If you are spending Christmas at the dwelling of or with parents, in-laws, relatives or strangers, here are a few things to remember:
1.) Ask how old the left overs in the fridge are BEFORE you eat them.
2.) If you get sick, do it near a clean bathroom and preferably near one that has a comfy rug on the floor.
3.) If you are sick and vomit is close to or already launching out of your mouth, make sure the bathroom light is on.
I guess it’s important to ask how old the chili in your parent’s fridge is before you dive in. Now, when I say “dive in,” I don’t really mean dive in — I never would have fit in the Tupperware and the chili was far too shallow.
A little background.
Tuesday was a good day. Rinda and I slept well on the two twin mattresses that were pushed together to form a king size bed in my younger brother’s bedroom (he got the couch). Little Claire slept soundly in her pack-n-play. The Christmas decorations were inviting, the food abundant, and the family fun to be around.
Because I was still determined to make healthier life decisions and since I celebrated the end of my diet with a steak ranchero plate from a favorite Mexican restaurant the day before, I was more than willing to join my wife, mom, two sisters, and brother-in-law in an early morning workout session.
My sister, a workout guru, muted the sound on her Jillian Michael’s DVD, blasted her bad radio music, and we got started. It was to be a 45 minute workout and I was worried about my stamina from the very beginning. I’m not one of those men who says things like, “I could plow through this workout session blindfolded, in ten feet of water, both hands tied behind my back and wearing Uncle Arthur’s army boots.” I made it through 30 of the 45 minutes. I knew I was out of shape when I, on my back and barely able to breathe, looked over and saw my mother still high kicking and punching the air.
*Since then, I have plowed through multiple workouts (pat me on the back next time you see me), but back to the story.
After a healthy breakfast and a few hours of work, I found myself again in the kitchen, eating a quick-lunch before Rinda and I left for a day of errand running. My quick-lunch was the last bit of some left over chili and a hand full of oven fries. All was well, I was ready to go, and then it hit. Suddenly, I felt like I’d been reading in a moving car for months, all while an unknown neighbor kid was swatting the back of my head. I tried drinking Sprite, lying down, and a standing long jump, but nothing worked.
WARNING: TMBI (too much barf information) to follow!
Before I knew it, I was sprinting to the bathroom. Even with the light off, the first projectile was a direct hit. I heard the impact and felt the splash (despite popular opinion, there are times in life when having a beard is a bad idea, vomiting is one of those times). In a desperate attempt to stop barfing in the dark and let there be light, I lunged for the switch — bad move — the urge hit me mid-way to the light switch and the second missile exited halfway back to the target, showering the wall with a mix of chili, fries, and bile. The result was a modern art display worthy of any dark coffee shop/gallery that uses bird stencils or old records to decorate the wall behind the cash register.
I emptied my gut and slouched to the floor before calling for Rinda (interesting that there comes a time in life when mom is no longer the barfer’s relief). Rinda stood in the doorway with Claire and comforted me as best she could.The biggest comfort was little Claire smiling and laughing for her dying father. I wanted so badly to reach out and hold her; knowing that she loved me unconditionally and wanted to be near me, even in this state, was a ray of light in a cloud-filled sky.
I don’t know why, but it made me think about my role as a father and it made me sad. For a moment, food poisoning was going to keep me from caring for Claire, and I didn’t like that. What else in life (both in and out of my control) could prevent me from being the father I needed to be to this little creature who depends so heavily on me?
After spending the following two hours on the floor, wanting to die, dry heaving, and wanting to die some more, I arose victorious.
Today I feel healthy and I am glad I can hold my daughter. I want to always be able to provide my daughter with the best care — that requires that I make wise decisions in all areas of my life.
Who would have thought a holiday vomit session would have taught me such a lesson?
Life. Weird old, good old, life.
UNFUNNY HUSBAND MOMENT: I got sick and was vomiting when we should have been running errands. Rinda did NOT think it was funny at all; it stressed her out.
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- My Diet, My Breakdown (unfunnyhusband.wordpress.com)
- A Nuyorican Christmas Story (translucence.wordpress.com)
- Ate Yourself Sick? Novelty Barf Bags Are Here For The Holidays (newsfeed.time.com)