At early dismissal, to a parent who looked like she had the flu:
Me: “You look like you’re really not feeling well. We can absolutely do your conference another time over the phone so that you don’t have to come in tonight.”
Parent: “Yeah I’m really sick. But don’t worry, I’m still coming tonight.”
Yeah I’m not sure you understand what it is I’m worried about.
It’s not you.
Us (to kid who looks blatantly ill): “Do you feel ok?”
Kid: “No. I have the flu.”
Us: “Then why are you here?!?”
Kid: “My mom said if I have too many absences I won’t get into middle school.”
A few things:
1. If you don’t get into middle school, it will be because you gave us the flu, and so we permanently branded you the dirty, germy kid. This will be the first line of your middle school recommendation letter. We might even add in that you smell. Not because it’s true, but because we hate your mom.
2. Tomorrow, we will send a big ball of phlegm to your mother’s office, which will sit on her desk all day, slowly oozing around her workspace and contaminating everything and everyone. Tit for tat, lady.
3. Leave this room. Now. (He did. And went to the nurse. Who took his temperature. Which was over 100 degrees.)
4. We know it’s not YOUR fault. We do like you a little less, though. I’m sorry. It’s just what happens.
5. Feel better, kiddo!
(Related to Dear Everyone Who Asked, Which is Everyone)
I GOT MY FUCKING SHOTS, ASSHOLE!!!!!
Things you don’t want to hear your psychiatrist say when you tell her you have the flu:
“Wow. You get sick more than anyone I know.”
My mom, on the phone, after learning that I have the flu…
Mom: “Do you have any food in your apartment?”
Me: “A little. I have some soup.”
Mom: “Ok. Well, are there places there that will deliver?”
Yes, I GOT THE FUCKING FLU SHOT.
I know this is a natural question to ask someone who has the flu, and I’m sure I’ve asked it a million times, but honestly, it comes off as slightly accusatory. Because what if my answer was no? Would your next line be, “Oh. Well then this is your own damn fault.”
Also, I thank you sincerely for checking in, and for all your well wishes. You guys are the BEST.
I’m fine. Thanks for asking.
Having the flu means forgetting to put on pants before opening the door for the man delivering your milkshake. And by forgetting, I mean not caring enough.
Stop judging me, guys! Yes– I like milkshakes when I’m sick!