Happy New Year! I am officially starting my new year today since up until now, I was in bed on my last breath, the priest came to read my last rites. Okay, I am being dramatic, but it was a bitch! This “super” cold/flu is so refined that one of it’s super powers is globe trotting reaching it’s slimy little tentacles from Bakersfield to Hong Kong!
Every year my mom comes to our house to spend Christmas and new years with us. We have a fabulous time, shopping, wining and dining, visiting friends, taking an occasional road trip to Santa Barbara or San Diego. Not this year. She arrived Christmas eve. I noticed that she was coughing. A lot. My mother who never coughs, even after smoking a pack of ciggies. I immediately freak out thinking it is cancer. My heart racing, my mind swirling.
“I don’t know what this is,” she says.
“Its called a cough mom,” I reply.
By Christmas night she was shaking with chills, her cough escalated to the point that I thought her lungs might just end up on my newly polished laminated floors. She crawled into our sofa bed in the living room and didn’t emerge until it as time for her to go back to Seattle ten days later.
My poor hubby succumbed to the super bug and was soon hacking up God knows what into a box of Kleenex and popping antibiotics so that he can sing every night at the piano bar.
“How am I going to pull through on New Years Eve? This is bullshit!”
“I don’t know honey, oh my God, what a disaster. Mom says she doesn’t think that she will be well enough to come with us to New Years. Good thing that I am so healthy. My immune system must be iron clad with all of my juicing and vitamins I take!”
I shouldn’t have spoken so soon. Cough cough, sniffle sniffle… arrggh.. it got me!
I suffered through five days of the nasty bug, plying myself with green juices, ginger and garlic. (No vampires dared to approach our household.) I felt well enough to ring in the new year at Wolfgang’s with Adolfo and our friends. I installed mom in our bed in front of the big screen TV with a glass of vino. I gave her a fifteen minute lesson on how to use the remote, with a practice session and everything, so that she could watch a movie. I dressed up in my sexiest, little black dress with the lace in the back, sparkly earrings and glitter in my eyelashes. 2013 here I come!
“Okay, mom, here is the phone, my and Adolfo’s cell numbers, and our address in case you need to call 911 and tell them where to pick you up.”
La dee da da da.. here I go… I hope the champagne is chilled…
I was the first to arrive of my friends, so I took a seat at the bar.. it was bitter cold outside and every time the front door opened, (about every two minutes) I got a nice blast of cold air on my back.
Adolfo charges up to the bar, “Marlita, you are going to get sick! Cover yourself. Are you crazy sitting there in front of the door with no jacket?”
“I’ll be fine,” I said, defiant and confident in the power of garlic.
Our friend Marvin arrived, we had a drink standing at the piano enjoying Adolfo’s magic on the ivories. My girlfriends Maud and Jett arrived and a few others. We took a table in the corner and had dinner and champagne. At 11 pm, we hit the dance floor and didn’t stop until 2013.
Adolfo and I staggered through the door at 1:30. Mom was asleep under the covers on the sofa bed. My cough was back and my throat was scratchy.
Cut to 10:00 a.m. January 1st.
“Aarrgghh… I want to die.. cough cough, sniffle sniffle, moan moan… do you have any more of those antibiotics?”
“Aye, Marlita! I told you to stay home with mom. You just had to go out.. and in that skimpy dress, letting the cold air hit you. But you think you are invincible,” gloated Adolfo.
We emerge from the bedroom to see my mom lying on the sofa bed holding a cloth over her eyes.
“Don’t get upset!” she warns us.
“Don’t get upset? WHY? What happened?” I screech.
She removes the cloth to expose two black eyes and a scraped up face.
“Oh my God! What in the hell happened to you?” Adolfo and I say in unison.
“Well, Macie started barking in the backyard. I didn’t want her to wake up the whole neighborhood, so I went out there to try to get her to come back in the house. The porch light wasn’t working, so it was pitch black out there and I fell over by the swimming pool on the rocks.”
“What in the heck were you doing going out in the dark? Didn’t you think of standing in the door way yelling Macie, here girl… Macie.. come on girl?”
“I didn’t know if she would come for me.”
“You could have broken a hip! You could have fell in the pool!”
“I know, and I would have drowned since I can’t swim.”
So.. officially the holiday from hell, but at least the world didn’t end so there is always next year.