I am my mother’s daughter

When I was growing up, the biggest offense punishable by death was being sick. Seriously. There was nothing my mother detested more than the constant sniff, sniiiiiff, sniff! of a nine-year old. “Blow your g***amn NOSE!!!!!!” was a phrase constantly repeated in my house.

And Lord help you if your nighttime coughing fits kept the rest of the house up. I remember one night my mother storming into my room with a murderous look on her face and a glass of water in her hand. “Either take a drink of water and stop coughing, or so help me God-”

“I’ll take the water!” I hastily jumped up and started gulping. “Ahh, see? Cough all gone. No need for violence!”

Then I would spend the rest of the night with my head under my pillows praying to the Gods above to take away the tickle in my throat.

My father wasn’t immune to her wrath, either. I swear she almost divorced him during the Great Sinus Infection of ’93. That poor man went to work just so he could cough and sniff in peace. At home, he would lovingly refer to my mother as an “alien with no feelings.”

“And do the other aliens share your hatred for human bodily functions, or are you just exceptionally unforgiving?” he’d ask her, grinning devilishly.

“@%$#!*#@ and die, dear,” she would reply sweetly.

Ah, amor!

I remember the first time I got sick in boarding school. I coughed my little heart out and no one even batted an eye. It was awesome.

So, now, ten years later, I find myself in an interesting predicament. It seems I, too, have become a cold, heartless alien. Because every time my boss sniffs (and sniffs, and sniffs, and sniffs), clears his throat or coughs endlessly for several minutes, I want to lob a box of Kleenex at his head and scream, “BLOW YOUR NOSE OR YOU DIE!!!”

Oh, dear.

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