The trouble with this cold is that it's annoying and long-lasting, but not nearly dehibilitating enough to prevent me from working. I'd've missed at least three days if I'd wanted to try to shield my co-workers from germs. If I thought the healthy ones stood a chance of escaping it.
Lut gave me a ride to work on Monday. Lut works until 9-10PM now, so I wasn't about to stay at work until he could take me home, though. I would've taken a taxi home, if necessary, but since I live so close to work, I asked one of the people that I'm friendliest with for a ride. She leaves work at the same time I do, so that worked out fine.
Tuesday, Lut drove me in again. It was bitterly cold Tuesday morning, but I was feeling better, so I came prepared to walk home. I wore my long black wool cloak and scarf. The cloak is an ideal walking garment, because it creates a little pocket of warmth with my body heat. I find that my extremities, especially my fingers, get cold very easily unless I keep them in close proximity to warmer parts of me. I don't wear gloves unless I need to work with my hands in the cold. If I'm just walking from one place to another, my hands stay much warmer in my pockets, or tucked through my sleeves against the opposite wrist. A good cloak is the perfect extension of this plan. I need to make a hood for my cloak. And line it. With a lining, it'd be positively toasty. Mmm.
Anyway, I walked home Tuesday night. It was much warmer by evening, I was feeling better, and the walk really wasn't bad. I'd gotten a rolling backpack on Sunday, and decided Tuesday that I should only use the backpack when I need it. The backpack weighed more than the empty sandwich container and tiny purse that I was carrying in it.
Today, I drove to work -- Lut got home very late last night, in large part because he stopped at the store to get more grape tomatoes for me. He'd gone to the store Monday night for grape tomatoes, too, but I managed to eat the entire pint at work on Tuesday. He bought three this time. Anyway, I drove to work because I wasn't stubborn enough to walk in the cold morning when I was still sick. I came home at lunch to bring the car to Lut, and he drove me back to work before he went on to his job.
I was considering walked home again tonight -- it's not that cold, really, and I'm not very sick. Lut was annoyed with me for walking home Tuesday night: "Call a cab. What'll it cost, $4? I'll pay for it." I don't mind the cost of a cab so much as the nuisance of calling one and timing it so it arrives when I want to leave.
It didn't surprise me that Lut didn't want me walking around in the cold; he's not entirely thrilled about me walking to and from work in the first place.
What did surprise me is that my entire department was ready to rebuke me for walking home.
One of my coworkers had seen me walking along the highway and was aghast. She told several others, who were equally aghast, and from there went on to tell me, in no uncertain terms, that in the future I was to ask for a ride home. "One of us can always spare a few minutes to run you home. You shouldn't be walking around in this weather!"
Given that I'm still sniffling, I wasn't about to turn her down tonight. But I must confess, I don't like the idea of habitually asking for rides. For one thing, walking to and from home is the only exercise I get, and I do need it. I am not the sort of person who will engage in exercise solely for its own sake. I need to get some sort of benefit from it, and getting from point A to point B counts.
Furthermore ... I like being independent. I don't like depending on people to help me out. I don't even like the perception that I am dependent. And it's nice to be able to come and go from work as I please, without waiting on the convenience of anyone else. Or making them wait on me.
Still, it was gratifying to see that they all cared. And nice to have something offered that I don't like to ask for.
I just hope this isn't too much of a precedent.