Streptococcal Pharyngitis and the Geriatric Arts

Subtitle: AKA Two Things at Which I Greatly Excel

Before you begin reading, please know that I had a fever while writing about half of this post. The other half, I did not. I will let you decide for yourself which part was written in a feverish haze and which was intentional. Enjoy!

I’ve always been the kind of person who needs alone time. It’s usually a surprise to people that I identify as an introvert, in the sense that I renew my energy by being still and quiet by myself (typically eating ice cream and binging Law & Order on Netflix. Also usually employing the Donald Duck**-style of straight chillin’.) My husband is the opposite–he relishes social interaction. After a long work day, he is happiest talking and laughing and having drinks with friends. I just need to not talk for awhile.

**Donald Duck-ing it = chillin’ in a t-shirt sans pants. Interchangeable with “Winnie-the-Pooh-ing.”

Most of my day is spent talking. The majority of my job includes public speaking, so I am often giving presentations to first graders, Girl Scout troops, and the occasional PTS meeting. I schmooz, I gab, I (try to) laugh at the appropriate times. When I get home, I need to be quiet. I need to not be social. I need to put on stretchy pants.

I’ve also never been the kind of person who can go out on a school night, so to speak. I can’t go bar-hopping with you Tuesday night and be a contributing member of society on Wednesday. This has been true since college.

Example: after one too many times of bailing out Sunday morning after partying Saturday night so I could go home, be alone, and silently do my homework, my best friend Crystal asked me: “Can’t you for ONCE blow off studying and come eat Mexican food with me on a Sunday afternoon?”

The answer is no, no I could not. All of my socializing energy was spent on Saturday. I could not, and still cannot, guarantee quality Kelly-time two days in a row. Also, homework’s gotz to get done, son. (Please read the prior sentence in the operatic vocal styling of the great thespian, Ice-T.)

However, there can be TOO much alone time. This is when things start to get weird. My husband has currently been at a conference for three days in California, and instead of going on my own work trip to New Orleans this weekend, I came down with a fun case of strep. So I’ve been at home with my dogs and my antibiotics and of course my beloved Jack McCoy (you should remember my obsession with him from my previous blog post. My love for him has not diminished since Wednesday).

On Sunday, still nursing a solid 100 degree fever, I decided that our bedroom needed to be rearranged. I was bored and this needed to be done, and besides, I thought that we really didn’t have that much stuff in the bedroom, anyway.

So I started going through our bookcase and our little filing cabinet, and these storage units kept giving birth to new items I had no idea we even still had anymore. STUFF and THINGS kept crawling out of nooks and crannies begging to be sorted and properly contained and correctly organized. A copy of the Little, Brown Handbook from my Freshman year of college, missing its cover because our puppy, Rasta, ripped it off in 2010, oozed from a corner of the bottom shelf. WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?!

Our bookcase was clearly an evil clown car in disguise–so many clowns were crawling out of these seemingly small storage devices, one after another after another, with hideous, black claws and macabre, demon eyes–only our clowns were junk, and their hideous black claws were English Lit papers from my freshman year at junior college, and their macabre, demon eyes were Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons that expired in 2012–and you cannot shove junk off of a cliff to be rid of their grotesque painted-on smiles that forever haunt your dreams!

(Note: you should NOT kill clowns. They are technically people. Just for the record.)
(Except if they’re obviously possessed. Then kill them dead.)

See how things start getting weird?

I tend to get dramatic when I’ve been alone for awhile. So, sitting in a pile of junk I didn’t know we still had and surrounded by furniture I had attempted to move but only made to the middle of the room–I burst into tears. I did not have the energy to take on such a huge task, and I realized there was a reason we had not rearranged our bedroom before: the configuration we’ve had it in for the last three years is the only way that all of our stuff will fit comfortably.

So, I’m sitting in the pile of my junk-clowns and my wiener dog comes sauntering in. He takes one look at the chaos that is happening, raises a paw, and immediately turns around and leaves. He wanted zero part of that foolishness.

Wiener dogs are smart. People don’t give them enough credit.

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During my time recuperating alone, I also reverted back into my “old lady habits.” It’s an inside joke within my circle of friends that I am 28-going-on-82-years-old. It’s true that I am a connoisseur of the elderly arts. Here are just a few ways I earn my geriatric stripes while still in my late twenties:

1. Let’s just start with present time. I am currently sitting at my kitchen table sans pants eating Cream of Wheat for dinner. It’s 4:30 p.m. Granted, my eating schedule is thrown off since I’ve been home sick, but I tend to eat dinner every evening before 6 p.m. Eating any later than that is just ridiculous. You ALL know you are hungry when you get home from work, why deny yourself the pleasure of having a nice, hot meal earlier in the evening? Preferably of the creamed wheat variety? Give in to the dark side!

2. Cardigans are my jam. I don’t get the opportunity to wear them much anymore where I work, but who wouldn’t love to wrap themselves in the warm, pillowy softness of a rad cardi?

Plus, it makes most tops work-appropriate. Sequined halter top WITHOUT cardigan: It’s 2 am and you’re ready to get KRUNK (do the kids still say “krunk?” Oh those whippersnappers!) Sequined halter top WITH cardigan: ready for that important business meeting! Also, you’re promoted! Thanks, cardigan (insert wink and toothy grin here.)

3. On most nights, I am either in bed or in the process of getting ready for bed by 10 p.m. As I’ve previously hinted at, I have never been able to stay up until 3 a.m. and then be an active member of society the next morning at work. I really think that just  to stay alive, I need more sleep than the average person; the amount I need to be alive and functioning is absolutely ridiculous.

I literally feel like the amount of sleep that I need to be awake and alert is akin to that of a small baby or a newborn puppy (that was lazy writing; at birth, human babies and puppies are basically the same thing. Google it.)

Any less than a good 10 hours, and I’m useless, cranky, and liable to snap at the kids I’m currently with about how they don’t know how good they have it, cause in MY day, we had to wait for the Internet to DIAL-UP before we could play our online games, and even then we were not guaranteed a solid connection, and MAYBE when it FINALLY connected, our moms would yell at us to get off the phone line so they could call Grandma! Damn hooligans.

So, in a nutshell, this weekend, I was an elderly, introverted, weird, furniture-moving-failure whose wiener dog clearly judges me in all of my trials and tribulations.

I usually try to end my posts on some kind of positive message, one that will inspire you to go about your day. I don’t think I have that here. However, if you find yourself feeling down or gloomy in any sort of way, I encourage you to employ the Donald Duck method of straight chillaxin’, at any time of the day, whether at work or at home, preferably while watching Ice-T wreck shop on SVU.

You’re welcome.

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