Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Catching Colds or This...

I don’t mean to start off my first post in a long time with a rant but good Lord this is getting ridiculous! Sick AGAIN. I have caught every single cold Big-D has brought home since he started kindergarten in September. And you know what kids are like…little germ factories, that’s what. So he’s been bringing home a lot of colds and passing them all onto me. Delightful.

This latest go around has got me thinking about what I could be doing differently so I don’t catch every little thing he brings home. I try to get enough sleep (as much as any mother of two young kids can); I exercise and try to eat right. I take vitamins. What the hell else can I do besides walking around with a surgical mask on?

Then I remembered one of my roommates from university.

For the record, I didn’t get to choose who I would be living with in the condo-style residences (we all had our own room but shared the common areas). It was two guys and two girls. One of the guys, Mike, was doing his PhD in Math and had lived there the previous year and throughout the summer while working on his dissertation. By the time the rest of us moved in he already had his own cupboard for his food and dishes and his own shelf in the refrigerator.

His academic brilliance was tempered by the fact that he was…a little odd. His room looked like something out of Hoarders and while we knew he took showers we couldn’t quite figure out why he always smelled like he didn’t.

There was a night when the other two roommates and I thought we may be dealing with a Jeffrey Dahmer-like serial killer as we were cleaning out the fridge. Mike had stuff on his shelf that was beyond old. We finally made our way to the back of his no-longer edible food when we encountered a plastic bag that contained, well, what we thought was a severed head.

No, seriously.

When we opened that bag it looked like a decomposing head (not that we had ever seen one) and Mike was just weird enough that all of us truly thought, even for just a few moments, that we were living with a psychopath. When we finally calmed down and took another look we identified the mystery object to be a very, very old cauliflower.

Anyhow, I’m getting away from the real point of why I started talking about Mike. We had all been living together for a couple of months. Our schedules were different but we’d often wind up cooking and eating dinner at roughly the same time. There was, again, something odd about Mike but we were all going about our business and couldn’t quite put our finger on it. However, one night after dinner it FINALLY dawned on us.

He NEVER washed his dishes.

That’s right. Instead, any pots, pans, plates, and utensils that were used when he made his food went right back into his cupboard totally unwashed.


We all just tiptoed around the issue since, thankfully, it wasn’t inviting unwanted guests like rodents or bugs. Then one night Mike came into the kitchen and emptied his entire cupboard into the sink and washed everything. He did his grand wash-up just a few more times throughout the school year but none of us ever mentioned it. I guess we were all in such a state of shock (and quite frankly happy we weren’t living with a serial killer) that no one knew how to broach the topic.

But the point of this long story is that Mike never once got sick during the school year. Not once. The rest of the student population with late nights either studying or drinking was a cesspool of sickness from September to April but the guy who never washed his dishes, or particularly cared for hygiene, had nary a sniffle. Go figure.

So while I am desperate to stop getting my kids’ colds I’m not quite ready to go Mike’s route.