Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Wisconsin Plague

Well, my teenager's friend, Chris from Wisconsin, has come and gone. All those weeks of anticipation, building up to the moment he stepped off the plane on Friday and was attacked by my bear-hugging teenager and -- POOF! -- he was outta here Sunday at noon. You could say that time FLU by . . .

Poor, poor Chris. He traveled clear across the country, for the first time without his parents, only to spend most of his Big Adventure convalescing on my couch with the stomach flu. (And I was worried about the two of them being lip-locked all weekend!)

Thank goodness he and my daughter decided not to attend the Valentine's dance on Saturday, which was the whole reason why he was going to come out here to begin with. He was not in any condition to do much dancing, trust me. It was like a reverse Cinderella story. There was no limo, no corsage, no wearing of a beautiful pink dress and a suit with a matching pink tie. No dancing under the light of the moon, or in their case, a mirror ball.
Instead, they spent Saturday afternoon and evening lounging on my sectional – separated by fear of contagion – watching videos, drinking 7-Up and eating saltines, and sharing music on their cell phones by the flickering glow of the TV.
Sometimes life kicks you in the gut . . . literally!
Before Chris became ill, though, we managed to show him a few of Orange County’s highlights. On Friday night, we had the bright idea of introducing Chris to his first In ‘N Out burger – an absolute must-experience for any out-of-towner, wouldn't you agree? Chris told us he wasn’t hungry, even though it had been eight hours since his three peanuts and a coke on the airplane. But we insisted. In the morning, we breakfasted at The Sugar Shack, the legendary diner in Huntington Beach where all the surfers hang out. He ordered a ham and cheese omelette, but said it tasted weird. I noticed he didn’t eat much, but didn't think twice about it. New in town. First-breakfast-with-the-mom jitters.
Then my teen took him to the beach where they had planned to meet up with her friends. She had baked him some special Valentine’s double-fudge brownies. He took one bite, said they were too rich and didn’t eat them. After a few hours in the sun (the teens AND the brownies), which everyone knows is GREAT when you have a stomach flu, I picked them up at the beach and drove them to -- what else? -- a place where they serve more food. They don’t have El Torito Grills in Wisconsin, and Chris said he liked Mexican food, so I imagined this would be a real treat for him. He ordered a quesadilla, took one bite and pushed it aside.
Wait . . . someone from Wisconsin turning their nose up to cheese? OK, now I was starting to think there might be something wrong with him. Come to think of it, maybe I’m the one who got him sick trying to shove food down him at every turn.
So as my teen, the entertainment director, was making plans with her friends for a night out at Knott’s Berry Farm on the way home from El Torito, Chris was looking pretty green in the back seat of my car. He went from my car, to the bathroom, to the couch, and now you're all caught up.
Funny thing, Chris' mother said he's usually a very healthy kid. Last time he was sick was about eight years ago. Chris blames a girl he sits next to in school, who was out with the stomach flu last week. I'm sure she's going to hear all about his Big Adventure in California, whether she wants to or not.
Chris' mom sent me and my teen that beautiful flower arrangement you see in this post to thank us for curing her son of the Wisconsin Plague. Very classy lady!
And I've posted a picture of Chris below. You can't see his face (I'm protecting his anonymity), which I think is apropos, considering that we didn't see much of it either.


Miss Informer said...

well, that sucks. so much for a vacation. and look! you had nothing to worry about after all. maybe the next time he comes out, he'll feel better.

Lynn said...

Miss Informer,

Hey, just a quick apology for all the hoops you have to jump through just to leave a comment on this blog. I don't know why Blogger makes it so difficult! I have to sign in every time just to respond on my own blog. Ridiculous! Anyway . . . yeah, I felt sorry for Chris. God sometimes answers prayers in very strange ways. I was a little nervous about him coming out here, but to be honest, I really had nothing to fret over. Chris is a really nice boy and he and my daughter seem to be very close friends. It was all quite innocent. And I would welcome him back here anytime, in a heartbeat. I like Chris very much, and I think he thinks I'm pretty OK for a mom, too.