the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Calling in Sick

So it started way before the Absolut Kurant, about a week before the Absolut Kurant to be exact. I woke up Christmas morning in the basement of my mother-in-law’s house with a throat so swollen I couldn’t fit a t-shirt over my head. And I can deal with a swollen throat, and all the symptoms that usually accompany the swollen throat, the sniffling and the sneezing and the swollen sense of self-pity, all made electrifyingly acute by the constant, quiet drip of phlegm down the back of the throat.

And everything would have been okay, I mean, everything was okay for at least a week. We drove to Las Vegas, or I should say, Jon drove to Las Vegas while I ached and groaned in the passenger seat. Six hours to Las Vegas and then an hour and a half back to St. George, and then back to Las Vegas and then six hours back to Salt Lake, all within 48 hours, all with aching and groaning and swelling and a husband who can endure torture at herculean levels.

And just as the swelling began to de-swell, as the drip drip drip of leaking sinuses slowed to a steadied silence, I was most certain that I was free. Jon was sure he’d be released from the chains of sick spousal bondage, a most frightful state in which one spouse must endure the other spouse’s incessant delusional pecking. It’s like, the sick spouse wants to make sure that the non-sick spouse knows just how sick she is, and the non-sick spouse, while totally aware that the sick spouse is really very sick and he’s very sorry that she’s sick, is doing everything he can to forget about how sick the sick spouse is, just so that he can live his fucking life.

And on New Year’s Eve I was feeling better than I had felt in at least a whole week. And Jon was relieved that I was at least no longer talking about not feeling better. And what better way to celebrate not talking about not feeling better than a half a bottle of berry-flavored vodka?

And while I remember drinking the vodka, and even making mental notes about how many glasses I’d poured (okay, this is number 6, okay this is number 7), I totally lost count at about 15, and don’t remember anything until Jon pulled over to the side of THE FREEWAY where I littered the guardrail with about a fifth of berry-flavored vodka and two bean and cheese tacos I’d eaten four hours earlier. And the whole time I’m doing this, cars are speeding by at 85 mph less than three feet away from my head.

And it wouldn’t have been so bad, really, had the littering stopped at that point on the freeway. It’s just, Jon had to pull over again about a mile south of the first stop, and this time an entire green goblin came out my mouth and nose.

And let’s just say that I continued to meet little creatures resembling the Orc Army throughout the night and well into New Year’s Day, a full 18 hours of meeting and greeting. And while I never thought I would ever hear myself utter these harrowing words, I can’t help but promise that I WILL NEVER DRINK VODKA EVER AGAIN FOR AS LONG AS I LIVE, I’M TOTALLY SERIOUS.

And while most hangovers last at most a day, this vodka hangover has lasted six days, going on seven. I wake up in the morning feeling like I’m trying to stand on a surfboard, and I’ve tried to stand on a surfboard, like at least 12 times, and the closest I got was squatting and then the wave ate my board and laughed at me. That’s what this feels like, like life is laughing at me. I even think my dog is laughing at me.

And I need to take this opportunity to apologize to my husband, I’m sorry for pecking and whining and ruining several perfectly good puke-free moments. And I need to apologize to the 11-year old girl at my niece’s basketball game on Saturday night, I’m sorry for calling you a cunt-ass bitch and for encouraging my niece to fucking elbow you in your fucking boobs already.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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