onto some porn program. Not that we have porn channels but some of the shows that pop up on Showtime are a bit suggestive. And this one time when we got HBO for free for a few days there was a show about women who got off on horses. I was a little afraid yet I couldn’t stop watching.
I quickly pushed back my sheets and headed downstairs as fast as I could go. I expected to find a crazed man on the screen who was singing about loving his balls. I know some men do. Frankly I don’t know why. They’re awful things, really. They’re just sort of…THERE and…
Okay, I’m not getting into it.
Basically, what I was found on the screen was Boots the Monkey talking about loving his red BALL.
“What’s wrong, Mommy?” Tommy wondered as I stood there half asleep.
“I thought....I thought....nevermind,” I mumbled. I couldn’t really tell my seven-year-old that I thought some pervert was singing about his testicles.
I turned and headed back upstairs. I figured I ought to call Tom to let him know I was sick. Then he’d feel all sorry for me and hey, maybe he’d take me shopping when I go to see him graduate in a few weeks. He’d be all, “I know how hard it was to take care of the kids when you were sick. So I’m letting you buy whatever you want.”
I wouldn’t even know where to start. Books? Clothes? Gymboree? Probably Gymboree. I can’t stay away from that store.
I dialed his number and he picked up on the third ring.
“Hi,” he said.
“Hi,” I croaked out.
I expected him to go, “What’s wrong with your voice?” and then I’d be all, “Oh...well, I’m SICK!”
But he didn’t. He just stayed silent. I could hear the TV on in the background and figured he was watching it. He gets distracted really easily.
“So....” I continued. My voice was still raspy. “How are you?”
“I’m good,” Tom answered.
Hello? Did he not hear my voice? Did he not comprehend that I was SICK? Maybe he thinks I sound like that all the time. I mean, he IS a man. Men don’t always notice pesky details like voices.
I figured I’d just let him know because he obviously wasn’t going to mention it.
“I’m sickkkkk.” I sort of spread out the word sick to emphasize my point.
I expected him to instantly go, “Ohhh….poor Amber. Is there anything I can do to help? I’m definitely taking you shopping when you get here. Whatever you want!”
Instead he just went, “Mmmmmm,” in a noncommittal tone.
Excuse me? Mmmmmm? I tell him that I’m SICK and all he can muster is mmmmmmm? Isn’t he concerned for his children? For his WIFE?
I started to feel anger bubble in my chest.
Well, if that’s how it’s going to be, the next time he asks for sex I’m totally going mmmmmm in a noncommittal tone to see how HE likes being mmmmmed.
“I’m sick,” I tried again. “My head hearts, I can’t breathe properly and I didn’t even eat BREAKFAST!”
Surely this would alert him. He knows I love to eat. I practically do a happy dance when it’s lunchtime.
“I’m sorry. Did you take some Tylenol?” Tom said, still obviously distracted.
That’s it? THAT’S IT? Did I take some Tylenol? Where are my sympathies?
“I feel like I’m about to pass out! ” I said dramatically.
“Take some Tylenol,” is all Tom said.
That’s his answer to everything.
“Okay, well, I’m going to try and get some sleep,” I said, irritated.
I expected him to say something like, “No wait, I’m sorry! I hate that you’re sick. My heart aches to know that you are in pain!”
Instead he said, “Okay. Bye!”
I married an ass.
“Asshole!” I hissed into the phone.
I thought Tom had already hung up but he didn’t.
“Huh?” he went.
“Oh! Nothing. Have a great day!” I said lightly and then hung up.
Then I rolled over to get some sleep. But I couldn’t get the conversation out of my mind. Shame on Tom for not worrying about me! The mother of his children!
I sat up in bed and reached for the phone. He was not going to get away with this. I dialed the number angrily and when he picked up I burst in with,
“Don’t say a word! You hear me out. When your wife calls and says that she’s sick, you don’t just go mmmmmm. It’s rude and it makes it seem like you don’t care. I deserve better! I deserve to be asked if I’m okay! Do you understand?”
There was a silence.
It means Tom is thinking over his poor behavior.
But then I heard an unfamiliar deep voice go, “Um. Who IS this?”
I pulled the phone from my ear and looked at the display.
That’s when I realized that I had dialed the wrong number.
“I’m sorry. Wrong number,” I quickly muttered and then hung up.
I wonder what that poor guy was thinking. If he wasn’t married I can almost bet he’s never going to be after getting an earful like that. The poor guy is probably like, “Okay, if THAT’S what it’s like to be married then forget it!”
You know how you’re warned never to drunk dial?
That same rule applies when you’re sick.
Don’t sick dial, either.