Let’s Make That Deal For Real

At 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, I was rooting the Redskins to victory and leaving the sports bar with a single wine spritzer under my belt. My biggest concerns at that moment? Two: that the Giants would pull it out, again; incredulity and annoyance that one of the stupidest bartenders I’ve ever regularly over-tipped despite her rudeness, had actually asked me to move THREE times to accommodate her payola version of seating of guests with enough money to thank her. I should complain to her manager, I thought as I drove off. I will complain, I vowed as I pulled up to my apartment.

At 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, I learned that RG Daughter had become suddenly ill on a very long flight from far away in the Pacific Ocean en route back to her college (she had been studying an island culture in real time for the past several weeks). I learned that Air New Zealand is an awesome airline whose flight attendants wrapped my daughter in blankets and cushioned her 103-degree fevered head in as many pillows as they could find. Rather than fear her symptoms, they brought her cups of hot, sweet tea every half hour and offered her what comfort they could.

At 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, I learned my daughter went straight from the airport shuttle to the college health center, whose nurses in turn told her, “Go to the ER, right now.”

At 11:35 p.m. on Sunday, I was told I would hear what was up in a few hours. Someone would call me.

At 1 a.m. on Monday, I awoke with a start, wondering why my cell phone, which I had carefully placed in bed next to me with the ringer turned up to its loudest setting, had not yet rung with news that RG Daughter was resting comfortably. Should I call? But who to call? Surely, someone will call. I’ll give the dumb bartender another chance next weekend, you know, just to get a call.

At 2:10 a.m. on Monday, I woke up shivering under my coverlet, listening to the guys next door party on, my windows open for once to let in the fresh, chilly night air. I won’t glare at them tomorrow for being so loud, you know, if someone will just call to tell me RG Daughter is feeling much better.

At 3:30 a.m. on Monday, I awoke with tears streaming down my face, because I had not really gone back to sleep. Her fever was so high. A health center infamous for discounting student ills had not hesitated to send her to the ER. Her fever was so high….I haven’t been sick in a year or more. Give me the fever, and I won’t even think of calling out.

At 4:00 a.m. on Monday, I sobbed in earnest, having now allowed myself to let my thoughts go so dark as to wonder if this beautiful daughter I cherished might be lost. Meningitis? Something else equally as deadly? I have a medical power of attorney. But where should I send it to prompt someone to talk to me, because she likely cannot. I promise to put all my own angst and selfish worries behind me forever if I can just hug my smiling daughter again, breathe the scent of her hair, feel her once more feel so much a part of me.

At 5:00 a.m. on Monday, I fell asleep. I dreamed I was in Colorado and could not find the hospital in which my daughter lay so sick, because I could not find my rental car in the huge airport lot and I kept losing the keys just when I thought I spotted it. I promised, in my dreams, I would do anything, ANYTHING, to find the car that would take me to her. Want me to go back to office work and a “real” job? You got it. Stop my wandering, settle my soul, skip the journey, and just get it, finally? Make her okay, and I’ll never look back, again.

At 6:30 a.m. on Monday, I awoke feeling beat up and hung over, not from alcohol, but from stress and lack of real sleep. I looked at my cell phone, now incredulous that not one text, voice mail, missed call–nothing–had been left for me. Okay, whatever the outcome, whatever is happening, please, please, please make her okay.

At 7:00 a.m. on Monday, I called Mr. RG in D.C. “Oh, she didn’t call you? She said she would. She’s sick, but she’ll be okay. Dengue Fever. Pretty classic case.”

At 7:01 a.m. on Monday, I wanted to both strangle and hug Mr. RG. NO ONE CALLED ME, I told him. But because he was my messenger of good news, I could only sag into my pillows with relief and promise to Google this previously never-thought-of disease.

At 10:30 a.m. on Monday, I talked to a very tired, very sick RG Daughter, telling her to take all the meds given her, rest up, and that Mommy was working on a great time in Florida for her when she visited after New Years. Orange Bowl tickets to see our ‘Hawks take on Va. Tech? You got it. Snorkeling in the Keys? I can make that happen. Perfect weather and lots of beach time? Anything you want. Absolutely anything.

Just as soon as I tip the dumb bartender 25 percent again for her rudeness, never call out no matter how horrible I feel, buy some weed for my neighbors and smile at them when they keep me up all night, quit my kvetching about work, allow only one day a week for selfish introspection so that I can count my blessings the other six days, and hug you to pieces and never let you go when I see you next week.

Yeah, let’s make that deal. Done.






21 responses to “Let’s Make That Deal For Real”

  1. Brother Avatar

    Big hug.

    Right after I beat you senseless for not calling.

  2. last one home Avatar

    weed? you holdin’?

  3. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Brother–Thank you, and I know you would never beat me senseless because you understand me.

    Last one home–No. But some days, on some very rare occasions such as this horrible night, it is SO tempting. But actually, no.

  4. Kim Ayres Avatar

    You were hussled into that deal…

  5. Julie Avatar

    Right before my senior Art Show, I was soo sick. I went to the student health center and was told that I just needed to take Sudafed to clear my congestion even though I have a history of severe ear infections. The next morning, I called my mom — crying because my ears hurt so badly — and told her I needed to go to urgent care. I trudged the couple of blocks through the snow storm that was busily changing into an ice storm. While I was getting checked out, the phone lines went down. By the time I got back home with my antibiotics, I couldn’t call my mom. Poor mom. She was so worried.

    Don’t get me started on student health centers. You don’t get a sinus infection and ear infections (both ears!) overnight.

  6. jali Avatar

    I make deals all the time.

    So glad rg daughter is doing better. I would have been so scared.

    Find a good trade so that you don’t have to overtip rude bartender. Trading is perfectly acceptable.

  7. Augs Avatar

    wow, what a night. I’m sorry you had to go through that. I’m glad RG daughter is on the mend. Now, time for you to get some rest.

  8. Natalie Avatar

    Thank goodness she’s going to be ok.

  9. upset waitress Avatar

    Oh no. RG Daughter is going to be laid up for a couple of weeks then! She probably didn’t have the energy to call! She still might not be up to par in early January. For X-mas you might want to get her a gallon of DEET, especially if this kid plans to study on foreign islands. Well, try and relax RG. 🙂

  10. María José Avatar
    María José

    Dengue Fever. I live in south mexico. Its very very common. Almost everyone i know has had it. Its no fun, but she should be ok.
    Hugs and happy holidays!

  11. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Kim–So scary that if I was hustled, so be it. It’s all okay now, thank goodness.

    Julie–I have my own horror-story memories from student health facilities, but in this case, they knew she was sick and knew they couldn’t properly treat her. Thank goodness it’s “only” Dengue.

    Jali–Actually, can I trade a bunch of these away? I want to ditch the stupid bartender, really don’t want to track down weed, and work in an office again–not right now, thanks. Suggestions? Maybe no fries for eternity or something. But I like this trading idea–thanks!

    Augs–Rested up last night, and feeling a whole lot better, as is she.

    Natalie–Hi! Yes, thank every goodness ever known. Hope you and yours are well, too!

    Upset Waitress–Hate to tell you, this is the kid who slathered herself in 100% Deet and brought netting for her bed. She got three mosquito bites. Her classmates brought nothing and got bitten up like crazy. So who gets Dengue? Yeah, that would be my kid. I am relaxing now, thanks. The IV of wine has helped.

    Maria Jose–So great to hear from you again! I hope all is well with you. Thanks for letting me know this is not so uncommon as I thought. Merry Merry to you, too.

  12. Manuel Avatar

    Sweet holy moley…….hugs n that…..

  13. Brother Avatar

    >>Brother–Thank you, and I know you would never beat me senseless because you >>understand me.

    The second I will give you. Don’t bet on the first. 😉

  14. Kim Ayres Avatar

    You always have to be careful of making deals with fate. Mind you, it reminds me of the guy who was trying to get to an important meeting but couldn’t find a parking space. “Dear God!” he cried,”This is so important, please help me find a place to park. If you do, I’ll give up the booze, pray every day and start going to church again.” Miraculously a parking space suddenly appeared. The guy looked up and said “Never mind, I’ve found one…”

  15. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Manuel–Yeah, crazy. Thanks for the hug.

    Brother–I am sure you know mom always liked me better.

    Kim–Perfect. Fine, off to the sports bar it is next Sunday, how about a bunch of munchie food for the neighbors, and all the rest is done. There, another deal kept.

  16. Kevin Avatar

    Arggghhh. I feel your pain. Our mid-kid got suddenly ill like that a couple of years ago (and thank god she lived here in town while going to college), so I hauled her off to the local trauma center, worried to hell that she had meningitis … turned out it was just a UTI that antibiotics took care of. But I surely know that sick-in-the-gut feeling.

    Give me the name of whoever was responsible for deciding NOT to call The Mama the very second it was dx’d as Dengue Fever, and I will personally beat the crap out of him or her!!!

    Why mothers get gray.

  17. yoyo Avatar

    Hey ResterauntGal. I’ve been reading for a while but never got the courage up to post before. So hi, hello, I very much like your writing.
    This post really touched me, I know how you feel..when so worried about a loved one and willing to do anything,just to see them happy and healthy again.

  18. Tessa Avatar

    Oh, RG, my heart goes out to you. I’ve made too many deals to know for sure if I’ve kept all of them…and I was feeling a tad guilty lately because I’ve got a lot to be thankful for and haven’t really “given back” lately. I know it’s not much, but I’m going to buy a ticket for “Menu for Hope” before it ends tomorrow afternoon. (And if you’re looking for alternatives to overtipping, you might try this.)

    I hope your daughter continues seeking learning and adventure–despite this scary event.

  19. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Kevin–This is why God made highlights available.

    yoyo–Welcome! Thank you for your compliments about my writing. RG daughter is on the mend, so I am trying to let the worry go.

    Tessa–Ah, those pesky deals, but I am doing my best to keep them. As for RG Daughter taking a break from exotic travels–only for now. Make that only for a few months. One tough kid, that one.

  20. Jenni Avatar

    I’m just glad she’s feeling better now!

    and I”m glad to have read the post you wrote after this one first so I knew she was better already.. =)

    and is it just me?? or does “Dengue Fever” sound like an exclamation… or a swear word… probably feels like one to you anyway!

    hugs to you gal, and to feeling better!