Even though most of the single city girls I know are content with their lives, there are moments that cause even the most secure of us to want to club the nearest man in sight and bring him back to our studio apartments. For some of us, it is the wedding reception. The engagement party. The housewarming. The tale of the free dinner at Le Bernardin followed by a gift of Jimmy Choos or a Tiffany charm bracelet.
I have to toot my own horn; I’m not jealous often. I have seen the insides of many “perfect” relationships (including my parents’) to know that things are never quite as they appear. I know the life I have right now is the right one for me. And as of late, I don’t feel the urgency to couple or feel bad that I’m alone.
But all that shit goes out the window when I get sick.
The last week I’ve had bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, and endometriosis. I would have rather been in a coma. The soreness, fever, lethargy, anxiety, and lack of sleep really got to me around day 3. I tried every remedy I could think of to feel better. Antibiotics, hot toddys, bad romantic comedies, and internet shopping. Oh, the internet shopping. Nothing worked. And when you are sick and alone and restless at 11:30 and realizing you are out of tissue and NyQuil, you have a meltdown.
Why? BECAUSE YOU DON’T HAVE A MAN! If you did, he would go out in the rain and get you chicken soup, NyQuil, and a lottery ticket.
After about one hour of panicking and convincing myself that I would die alone and febrile in my apartment, I did what any self-respecting, intelligent woman would do.
I called or texted every man I have made out with in the last two years.
I called my ex 10 times in probably 10 minutes. When he didn’t pick up, I collapsed in a heap of fever, fear, pity, and exhaustion. I called The Bestie after she got off work to relay what had happened and receive the harsh lash of her judgement. She was surprisingly neutral. I haven’t done anything crazy in years. I had a fever. It was our would-be second anniversary. I was feeling vulnerable. And nothing really bad happened. If you send a crazy text in the middle of the night, does it make a sound? No, she deduced.
I was feeling better thanks to the pain pills I found in the back of the medicine cabinet and Shemar Moore’s abs on Criminal Minds. The Bestie was calling to tell me about the party she was at. I answered the phone without even looking at it.
But it wasn’t her. It was him. Shit. He wanted to come over. Shit. He was 15 minutes away. Shit. And shit is exactly what I looked like. I reasoned that things couldn’t get out of hand because I was sick and disgusting and not insane (despite earlier evidence to the contrary). I picked up all my snot rags, washed my face, and waited.
45 minutes passed by. I called to see what the hold up was. And then I heard that familiar tone of voice. He was drunk. Not It’s Saturday Night and I Just Got Paid drunk, but I Drank 15 Shots of Whiskey and I Don’t Know Where I Am and I Will Pass Out Outside Or Pee On Your Baseboards drunk. And that’s not a joke. My ex had a hard time paying bills due to spending copious amounts of liquor and had been fired from jobs due to drunkenness. He promised he would be there in 15 minutes again, but when I asked him where he was and he couldn’t tell me, I knew the deal. In fact, I have known the deal for the past 2 years.
The moment I hung up the phone, I passed through what Tony Kushner calls the threshold of revelation. If I took him, or any of my other exes back, sure I would get help when I was sick. But I would also get unpaid loans, verbal abuse, and STD tests in addition.
Being sick sucks, but not nearly as much as being with someone who is so obviously not for you.
I didn’t get that NyQuil, but the chicken soup for my soul was good enough to make me feel better.
Well, that and more internet shopping.