I moved back home for about six months when I was 19. During this time, I worked two jobs: one at High Valley Construction, answering phones, and one at Blockbuster. My sister Amy was my boss at HVC and one day, thought I looked a little peaky and sent me home early so I could sleep for a little bit before working my night shift at the video store. I showed up to job number two and my whole body ached, this was a Thursday. Friday morning, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. My skin hurt, I had a fever, sore throat, and I had the shakes. I waited (and cried) for my mom to finish teaching her piano lessons that afternoon so she could take me to Urgent Care. We were greeted by a 3-hour wait during which time I shouted obcenities at some small children who were making too much noise in the waiting room. Upon admittance, I pulled down my pants and told them to give me "the shot." I don't think I was quite myself. The next day, I went to fill my prescription and for some reason, the pharmacist showed me the antibiotics that I would have to swallow, and I burst into tears right there at the counter. He didn't speak very good English and had no idea how to comfort me. As he awkwardly laid his hand on my shoulder, I told him I wanted my plant.
See, my mother had 7 children and would accomplish all that grocery shopping by filling up a cart and leaving it at the front of the store while she filled her second cart. One particularly trying day, she left her full cart at the front and when she returned with the second, she found that some helpful clerk had put away all of her hard-fought groceries. She burst into tears and the store manager felt so bad that he gave her a houseplant.
I wanted a plant too. Such is strep throat.
Then, a few years later, one month after I got married, I got strep throat again. We were poor and didn't want to pay to have my throat cultured because I was pretty sure I knew exactly what I had. The doctor said he thought it was strep too because people who have strep throat talk like they have a hot potato in their mouth.
This morning, I woke up with a hot potato mouth. Beware of strep throat all ye that enter here. My Mother's helpful words of advice as she left to go back to California: don't breathe on your children.
(She did say other helpful motherly things, but I just thought this one was the funniest.)