Last Monday, my husband came home sick from work. I suppressed my look of shock as he shuffled through the front door, ghostly and disheveled, his office trash can dangling from his fingertips.
He’s not a person who stays home sick often (um…ever?), so I knew this must be pretty bad.
For the next few days, I dutifully played nurse, fetching glasses of juice and bowls of soup and pressing the back of my hand to his forehead and assuring him that according to my super-scientific measurement method, his fever was definitely on the wane.
I felt horrible for him. Being sick sucks.
But deep down, I was also so glad it wasn’t me.
I know that’s probably a horrible thing to think, but I thought it. And…I guess I sort of congratulated myself. This sickness must have considered me and taken a pass, intimated by my sturdy genetics and healthful lifestyle.
From there, it’s a hop, skip and a jump to full-on Darwinian smugness.
As the week wore on, I continued to marvel at my body’s apparent ability to resist this bug/virus thing. I became cockier and bolder: a swig from his Gatorade bottle here, a risky kiss on the lips there. Obviously, I was equipped with some sort of invisible super-shield. I began to imagine the bug/virus thingies falling haplessly to the ground, stunned by the power of my impenetrable immune system, as my shield and I cut through them unscathed.
I am sure you have probably guessed where this is going.
To my credit, my timing was good. Just as I went down, my husband started feeling a little better; well enough to fetch me glasses of juice and bowls of soup, anyway. And happily, our kitchen was already well stocked with both.
The flu came and went. By the weekend, we were both back to normal. Minus one imaginary immuno-super-shield.
I think in the future, I’ll leave the inflated sense of evolutionary value to those members of the household for whom it’s better suited.