The winter of 2001 was a messy situation for my family and I. My brother had contracted the flu a week before Christmas and a few days later, passed it on to me. This flu was the mecca of all flu’s. It involved extreme vomiting, consuming only crackers and Gatorade, and basically no control over the digestive system, if you get my drift.
Christmas Eve had finally rolled around. I woke up that morning with a stomachache that could put Arnold Schwarzenegger to bed. Every Christmas Eve, my family and I would go to my Grandmother’s house to celebrate Christmas with my father’s side of the family. And by the way my stomach was feeling, no amount of Grandma’s mashed potatoes was going to make my flabby body move an inch off of that couch.
I have never been one to think ahead about things so that I’m less of a burden to others. I’m a lazy and selfish person; I’m not ashamed to admit it. I just do whatever comes to mind and let the words spew out of my mouth, regardless of the situation. In 2001, me being the second grader that I was, I wasn’t about to get up off the couch to run to the bathroom just to vomit into the toilet. I was going to lie there and whine until I vomited on the floor beside the couch and forced my mother to bring me a trashcan to enable my laziness even further.
It was mid afternoon and at this point in the day my father, brother and sister decided to head to my grandparent’s house to avoid catching “the plague of pure torture”, or as doctor’s would call it, “the flu”. So my mother and I were left alone at home with uncontrollable projectile vomiting and The Jefferson’s.
Like most human beings, I too hate wearing pants. I especially hate wearing pants when it feels like an alien with thumbtacks and acid for skin has crawled down my esophagus and into my gastrointestinal track, ready to combust at any moment. So I obviously took my pants off while writhing in astronomical pain on what felt like the most uncomfortable couch on the planet. The vomit kept flowing, and the naps never seemed to cease that day. I woke up from this specific nap with the notion in my head that if I take my underwear off, my stomach troubles would end and I could painlessly lounge on the couch like a sloth. My mother walked in to change out the cold rag that I had laying on my forehead. It served no purpose; it only added to the theatrical performance I was producing that evening called “Mom, My Stomach Hurts: The Musical”.
She put a new rag on my head and started to walk out of the room. “Mom, wait.” I said.
“What?” She responded.
“Can I take my underwear off?” I pleaded.
“No. Keep your underwear on.” My mother responded.
“But my belly really hurts!” I argued.
“I said leave your underwear on. We all sit on this couch. I don’t want your butt germs all over it and getting the rest of us sick.” She scolded.
“It really hurts! It’s too tight on my belly!” I tried to make my case by tugging at the elastic waste band on my underwear and forcing it to snap against my skin. I really had the potential to be an actress or lawyer, I’m telling you.
“Leave them on. And that’s final.” My mother firmly said and walked out of the room.
I wasn’t about to let this pesky pair of underwear be the reason for my suffering. I was going to survive this plague with as little pain as possible. As soon as my mother left the room, I ripped my underwear off like they were on fire. My stomach started to feel better immediately. I knew it would help. My mother obviously didn’t know what she was talking about.
A few more hours passed and a few more naps were taken. Then the pain started to emerge in my abdominal again. I started whining and yelling for my mother. “Mom. Mom. Mom! Mom!” I exclaimed, getting louder and louder with each syllable.
“What? What’s wrong?” My mother questioned as she came flying into the room.
“My belly really hurts again.” The tears began to roll down my face.
“Did you try going to the bathroom?” She asked, like I didn’t already think of that already. Okay, it really hadn’t occurred to me to try and go to the bathroom. But I couldn’t get up because I had taken my underwear off. I did exactly what she told me not to do. I wasn’t about to get in trouble while I was sick. That’s the worst situation a kid could ever face.
“I tried. I didn’t help.” I lied.
“Did you try throwing up? I know you hate it, but it will make your belly feel better.” My mother rubbed my forehead. I began to cry again. I really hate throwing up. If I could be in pain for four years and not throw up at all, I would be content with that. But this pain was almost unbearable and I needed anything to make it go away.
“Okay. I’ll try.” As soon as I finished this sentence, I began to vomit in the trashcan beside me. It continued for what felt like three hours, but in reality it was only about thirty seconds. I hadn’t realized what had just happened until my mother started to scream words at me amidst the vomiting. After I was done, I realized the damage I had done.
“Did you just shit your pants?!” My mother exclaimed. She ripped the blanket off of me and began to gag. I had, indeed, deficated on the couch. It wasn’t just your average excrement. It was full on diarrhea, EVERYWHERE. “I TOLD YOU NOT TO TAKE YOUR UNDERWEAR OFF!” She yelled again. I guess I had no control over my body. It just happened. I was so embarrassed, even if it was just my mother. I had literally just pooped on the couch that my family uses to sit on. I was going into the third grade and just pooped on the couch. Not even in my pants. ON THE COUCH. “Go upstairs and take a shower. DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING.” She commanded. I started to cry once again. I had just faced my worst fear. I was being yelled at while I was sick; and by my mother no less. I just wanted to be comforted and to feel better. But I guess I deserved it. I mean, I basically ruined our household furniture with my lack of consideration and respect. The phrase, “This is why we can’t have nice things!” echoed in my head as I shamefully climbed the stairs to the bathroom.
I took a shower. Put on clean clothes, including underwear this time. My mother even made me wear pants. How dare she? But I obliged considering the circumstances. Later on that evening, the rest of my family had returned home from my grandparent’s house including my grandparent’s. They wanted to see how I was feeling. It was Christmas, after all. By this point, my mother was starting to feel the effects of taking care of me all day. She was pale, sweating, and looked like a walking zombie. By the time 8:00 hit, my entire family was in bed ready to sleep for an eternity.
I was feeling like a new person the next morning. I was the first one up and had enough energy to put Richard Simmons to shame. It took my family an entire hour to fully get out of bed and walk downstairs into the living room. And needless to say, everyone avoided sitting on the couch.
Christmas Day, 2001 was a happy day for me. I was no longer sick, and had presents out the wazoo! No stomach pains for me! And so many toys to play with! It was a different story for the rest of my family. My mother, father, and sister now had “the plague of pure torture” and were experiencing the same things I had experienced just one day earlier. I felt bad until I unwrapped a Britney Spears Barbie Doll fully equipped with a red leather, full body jumpsuit.
Christmas 2001: Lost But Not ForgottenExplosion