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May 16, 2012 / Jess


Dear Army,

I feel lousy. I have a nasty yet run-of-the-mill common cold. But for the purposes of this letter and to be more over-dramatic (because who doesn’t lean toward over-dramatic when they don’t feel well?), I will now refer to my illness as “the plague.”

I forced myself to go to work despite having the plague.

I am so brave.

At around 9:30, I wandered to the company fridge to grab my breakfast. My throat was killing me; I was hoping my Greek yogurt would help calm it down – because it was cold, and it was all I had. I was at that place all plague sufferers get to – you feel lousy when you get up but self-medicate with over-the-counter drugs and caffeine and once you get to work realize, Hey, I don’t feel that bad. For about two hours. Then you realize you’ve used an entire day’s worth of energy in those two hours and your thinking shifts to – I feel like crap. Why am I here?

When I grabbed my lunch bag – my brand new lunch bag, might I add – I noticed it was dripping. Great. Opening it, I saw my chicken noodle soup had spilled everywhere. The soup I had went out of my way to buy last night, even though I was feeling miserable. The soup that was going to be the highlight of my day. Blargh.

I got silently frustrated. I would have been vocal about it, but I didn’t feel like upsetting the sore throat that came with the plague. Standing there, with chicken noodle soup dripping on the floor, my mind wandered to you.

It wandered to when my soldier had pneumonia and mono or just pneumonia, I’m still not sure, and he couldn’t get treatment for it. Instead of chicken noodle soup, he got 18-20 hour work days of hard physical labor. He got sicker and sicker. As I sniffled and started cleaning up my mess, I thought of how when he did get diagnosed and quarantined, I had sent him soup and cough drops at his request. I thought about how they wouldn’t deliver it to him in quarantine, and how they often forgot to give him food.

I thought about how there’s a cafeteria at work and how I had money in my wallet. I could buy more soup. I coughed, and thought about the cough drops sitting in my desk drawer.

You are good for perspective, Army, I’ll give you that.

But you still gave my boyfriend pneumonia. Plus, my boyfriend brings me soup when I’m sick. You just gave me perspective. Soup tastes better. So I’m still not interested in you.

Go away.

(Not) love,



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