Monday, March 21, 2005

Spring Break, Chicken Pox & Other Things

It's officially Spring Break here for the kids in school. You see the shows about the college kids traveling to Cancun and Florida and places like that for sun, fun & debauchery... I never did anything like that. When I was in 9th or 10th grade, I went to California with my friend Rhonda & her parents to visit her brother & his family. They lived in Orange County (I think) and took us to Knott's Berry Farm, DisneyLand and Redondo Beach. Being at the beach was as close as I got to sun & fun. Rhonda & I walked down to the ocean, each holding a hand of her 4 year old niece, Melissa. We waded about ankle-deep into the Pacific, making sure we had a good grip on the little girl. Suddenly, a sea gull flew overhead and Rhonda yelled, "IT'S POOPING!!!" Sure enough, a big plop of bird poop was heading straight for us. We panicked and both let go of Melissa. She ended up face first in the ocean. She was a very unhappy baby after that!

When I was in 8th grade, the week before Spring Break we were doing gymnastics in Gym Class which was my 1st period class. While I was changing into my shorts, a friend asked me if that was a zit on my hip. I said it must be, it looked like one. While I was on the balance beam, I slipped and scraped my hip against the side of the beam, knocking the "zit" off. It bled for a while but then I forgot about it. Until next period: math. Renee, a friend who sat in front of me, mentioned that I looked "dotty" and that someone in our class had had chicken pox recently so I better go see the nurse. I got a pass from Mr. Bangs and off I went. There were already about 4 kids sitting in the nurse's office, waiting. When the nurse came in, she came in yelling. "YOU KIDS DO THIS EVERY SINGLE DAY! YOU HAVE GYM AND YOU DON'T WANT TO DRESS OUT SO YOU PRETEND YOU'RE SICK! WELL I'M NOT PUTTING UP WITH IT TODAY! ALL OF YOU GO BACK TO CLASS NOW!!"

"But I have a note," I spoke up timidly as the other kids were filing out.


"But they think I have the Chicken Pox!" Boy, did her attitude change quick!

"Oh, dear! Let's get that checked out right away!" It turned out I DID have Chicken Pox so she called Mom and had her come get me. I had been feeling wonky that weekend and had a doctor's appointment that afternoon. Mom called them and told them that she thought that was why I had been sick, did they still want to see me? They said if I did come in, I would have to be isolated; no one in their office had ever had Chicken Pox. I opted to not go in.

I was so excited that I was off school for 2 weeks! The best part was that I ended up with a 2 week Spring Break! The worst part was I thought I'd be home alone the first week but then Derek ended up catching them, too! He was diagnosed the next day. Turns out his little friend Jamie and his sister Cindy (who was in my class) had the Pox and spread them to everyone at the Chili Supper. Bah!

I don't remember itching very badly and the only scar I have from the disease is the one on my hip that got knocked off in Gym. I do remember putting a lot of puzzles together and listening to the radio. The songs "Loverboy" by Billy Ocean & "Lovergirl" by Teena Marie were popular then and I can't hear either one without being reminded of the Chicken Pox.

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