I admit it.
I might have been following the couple through the grocery store and overhearing their conversation just a little bit. I was totally casual and not-at-all creepy about it. I had to find out how their story ended. It started in the produce section as the wife picked out a bag of oranges and I lurked near the potatoes.
The husband and wife had both been away over the long weekend; both caught a vicious Summer cold. They were clearly miserable and I kept my distance….making me extra sneaky, I’m sure. They were sneezing, coughing, shopping, and arguing together. They weren’t disputing medicine or soup; they chose Mucinex and Chicken and Wild Rice, respectively. They weren’t arguing about the trip, the cold, or who caught it first. They were arguing about Netflix
It was about their Netflix series. The husband was planning to take a sick day and indicated that he wanted to watch their shared series while the wife was at work. I, personally, came down hard on the side of him NOT watching ahead so they could enjoy together. The wife, strenuously, agreed with me. Halfway through the cleaning and disinfecting aisle they added Clorox Wipes and stopped speaking to each other. I wandered off to stock up on Vitamin C and made a mental note to get my Flu Shot
Morality, ethics, and bacteria aside, why, I wondered, was just the husband staying home sick? They were both equally miserable. Did the wife not have sick leave? Did the husband have some invisible condition rendering him more susceptible to secondary infections? Maybe, her job didn’t offer sick days at all.
As I drove home, I decided that more likely it was about Love. Love can weather many hardships. But, maybe simultaneous head colds and dual coughing fits isn’t one of them.
I sent a little prayer to that brave woman, cough drops and tissues packed, heading out to work the next day. “You go Lady! If you’d stayed home sick together, someone might not make it. But, if you do change your mind and call in sick, my money’s on you.”
After a few miles I sent an addendum, “If he watches your series while you’re out, my money’s still on you.”