Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Slattern’s Guide to… the snuffles

The first signs are unmistakably, no matter how hard you try to ignore them.

That over-exposed sensitivity scratching at your larynx, the itch in your nasal passages, a dryness of the throat and that oh-so-attractive albino rabbit pink rim around your eyes.
You fight it off for a couple of days, mainlining Vitamin C and echinacea, grabbing a few early nights
 and playing the carry-on game before giving in to it.

But, eventually, you surrender. And that’s when the fun starts.

For a cold - whether it’s an annoying sniffle or full-blown ‘flu with a fever tap-dancing on your brow - presents the perfect opportunity to drop the artifice of respectability and propriety and reveal your true slattern nature to the world, guilt-free.

Of course, you’re going to be feeling like a human version of last week’s left-over chicken soup (well past its best and probably a little funky), but that doesn’t mean you can’t allow yourself to enjoy of the unexpected benefits that come with being under the weather.

Let’s face it, when else can you get away with sprawling on the sofa in your PJs, sipping endless cuppas brewed by sympathetic family members, watching crap TV, moaning dramatically to draw attention to your plight as you sit there in a cloud of self-pity surrounded by rapidly stiffening balls of crumpled-up tissues used to stem the flow coming from the mucus-factory that's taken up residence in your upper respiratory tract? 

One look at your rheumy eyes, chapped nostrils and cracked lips will melt the heart of even the harshest mother-in-laws and move them to boil up nourishing soups to speed your recovery (just be prepared for the inevitable long, detailed narrative of great colds she or her precious offspring have endured over the years served up with the soup).  

A pitiful look from beneath the bundle of housecoats and duvets you’ve wrapped yourself in might solicit a nice Hot Toddy from your significant other if you manage to sneeze, sniff and sigh in their direction enough.

So, don’t try to conceal your sneezing fits, dramatic sniffs and the special relationship you’ve developed with a soggy hanky. Let rip. How else is the world going to know what you’re going through, and move them forgive you for your full frontal unashamed display of slatternry? 

Cultivate a husky voice, bravely croaking “Oh, I’ll live” in response to kindly enquiries about your health. Some fellas out there find it a turn-on, though the chances of you feeling up to responding with any kind of sensual enthusiasm are probably on a par with the likelihood of Queen Elizabeth popping out to the nearest open-all-hours branch of Tesco to pick up a bottle of cheap plonk, a few alcopops and a bumper bag of cheesy Wotsits for a good Saturday night in.

Just one word of warning: do not, whatever you do, allow your nearest and dearest to catch your cold. The minute they do – especially if the menfolk start displaying symptoms – your time of wallowing in your paddling pool of slatternly self-pity and sympathy are history.

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