Under The Weather? Impossible!

Why do people say they are “under the weather” when they don’t feel well?. If I recall correctly, you need a temperature above 98.6 to have a fever. Considering that most people drop dead when their temperature goes over 103 degrees, it would have to be pretty hot aside to be under the weather.

When I was in third grade at the tender age of eight I used to come up with stomach ailments to try to avoid going to school or at least until a little later in the morning when I felt better. By shortening the school day even a little bit I felt I was cheating “The Man”. Ma didn’t seem to mind since she was from that generation of ladies before the feminist revolution. She stayed at home and did the housekeeping unless she had to go shopping which meant taking out the baby buggy with a kid sister in it and walking three or four blocks to Madison Street in the Austin neighborhood. In 1960, you could park your stroller outside a store front and expect to see it again thirty minutes later.

I went to the well a few times too often with the stomach ache bit so my skeptical parents called the doctor. The Hippocratic oath in those days still meant that medical people made house calls. The doctor could not come so he sent his beautiful young nurse assistant to check me out. Naturally I had a crush on her. It got a little too embarrassing when I was told to pull down my pajama bottoms so that she could stick a thermometer in a place that was not my first choice. I guess the poking about broke up whatever was making my tummy hurt and I quickly recovered from this strange ailment. My school attendance record did not suffer again.

Every year for the past ten Ma has been on my case to take a flu shot in the fall in anticipation of the winter flu season. Each year I procrastinate and tell her that it costs money whereas she gets it for free thanks to Medicare. And each year in either February or March, without exception, I pick up a 24 to 48 hour flu bug that has me queasy and preferring to stay in bed rather than drag myself in front of a computer screen. So, you know that I ain’t faking it.

I live in a condo where colorful flowers of all types are planted on the front lawn. The self-righteous association officers don’t give a rat’s you-know-what that I suffer from hay fever and other elements of sinusitis. It’s only about their need to sucker potential apartment unit owners into buying here and never about my needs. I go on unscheduled sneezing spells- hold it a moment, I feel another coming on. What am I supposed to do? Move? There are flowers everywhere. So I suffer in silence. Okay, maybe not in silence. But it keeps me and my money from enjoying life. When I take a walk for fresh air and exercise, I end up back in my apartment rubbing my eyes and feigning dizziness due to the inhaling of pollen. I wish the bees would mind their own business.

Okay, so maybe “under the weather” refers to experiencing chills during the middle of the summer. If so, I have that experience on hold until the middle of Autumn when the Cubs finally win that freaking World Series.

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