Friday, October 7, 2011

Tea Without Sympathy: The Single Guy's Complaint about the Common Cold

(Not Pictured: Anyone Else Who Cares)

Taking care of yourself when you are sick blows. Right now I have a bad sore throat and an up-and-down fever. Also my TV is broken. Could it get any worse? Yes. Of course it could. I count my many blessings daily. Need it get worse for me to complain about it? No.

It seems perfectly normal to want someone to be there to take care of you when you don't feel well. Is that so much to ask? Being single and living alone and being your own caregiver is not fun. You can't tuck yourself in. You can't go out and buy chicken soup and Tylenol and tissues while you're asleep in bed and then surprise yourself with the supplies when you wake up (believe me. I've tried. It's called dreaming.). You can't ask yourself if your head feels warm or if you'll please go out and buy another thermometer while sit slumped on the couch because you don't think the old one still works because it really feels like you have a fever and this stupid thing beeps that it's done at 96.2 and that just can't be right. None of that stuff feels right when you're alone!

Someone should be around to make a big deal out of the fact that you are kind of unwell. In the marriage vows when it says " in sickness and in health" most people tend to think of that as BIG sicknesses - like you pledge not to bail if your spouse gets cancer or suffers a debilitating injury or comes down with Alzheimer's (well, some people don't think that one counts.) But I think it also means that you pledge to be over-the-top in the sympathy and care giving department if your mate comes down with something not-so-major-but-still-uncomfortable during the annual cold and flu season.Year in, year out, that's when they count on you the most. And you shouldn't be all snippy about it.

Single loners like me don't have that. I've told several people today I'm not feeling well and their reactions have been non-plussed to sympathetic. (For the record, actors tend to have the strongest emotive responses because they are naturally dramatic and usually live without health insurance so the idea of sickness scares them more than most. Their "get well soon's" are very appreciated.) But are they running over here to take charge and tell me that if I take a shower maybe I'll feel a little better? No. And should they? No it's not their problem. It's my problem. I just wish it WAS someone else's problem. (Also, current FB comments to my status updates about not feeling well? Zero. 625 "friends," indeed!)

That's why I think there should be some kind of care service for those people who are sorta just not feeling well and don't have anybody around to complain to. I would gladly pay a small hourly fee to have someone come over and pretend to care that it hurts when I swallow, and agree that Dayquil gelcaps really aren't that effective after all, and simply ask, "Is there anything else I can do to make you more comfortable?". It's like combining hospice and an escort service but you take out the dying and the sexual favors. Lots of people babysit kids, are there no caring souls out their who will babysit the germ-infected for a fee?

This seems like a truly fantastic idea. A real moneymaker. I can't believe no one has introduced it into the market yet. You have the sniffles, you dial 1-800-I AM-SICK, you tell the customer service rep, "I'm siiiiiick" and you give them your address, and someone comes right over and sets stuff up so you're more comfortable. They are like, "oh no! oh no! are you okay? It's because you are working yourself too hard. Get back in bed!" and then they call work for you and tell your boss you are NOT coming in, nor will you be answering work emails, and then they make you tea and toast and find a good game show on TV if it's not time for Price Is Right. Or they bring you a magazine. I will call this business Tea AND Sympathy. And I will start planning the rest of the business model as soon as I feel better...

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