When I woke up, I felt fine. However, by noon, one side of my nose was stuffed up. And by dinner time, I had a full blown, eye-watering, nose-dripping, knock-the-dog-over-with-my-sneezes head cold.

“Maybe it’s allergies,” said my husband as I let out another sonic boom of a sneeze.

“I’ve never had allergies before,” I replied

“There’s always a first time,” he replied. “And it is spring now.”

“Okay, let’s look at the evidence,” I said. “1. There is still snow on the ground so it couldn’t be a pollen allergy. 2. We’ve had the dog for 4 years, so it’s not a dog allergy. 3. We’ve been married for 25 years, so it’s not a husband allergy.”

“I wouldn’t necessarily discount the last one,” he said, backing away.

I could understand that he didn’t want me to have a cold. I knew it wasn’t a party for him when I was sick, but it didn’t compare on any level to when he was sick. When my husband came down with a “Man Cold,” the whole planet knew it. I was expected to attend to his every runny-nosed whim and scratchy-throated complaint, and remain mute when he looked up his symptoms on Web MD and tried to assure me that he did not have a cold, but rather, Anthrax or Cat Scratch Fever. But when I got sick, it was every man, child, and sniffling, sneezing woman for themselves. Often when he saw me coming down with a cold, he would grab his pillow and go sleep in another room so he didn’t catch it. It’s not that he’s unsympathetic. For him it’s simply a matter of self-preservation. He knows that if he catches my cold and gets a “Man Cold,” I would kill him.

Meanwhile, back at snot-central, I couldn’t sleep because I was so congested. I sneezed loudly and woke up my husband.

“I have a cold,” I whined miserably.

“No, really?” he replied.

“I need to emancipate my nose,” I said.

“From what?”

“The rest of my head.”

“Take some medicine and go to sleep,” he replied as he rolled over and fell back into his non-congested coma.

I lay there and stewed. I wanted some sympathy. An offer of chicken soup. Or at least a handful of tissues. I finally got up and dug through the medicine bin to try to find something that would relieve my symptoms, or maybe a ball peen hammer so I could knock myself out. I finally settled on one of those nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, aching, coughing, stuffy-head, fever, so you can rest medicines and got back into bed. But no sooner did I lay down then I exploded with another one of those apocalyptic sneezes that probably registered an eight on the Richter scale. The sound and force of it startled my sleeping husband so suddenly that he jumped out of bed in alarm and smacked his knee on the side of the nightstand.

“Owww,” he groaned. “I hit my knee really hard. It’s throbbing!”

“That stinks,” I said sniffling.

“What should I do?” he whined.

I rolled over and tucked myself under my blankets.

“Take some medicine and go to sleep.”
— For more Lost in Suburbia, follow Tracy on Facebook at facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage or on Twitter at @TracyBeckerman.