Valentine's Day pt.1 - Turtles, Subways and Mono
I'm pretty sure everyone remembers their first "Valentine"...back when you were a kid and there was the innocence and magic of young love and you hadn't been broken down by the reality of shattered dreams and loneliness yet. Am I a cynic for being anti-Valentine's day? Maybe. But I don't agree with a holiday coming around once a year, telling you to show people you love them. That's a 365 day thing, or bust. Don't rely on February 14th to be your excuse to buy chocolate, flowers, jewelry or take someone out to a fancy dinner and tell them you love them. Life is short. Do it because it's a Tuesday, not because a silly naked baby shot you with a pointy stick. Anyway, I'm off topic. If you like the frou-frou Valentine stuff, you do you.
Back to the point! First Valentine! So I was in middle school science class and long story short had this little boyfriend. So he got me this heart-shaped, rainbow, crystal, turtle necklace because I had desert tortoises so obviously I must've liked them enough to wear a necklace of them...also because turtles and desert tortoises are same same. But the thought is what counts and it was super sweet. I was rude though because I didn't get him anything. I never had a boyfriend before and didn't realize that was a thing, also see feelings about Valentine's day, above. I've been dark and cynical for years...yikes. So whatever, uneventful. Nothing special to report. We held hands for like 3 months and then "broke up" but we were still friends.
So fast forward like 14 years later and we're STILL friends. He lives in New York and I'm working for a tech company based out of there, but I work remote so I still live back on the west coast. Anyway, from time to time I'd have to go to New York for a month to work onsite and do some team building stuff. Well outside of my coworkers, who I have virtually no relationship with, I have no friends in town besides...let's call him Rick. So of course Rick and I go bar hopping on the weekends, see the Rockefeller tree during the holidays, grab dinner, etc. Normal stuff you'd do if you were catching up with a friend you haven't seen in a while, and when you're in their city.
On my last trip to New York before I decided I needed to quit this nightmare job, things got weird. I went out brunching all day with some other friends I had eventually made, and at the end of the day I was going to meet up with Rick. I had a few too many mimosas so figuring out the subway wasn't gonna happen. I Uber and finally get to his place which is located above a deli...NY is fuckin weird like that. So we're hanging out, chatting, watching random youtube things. Normal stuff.
Then suddenly without ANY rhyme or reason, he decides to kiss me. Like making out with my face and I'm like 😳😳😳because I'm caught off guard, also he's my friend and I don't want to like hurt his feelings...but again, I'm rude. And I accidentally BAHAHA! in his face. I played it off poorly, and told him "I should go before things escalate". (I'd love feedback on how you'd feel if someone said that to you, because I've caught myself saying that on a multitude of occasions to get out of romantic situations I don't want to be in). So I leave and I kinda avoid his messages the next couple days and blame it on being tired and/or working long hours. We got together once after that before I went home at some hookah lounge. He doesn't smoke and was hoping for a drink, but I was happy with a bowl and tea. The night ended with him GOING SO FAR OUT OF HIS WAY to walk my to my subway and I awkwardly dodged an end of the night kiss.
It's been over a year and I don't think we've talked much since the incident...maybe I should extend an olive branch and say happy birthday to him next month. Or maybe I don't because he gave me MONO! Wait. Did I forget to mention that?! Yeah. Fuckin MONO! I didn't realize it at the time, but hindsight I remember him saying how he was sick for months before I got to town. A few days after he slobbed me, I noticed a lymph node on my neck was SUPER swollen. Like I could see it just looking at myself in the mirror, but I had no other symptoms so I ignored it and blamed it on my shitty NY apartment smelling like a gas leak. For the next 2 months after I got back home, more and more nodes in my neck were bulging and every time I went to the doctor or minute clinic, they had zero answers. Finally another month after that, I get this 104 degree fever and I'm literally dead for four days. Sweating, can't stay awake, etc. I get over this and start trying to function again, but now my body is COVERED in these tiny red rash spots. I go to the pool one day with some friends and may or may not have fainted at the pool because my body obviously wasn't up to par yet...but after that my spots were soooo much worse. My mom thought it could've been heat rash from the fever and the sun so I didn't worry much...but I finally had to go back to the doctor because the spots had gotten so bad, I wasn't able to work any promo things in a bikini because I looked diseased. They did some tests and found that I had mono in the past! So that explained the fever and lymph nodes and why the antibiotics weren't helping enough. As for the spots, I went to a dermatologist and the fever triggered an underlying auto-immune condition I have genetically. So now I just get to deal with spots until I die. FML.
Moral of the story, don't let an ex-boyfriend/friend give you mono and ruin your skin health. Or just kiss no one because everyone is gross and disease ridden and weird. Except maybe kiss your dog because he/she deserves it and will always love you unconditionally. Happy Valentine's Day!