Reaching Fever Pitch

| Related | February 3, 2016

(Three members of my family have their birthdays close together in the beginning of December, so we often pick a date to celebrate for all of them. This year, we go to a Chinese restaurant. That morning, I had stood for a long time in very cold and snowy weather while waiting for a bus. As we’re getting ready to go to the restaurant, I start feeling like I have a fever.)

Me: “Mom, I think I have a fever.”

(My mom feels my forehead.)

Mom: “Your forehead doesn’t feel warm to me. I don’t think you have a fever.”

(I feel certain I have a fever, but my mom feels certain I don’t, so she brings me to the restaurant. While we’re there, I feel increasingly dizzy and lightheaded. I can’t concentrate or enjoy myself, and the noise is getting to me. Eventually I feel like I can’t take it anymore.)

Me: “Mom, I really think I have a fever.”

(She feels my forehead again.)

Mom: “Your forehead still feels fine to me.”

Me: “But…”

(My relatives, which include my mom’s partner, my aunt, two of my uncles, my grandma, and my grandma’s boyfriend, hear our conversation, and all take turns feeling my forehead. To my great vindication, all of them in turn, including one of my uncles who is a doctor, declare confidently that I definitely have a fever. My mom looks more and more shocked and contrite with each declaration.)

Mom: “I’m so sorry! I really thought you seemed fine!”

Me: “But I told you I don’t feel well!”

(Even though she obviously feels guilty, I can’t help feeling upset that she wouldn’t believe me until everyone else agreed I had a fever. However, my resentment starts to evaporate when she immediately drives me home and lets me go to bed. It’s 7:30 pm when we arrive, and I fall asleep almost immediately. I awake around 1 am to hear my parents speaking quietly outside my door.)

Mom’s Partner: “Maybe you should go in there and check if she’s still breathing!”

Mom: *alarmed* “What?! Why?!”

Mom’s Partner: “I don’t think she’s moved or woken up this whole time!”

(I registered some amusement at their concern, and then fell right back to sleep. I didn’t wake up again until 10 am — thankfully feeling much better. To this day, I am always entertained by the memory of almost all of my close relatives feeling my forehead one by one, the look of increasing horror on my mom’s face, and my mom’s partner thinking I was dead!)

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