People always malign being sick; they look towards flu season with a sense of whispering dread. When a co-worker calls in sick at the beginning of January, people around the water cooler shake their head and cluck: “Poor bastard said he couldn’t sleep on the flight back from Tampa. Immune system must’ve been shot. He didn’t stand a chance.”
But what about the fun side of getting sick? Sickness isn’t always bummer. In this flu season, here are a few things to look forward to when the bug catches you, or, as Jane Lynch said in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, turn your flu into a “staycation.” Note: You will need lots of pot
RELIEF FROM THE ROUTINE (WHILE EVERYONE ELSE HAS TO STAY ON IT)
Everyone loves calling in to work, rolling back over and falling asleep, right? Calling in sick is great, but it’s only a part of the beautiful gift that sickness gives you: no more schedules. For a day we not only get to hit snooze on all of our responsibilities, we get to lounge around in our favorite pair of faded sweat pants—the oversized ones that flop over your feet like slightly less embarrassing footie-pajamas—while luxuriating in the fact that the asshole Cliff from accounting is bitching at some other poor sap about forgetting to sign their time sheets.
SYMPATHY FROM OTHERS
Nothing makes someone coo over you like being sick. This is especially potent for those with live-in partners. When you start coughing while they’re getting ready for work they’ll sit on the side of the bed, press the back of their hand against your forehead and furrow their brow. They’ll tell you how warm you feel and offer to make you waffles before they leave. During the day they’ll text you periodically with concern and warm thoughts—texts you’ll get to read knowing that you’re in bed sipping Sleepytime tea and alternating between watching porn and looking at cat pictures while they’re stuck at stuffy old work.
THE RITUAL OF RECOVERY
There is a billion-dollar sickness industry whose sole purpose is to reduce the discomfort of sickness. Utilizing that industry is one of the joys of being sick. Pull an electric blanket over your clammy legs, swallow Dayquil with a glass of water infused with the vitamin C of a thousand oranges, suck on a honey-flavored cough drop until your tongue feels like the queen bee of your apartment, pampered by menthol. If you’re sick and you don’t have easy access to enough pills, lozenges, tissues and poultices to eradicate every symptom that dare show its face, like some kind of bubonic Whack-A-Mole, you’re not being sick correctly.
POWER WATCHING TV (WITHOUT GUILT)
On a normal day we might go to work, come home, relax in front of the new episode of Parks & Recreation and call it a night. But that’s not good enough; we’re living in the golden age of television, people! Just staying current with new shows is barely treading water anymore. Sick days are for catching up: Turn on Netflix and power through two or three seasons of shows you’ve been afraid to commit to! Nobody will judge you for watching eight consecutive hours of TV! You’re recovering and this is a free pass: Feel bad about how shlubby you look while Don Draper effortlessly objectifies women in a crisply-pressed Brooks Brothers suit; Snort lines of Emergen-C while you watch Breaking Bad; eat pretzels while you watch Lost. The thematic possibilities are endless. It’s not like you were going to do anything productive anyway.
EVERYTHING YOU DO FEELS LIKE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT
On normal days we don’t think twice about our daily routines; it’s (relatively) easy to make a pot of coffee, get gas, muddle through work and swing by the store on the way home for a six-pack and some cat food. We’re used to menial tasks, and as such our psyche doesn’t give us any reward for completing them. On sick days though, completing even the most trivial tasks is cause for fireworks and self-congratulations. Did you manage to stumble downstairs, collapse on the couch and turn on the TV without turning into a quivering puddle of bacteria and white blood cells? Give yourself a gold star! Did you put your sweatpants on without tripping over the waistband and breaking your Ikea dresser with your sledgehammer of a skull? Pop the cork, it’s champagne time! Were you able to make it to the bathroom and vomit in the toilet instead of spackling your tile with your own stomach lining? Better call Guinness, baby, because you’re going places!
Having a sick day to escape from the real world can be an invigorating experience, but you’re still sick and being sick ultimately kind of sucks, regardless of the psychological perks it garners you. When you finally feel healthy enough to shave your stubbly bits, put on a shirt that doesn’t smell like day-old tomato soup and step out into the bright morning sun you almost feel re-born—even though a part of you wishes you could call in sick for just one more day.
SO Note: Have any ideas makes flu a little less flu-ish? Let us know @Serial_Optimist and feel better!
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