Once in awhile, about every two to three years, my body screams stop and I listen. I tend to forget that my allergies can lay me out, moving from their usual spot in my sinuses and taking over muscle groups, temperature control, and digestive functions. This only occurs when I achieve the magic combination of fatigue, stress, dramatic changes in barometric pressure, and bad timing. So instead of hanging out at the hospital with Mike and providing relief from boredom, I’m in bed in the hotel room, under the covers because I’m cold, watching “Say yes to the dress” and weeping. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this show—it’s my first time—but it is your typical, manipulative, formulaic, so-called reality show. There’s the bride, obviously, and among the cast of characters is a relative or friend who is opinionated and kind of snarky. For some reason everyone listens to Ms. Bitter Unmarried Sister or Mrs. Holds the Purse Strings, or Mrs. My Son is too Good for You so Try to Look Like a Princess . There are men at these showings but they fall into two categories: indulgent daddy and daddy who is appalled at the low cut dresses his little girl is trying on.

You may be wondering how it is that I’ve figured all this out. Well. Apparently this show is on for (at last count) 3 consecutive hours. The producers make a genuine effort to include (very) different kinds of brides. My favorite so far is the body builder who chose a dress to accent her arms and shoulders and orange tan. There have been many enhanced breasts, really scary, but I think if I take another decongestant I can stop the flashbacks.

Almost as horrifying as some of the dresses are the constantly repeated commercials. Dr. Pimple Popper heads the line up, with a veritable buffet of lumps that you never wanted to see. I’ve been forcing fluids so this commercial allows me to take bathroom breaks every 11 and a half minutes.

So why am I still watching this? It’s a cross between horrified fascination and waiting for the inevitable tear jerker element to surface. There’s often a sob story (dying relative, horribly burned relative) but what gets to me is when the bride finds THE DRESS. It’s not my fault; I’ve been conditioned to tear up during sentimental commercials. The first (manipulative) station break I can remember is the commercial where the soldier comes home from WWII and the whole family is having a hamburger at McDonald’s for some reason and then the returning hero shows up. Yes, McDonalds that opened in the 1960s, which, hello, is two decades after WWII ended. Did that knowledge stop me from tearing up? No way! It was a soldier and there was sad music playing. I was overcome with patriotism, sentiment, and irritation that I’m so easy.

Okay, I’ve had a surfeit of unreality and now I’m going to turn off the tv before there’s a news break, drink some more tea, and attempt to sleep sitting up.

Several hours later. My no-fail treatment for allergy attack (decongestant, nose spray, vitamin C, herbal tea, red vines, and mindless television) has worked and I should be fully recovered by tomorrow morning. Now that I can breathe, sleep seems like an option. I’m going to skip the two hour documentary on Ted Bundy (yikes), power down the electronics, turn off the lights and thank God for world class medical treatment.

Just spoke with Mike and he is counting down to his last two infusions. He called to see how I was feeling and to say good night. Did I marry the right man or what?!!