Well, once again I am ringing in the New Year in a delicate state of health. Apparently it was not enough that I had to begin 2004 with lyme disease, and end it with a badly bruised/broken coccyx bone. No, now I have the pox.
Okay, it isn't really THE pox, like the one everyone died from in the 1600s or whenever.
But is A pox. Or I should say more than one, because they are all over my body, even on my face. I look like that guy running for President over in the Ukraine who was poisoned with Dioxin. Only I wasn't poisoned with Dioxin. Instead, I have SCARLET FEVER.
Yes, I know. You didn't know people could get scarlet fever in today's day and age. You are thinking, “Wasn't scarlet fever what Beth got in LITTLE WOMEN?”
And you would be right. It is not really called scarlet fever anymore, it's called scarlatina, and basically it's a form of strep, only in my case, it is mostly in my skin, not my throat.
Nice, huh? I am so glad I get to go to New Year's parties with thick patches of sandpapery zit-like things all over my face and body.
On the other hand, I am taking antibiotics for it and it is going away. A hundred years ago, when people got this, they mostly just died. So I am lucky to have been born in this age. Also, not to have moved to Phuket, Thailand, instead of Key West.
There are many things to be thankful for this New Year, and even one who has been cursed with the pox can find one or two things to be glad about as 2004 slides into 2005. Among them:
1. That new TV show, House. Without it, I'd have assumed my pox were simply an allergic reaction to my new sheets. Viewing of the new Fox medical drama about a cranky internist made me realize there might be more to my disease than a simple reaction to a new detergent. Well, that and the fever and sore throat.
2. Nanny 911. I realize that to some, it might seem wrong to be thankful for TV shows. But Nanny 911 has brought my husband and I together in ways you cannot know. Really, except for the OC, which we both agree is crap this year, there is no single show that we watch together (I did get him to watch House the other night). My husband was so stunned by the sheer stupidity of the people on Nanny 911 that he was rooted to his chair when it came on the other night, and made comments such as, “Oh, my God. Why don't they just move away and leave those kids behind?” and “You should have to get a license before you become a parent. And take classes. Like driving.” It was highly amusing.
Other things to be thankful for in 2005:
3. Tab is making a comeback. Yes. Several readers alerted me to the fact that Target is now selling sparkly shirts with the Tab logo on them. I have mine. Do you have yours?
4. Napoleon Dynamite, out on DVD. Come on, you know you've been oddly fascinated by ligers ever since that one was born in that Moscow zoo. Don't you want to meet their biggest fan?
5. Britney's a big drunk (allegedly)! Oh, wait, we covered that in the holiday newsletter. Sorry. It just brightens up my day every time I think about it. Why should someone who has, um, everything drink so much? It is a sign, surely, of deeply rooted depression and/or anxiety problems. Clearly, Britney needs to go see Dr. House. But I hope she doesn't, because Us Weekly would be so boring without her.
6. Supermodel caught in tsunami! I know many thousands of people died in the tsunamis last week. Leave it to Fox news to break the story that one of them was a supermodel. And okay, she didn't die, she clung to a tree for eight hours with a broken pelvis while her boyfriend was swept out to sea. But why is Fox News talking about this so much? There are hundreds of thousands of other people who suffered worse ordeals. Although I do admit, if I had a broken pelvis and had just watched the love of my life being swept out to sea, I would have just been like, “Well, I've had a good life. And I'm getting tired of holding onto this tree,” and let go. So kudos to her for sticking it out. Although if she'd also had the pox, I doubt she'd have hung on for so long. I'm just saying, disfigurement is very depressing, even if it isn't permanent.
7. I'm having another niece. Yes! It's a girl! Again! I'm very pleased that my brother and his wife are doing their part to bring more girls into the world. With any luck, we will be able to introduce an army of Cabot girls into the nation. Cabot girl power! That would rule.
8. Henrietta came downstairs. Henrietta has been terrified to come downstairs in our new house, because that's where all the workers were for so long, with their hammering. Recently, however, the workers have left, and Henrietta has been making tentative forays onto the first floor, most recently to see what I was doing one morning when I was making breakfast. I heard a tiny inquisitive “Meow?” and there she was in the kitchen doorway! It was an amazing feat of animal bravery, and I praised her liberally for it.
9. The new Star Wars movie. Okay, I know, the last two really sucked. But this one, judging by the trailer, might not suck as much. I am not saying it is going to be good. But it might not be as bad as the last one. Which was slightly better than the one before that. George, I love you, but you can't write dialogue. I'm just saying.
10. Books. I know this is an odd thing to be thankful for, since books have always been around, and will hopefully continue to be for some time. But I am thankful for them anyway, since (obviously) they are how I make my living. But also, they provide me with hours of entertainment, not just reading other people's books, but reading your letters to me about my books. And even though I wouldn't say I appreciate ALL of your letters (especially the one I just got asking me where a fan of the film of Princess Diaries 2 can buy the book of the movie, since she likes it better than MY version of what happens to Mia—although may I just point out, as Mia's creator, what I say happens to her is what ACTUALLY happens to her, not what Disney says happens to her, even though they did a lovely job and I enjoyed their version very much, despite the fact that none of it will ever happen in my books).
Anyway, I am very grateful for all things book related, whether it be Jon Stewart's AMERICA or Pam Anderson's romance a clef, STAR, or Louise May Alcott's LITTLE WOMEN, which helped give me a model on how to act now that I have scarlet fever. I just hope someone will give me a piano. Is that so much to ask?
Happy New Year to you all, and see you in 2005!