I witnessed an off-camera conversation between Oprah and Martha Stewart once where they were one-upping each other about who got less sleep and who got sick the least. If one of them said she got five hours a night, the other one got four. "I never get sick," Oprah said. "What's sick?" Martha said. That's a gritty competition.
I don't get sick either. I'm German. Sickness is a sign of weakness. Sure, I might have the occasional stuffed up sinuses and I've certainly endured my share of headaches. But sick? Never. I vitamin-C-and-daytime-cold-medicine my way through that crap because I'm made of armor. Tough. Healthy. Strong! I once worked six straight months without a day off. I worked at my first job out of college for over three years and only called in "sick" to go on a job interview.
So why then did I call in sick to my job teaching play group today? Well, much to my chagrin, it feels like a tunnel made of fire is connecting my two ears. Sure, a scalding cup of coffee and Day-Quil put me together enough to make my hair appointment and take my kids to get ice cream but my concern this morning was containing the spread of my illness to my students.Or, to be honest, not getting dirty looks from their parents.
Most people don't have enough grit, but in case you're like me and my homies Oprah and Martha Stewart (Oprah and Martha Stewart: "Who's Jenna Karvunidis?") then we need to review the Rules of being sick.
1. Never admit you are sick in the first place.
2. If you cannot conceal your cold or flu with medicine and acting skills, duck the dirty looks and stay home.
3. If you stay home sick, which is JUST to dodge dirty looks because you would never be so weak as to, you know, need to rest, by all means make up an excuse for why you're not there. Tell people you are traveling.
4. If you get so sick that you die, make it look like an accident.
Filed under: Being German