Monday, August 3, 2009

In Which I Am Light Footed

*NOTE* This post is not for the squeamish or the light-stomached.

A couple of months ago (about two weeks before we moved), The Boss was on antibiotics for an ear infection. As anyone who has ever been on antibiotics will tell you, the medication fucks with your stomach and can make you feel quite sick. Having been on the medication for a couple of days, The Boss was coping with some pretty strong nausea but was managing okay otherwise. In fact, she almost made it through the entire course of the medication without incident.

Almost.

On day three or four of the antibiotic regimen, The Boss and I shared a dinner together out on the porch of the apartment we lived at at the time (you know, the one with the noisy landlords and haunted bedroom). She had made tacos, and we ate while overlooking the lake. She seemed to have her normal appetite about her, but once everything had been brought inside after dinner, The Boss started feeling a little queasy.

"Are you alright?" I asked. Her face was pale and she was holding her stomach.

"Yeah, I'm fine," she said, breathing slowly and evenly through her nose.

"If you're gonna puke, you need to let me know."

"I'm fine, Mike. Just feeling a little sick to my stomach," she assured me.

I paused for a moment.

"Because if you puke, I puke."

(As an aside, I am a sympathetic vomiter. Not sympathetic as in, "Aw, I'm sorry you're sick. Let me hold your hair." Sympathetic as in if you blow chunks in front of me, I'll puke immediately afterwards, possibly even while you are still in mid-puke, if there is a lot coming up. It is an automatic reaction that I have little to no control over, and it has made for some pretty messy incidents.)

"I'm fine, Mike," she repeats, "just a little bit nauseated."

She doesn't look like she believes a word that she is saying, so I keep a watchful eye on her. She turns her attention to the news on the television, but I can tell she is in distress. After a few minutes, she suddenly leans forward, her eyes wide.

"Are you gonna puke?"

"Nope. I'm good," she says in clipped words, and leans back. "False alarm."

"Should I leave? If you're gonna puke, I need to know so I can leave."

A pause. She leans forward again, and an expression of panic flashes on her face, and then fades.

"... I'm good."

Right now, she is the worst liar ever. I can practically see her seething, her stomach churning. It is my turn to lean forward now, hands poised on the arms of my chair and ready to spring up and run out of the room at the first sound of a retch.

She groans lightly and raises a hand over her mouth.

"Should I go?" I ask.

She shakes her head no. Her hand drops.

"Should I go?" I ask again.

Her hand rises again, hovering in the air just below her mouth. She swallows hard.

"I'm good," she says, wiping the corners of her mouth. "I'm good, I prom-"

Her stomach heaves and interrupts her mid-sentence. Before I know what is happening, The Boss lurches forward and clamps her hand firmly over her mouth. She turns to look at me, the panic on her face very clear and very real.

"Should I go?"

She nods.

In a flash, I am up out of my chair. With unheard-of agility and coordination by a man of my stature, I step lightly around the obstacle course of various boxes and storage bins that lay strewn around the living room. Amazingly, I don't hit or knock over a single thing, and in three seconds time I am out of the room and out the front door. I turn around to close the door behind me, and I see The Boss scrambling to pick up a bowl that had for some reason been left on the coffee table. The door slams closed and I plug my ears with my hands.

It wasn't enough. Even on the other side of the door and my hands cupped over my ears, I hear her retch and heave, and vomit. My stomach starts churning, and the bile rises in my throat.

No. NO. I will not throw up. I will NOT throw up. I start humming to block out the noise coming from inside and focus on calming my stomach. The urge to revisit my dinner is strong, but with sheer determination I force it away. I continue humming for a few moments just to be safe.

A minute or two passes. I stop humming, lower my hands, and crack open the door. The Boss is leaning with her head over the bowl.

"Are you okay?"

She nods her head.

"Is it safe to come in?"

"Yeah," she says weakly. "Just don't look over here."

You don't have to worry about that. I have no interest in seeing a bowl of freshly made taco salad soup. I step gingerly back inside and close the door. The Boss wipes her mouth with the back side of her hand and sighs heavily. Barely three steps inside, she groans again, and I freeze.

"Mike?" she asks nervously.

"Yeah?"

"I'm going to need a bigger bowl."

33 Comments:

Tammy Howard said...

I can't remember - do you have kids? A sympathetic puker + kids can't be good...

And...I'm revisiting Stand by Me and the pie eating contest in my minds eye... so thanks for that...

FrankandMary said...

I come here for the enchanting ambiance. ~Mary

Organic Meatbag said...

*shivering* Ooooh, nothing like a good puking story... I bet taco salad doesn't look nearly as good coming up as it does going down...

Natalie said...

Twice the fiesta fun!

Jenn(ifer) said...

I'm still laughing about this. Priceless.
I'm also a sympathetic puker. I'm so thankful my son was/has never been a puker.

You better start buying bigger bowls.

Inna said...

Oh no, poor The Boss.

I absolutely hate puking (not that anyone really does) so I'm glad I'm not a sympathetic puker.

mysterg said...

That is disgustingly funny! I sympathise my friend. Whilst puking itself does not set me off on some crazy domino effect vomit action, the smell of it does.

Having said that, I rarely vomit. But I did projectile vomit once. That was pretty cool.

Do you want me to fetch you that bowl now?

Kristina said...

This was hilarious. But I feel for you when you and The Boss decide to have kids... between pregnancy and a newborn, it's going to be all puking, all the time at your house. :)

Notes From the Grove said...

What are you going to do if and when morning sickness arrives? Aw man, you're screwed. LOL!

Moonspun said...

You know, I was just about to get up and get a snack before reading this...thank goodness I didn't!

Nej said...

My dad was a sympathetic vomiter. Cat, dog, kids...didn't matter. :-)

Kat said...

ooooo man! If she gets pregnant, you are gonna need to invest in ear plugs!

JennyMac said...

My eyes are watering. OMG you are __________ hysterical. Seriously, I just kept laughing...you poor thing. I did this to my brother once in his brand new Audi. I thought he was going to burn me on a stake. And he almost hurled as well, bc like you, a sympathetic vomiter. My thought to him later was DONT BUY ME SHOTS AGAIN as if he had it coming.

Does your Boss read this?

Mrs Soup said...

Oh gosh, that is so horrible!!

Thankfully, my husband is not a sympathetic puker, since I don't know what I would have done without him when I was throwing up 2-6 times a day throughout my pregnancy. Usually the only thing that made me feel any better was having him rub my back.

Me on the other hand...*shudders* I'm feeling nauseous right now just thinking about it!

Laura said...

I too, am a sympathetic puker.... it really sucks

Aunt Becky said...

Ew, ew, ew.

Mwa said...

A sympathetic vomiter! That must be an awful affliction to have. Never thought to blog about puking. (Other bodily functions, yes.) I have some stories...

Mrs. B said...

Got about a third of the way though this post and had to stop reading. I am not actually a sympathetic vomiter, but I have vomitphobia. Seeing, hearing or even suspecting someone may throw up makes my heart race, my chest gets all tight, and I feel light headed. So... I'm sure it was a good story, like yours always are, but I'm just not gonna find out.

Sandy said...

Taco chunks....not good, not good.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't The Boss keep her blog updated?

Johnny Virgil said...

Man, you stuck it out longer than I would have....

Melissa said...

ugh - perfect timing for this post. I totally slipped in cat puke (that was still warm btw) when I got home tonight.

Maggie May said...

aghhhhhhhhhhhh

world of sekimachihato said...

interesting blog... lol
and a nice way to start my day in the office; mmm taco salad soup...

i'm sure i should be feeling sorry for the boss, but why am i feeling so sorry for you!?

Samsmama said...

Melissa's comment made me a little sick.

I'm the same way, completely. I once held a friend's hair back while she puked in the toilet. I was simultaneously puking in the sink. I'm a good friend like that.

Badass Geek said...

Tammy Howard: Nope, no kids yet. Hopefully I'll be better about it by then.

Frank and Mary: I know you do. =)

Organic Meatbag: It surely doesn't.

Natalie: It was more fun the first time.

Jenn(ifer): I'm not much of a puker, either, unless I'm around one.

Inna: Puking is not fun.

Myster G: Ugh. The smell.

Kristina: I know. I am not looking forward to that one bit.

NFTG: I sure am.

Moonspun: Hence the disclaimer.

Nej: I know the feeling.

Kat: Um... yeah.

JennyMac: She does read it. She gave me permission to write about it, too.

Mrs Soup: My stomach was tight writing this. Vomiting is a touchy subject around here.

Laura: It does, doesn't it?

Aunt Becky: You liked it.

MWA: Stories about bodily functions are the life-blood of many blogs.

Mrs B: I'm glad I put in the disclaimer, then.

Sandy: Not good at all.

Anonymous: You'll have to ask her.

JV: It was either true love, or laziness for not wanting to get out of my chair.

Melissa: Thanks for the visual on that.

Maggie May: Sorry?

World: I have a keen way of earning sympathy from others. It's a gift.

Sams Mama: That is devoted friendship right there.

LiLu said...

Aaaaaand I can cross taco salad off the "Dinner Possibilities" list for tonight... ;-)

The Peach Tart said...

I puke when other people puke too. Not good. Not good at all.

Kaylen said...

oy...I don't typically puke for others, but I kinda wanted to puke when reading this. :)

Tanna said...

Charming! I guess you don't have the same problem writing about vomit. Thank you for not posting photos.

lovelila said...

Oh my gosh! Good thing The Boss warned you! I'd never known about sympathetic pukers...actually, it just never occurred to me.

BeautifulWreck said...

I puke when other people puke. In fact just reading this post had me gagging.

Aunt Juicebox said...

We had a friend over once who puked into our trash can. He was drunk, and whatnot, so he just picked the trash can up, held it near his face and puked into it, sitting up. He made this un natural sound that my husband will mimic to this day. It's horrible and yet awesome all at once. I used to be much more sensitive to pukers, but as long as I don't SMELL it now, I'm good.

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