Today's post comes from a spinster who is, no doubt, one of your favorite contributors: Alexandra Lubensky! Below you'll find her meditations on Spinster Health. I hope it gives you as good a giggle as it gave me.
Good health is especially important for a spinster. If you get sick, you don’t have somebody to bring you chicken soup or clean up your phlegm-filled tissues. Preventative medicine is key, but if you do fall ill, it’s good to have a few remedies up your sleeve for a quick fix. Fortunately, I come from a Russian family, so there is no shortage of health advice to be had. All it takes is a single cough or a slight sniffle for all of my grandparents to impart their many combined years of wisdom. Lucky for you all, I am going to share just a few of the gems that I have gather over the years. Lest you be skeptical because of the lack of scientific evidence, let me assure you that my grandfathers have advanced degrees in chemistry and engineering, so they pretty much count as experts in everything.
The first step is to keep from getting sick in the first place and the best way to do this is to always wear a hat and scarf. The cold is an insidious enemy that must be kept out at all costs. You should avoid drafty rooms the same as you would the loud ranting man on the subway. Just imagine the wind to be a sneaky creature whose goal is to creep into your body and infect you with all sorts of illnesses. Scary! Women must be especially careful and never sit on any cold surfaces. Not only will you get sick, you will also never be able to bear children (though the latter point may not matter to some spinsters).
Sometimes, no matter how much you bundle up and avoid cold beverages, you still manage to fall ill. What to do now? You may want to start with eating a lot of raspberry jam. This is a magical cure-all, made all the potent when mixed with tea or hot water. It’s better if you can get it from the Russian grocery store; none of that Smuckers junk. After spending your day chugging hot raspberry flavored liquids, you will want to switch things up before you go to bed. Warm up some milk and add a healthy amount of honey before quickly downing the whole mug. If you are lactose intolerant or vegan, you can also just grab a giant spoonful of honey and swallow it. Again, quality ingredients are key. You want thick, all-natural, local honey, preferably with the comb in the jar. If you’re not packed full enough of liquids, you can choose to finish with a shot of vodka, whiskey, cognac, whatever. As long as it’s high-proof. This will knock you right out, so you won’t have to worry about waking up constantly to pee in the middle of the night after everything you’ve had to drink.
Nobody likes a sore throat. It makes talking, breathing, and eating intolerable. There are two ways to get rid of the pain. To be safe, you should probably do both. First, cut up a lemon into slices and arrange them on a plate. Sprinkle them with sugar to taste. Now eat them, rinds included. It is more delicious than it sounds and soon you may find yourself faking a sore throat just so you can have an excuse to eat an entire lemon. The second option is gargling. Mix up some water and salt in a glass and head over to the bathroom sink. The more noise you make while gargling and the longer you can keep it up, the more effective the cure.
So next time you’re sick, don’t bother going to the doctor or even the pharmacy. All you need are a few key ingredients stocked up in the apartment and you can nurse yourself back to health.