I guess it’s time to hesitantly shame-walk down memory lane, and introduce y’all to my mother’s ridiculous home remedies for her bed-ridden children. We were never actually that sick. My mother’s a drama queen. It’s awesome. Picture the scene: a blistery winter night in the late 90’s, and I have a fever. Mom is bursting at the seams, dying to slather me with Vick’s vapor rub, as white people call it, or ZEPOL, as Dominicans call it (and swear by it. Like I’m almost certain all the Hispanic Catholics you see aren’t actually offering a Hail Mary, they’re applying Zepol to their forehead and temples). I digress. I’m laying on mom’s bed, sick as all get out, doused practically head to toe in this sticky, thick substance that smells like actual hemorrhoid cream. Not that I would know would that smells like. It’s a bold guess. The best part is that she’d put clothing on me afterwards and it stuck to me the way wet clothes stick to a wet body. It was the second most appalling feeling I’ve ever had on top of me…my ex husband being the first. Am I digressing again? Sorry.
My Costa-Rican father didn’t give a damn about anything, ever, but oddly enough whenever one of us was sick he miraculously rose from the grave of deadbeat dads and involved himself. His method to cure a fever? Ever hear of burning both ends of a twisted piece of paper towel and shoving it in your ear? Me neither. “DAD, I’M NOT TRYING TO EXORCISE THE DEMONS IN MY EAR CANAL. I SIMPLY HAVE A FEVER”.
I’m also pretty sure my grandmother would put potato slices on my eyelids. Jeez. No wonder I had fevers.