Senior Fever, Defined and Explored

Senior Fever is here, bringing with it a strange set of behaviors marked by fits of emotion–mostly the good variety–and excessive piano playing in the late evening and early morning hours.

I have researched Senior Fever to determine how long we may expect the euphoria . . . the spinning around . . .the overwhelming willingness to help with chores . . . to continue and whether it can be injected into other family members, even if for just a day or two.

Senior Fever is not to be confused with Senioritis, which is characterized by excessive school absences, indifference toward academics and a generally crappy attitude accompanied by “I can’t wait to get out of this place” and other kind outbursts. Senior Fever tends to manifest itself as a mild form of insanity, causing a perfectly normal 18-year-old to do things like trap a baby opossum in a sand bucket and carefully haul its long-tailed self off to the woods–a chain of events that would have rendered her supine and helpless on the driveway just a year ago.

The concern here is not that we’re living with a deranged Julie Andrews or Snow White, but that we’d like it to last, and we don’t know how. Maybe some comparisons to other fevers throughout history would be helpful . . .

Goombay Funky Fever bears a striking resemblance to Senior Fever. Hip yet pensive youngsters are vulnerable to both. But Goombay Funky Fever is a chronic condition, while Senior Fever is (sadly) not.

Fish fever and Senior Fever aren't related disorders. Obviously.

A physician recalls his work in a WWII research project aimed at stamping out malaria, which is similar to yellow fever. His research did not benefit later studies of Senior Fever. Besides, yellow fever is bad.

Karin got her performance name during her senior year in high school when she contracted what was thought to be a serious case of Senior Fever. As it only worsened over time, it was determined to be something else entirely. Karin never recovered from her bout with whatever and is now a Swedish electronic artist, yet still gripping tightly to her stage name, "Fever Ray." After the birth of her second child, she took full advantage of her postnatal mental state and created new and fantastic works sparked by the blurred line between semi-consciousness and straight-up exhaustion. Much like a high school senior would. Except for the postnatal part.

In 18 years of parenting, we have somehow managed to avoid contracting any form of Fashion Fever in our household. Lately, in fact, we have encountered what appears to be the antithesis of Fashion Fever, a bizarre condition known as "Can You Believe This T-Shirt from Fifth Grade Summer Camp Still Fits Me? I'm Going to Wear It to School for the Third Time This Week."

Oh, but if we could only bottle up this Senior Fever, which is set to evaporate in four short weeks . . .

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