This universal problem has turned into a global crisis, as I have heard complaints from women from all over the world and from all walks of life. Especially when their significant other suffers from a simple paper cut, the common cold, a slight headache ... to a little swelling from a needle prick, and -- even worse -- hatching a chimerical plan to get your attention to be mollycoddled.
I asked one of my former colleagues why men act like babies and whine when they have minor discomforts ... he is married and wishes to remain anonymous:
"Yes, we are big babies and it caters to the motherly instinct of women to coddle us ... I flinch when getting any sort of needle. Now ... being run over by a 250-pound guy in football ... I can handle that..."
Derek Semmler, www.sparkplugging.com, The Man Page Blog writes ... "Some feel it is a need that men have to be mothered while others think it is because men don't have periods -- umm, okay."
So, here's the tea; it was 7 a.m. and I was sitting in a small outpatient recovery waiting-room for a girlfriend who had outpatient surgery. As I opened my drama-filled book to read ... I overheard, "They act like helpless babies."
I knew this conversation was going to go better than the book I was reading. The women didn't seem to mind that I closed my book and changed seats to be closer. And the tea started to spill...
Woman Number 1: Her husband runs a Fortune 500 company, 6'4'', 250 lbs., and she says (all in broken English) that he acts and whines like a "newborn" and it drives her "loco." I knew "loco" meant crazy. She says he gives her this cute pitiful look that she falls for every time; she fluffs his pillow, reads the sports section to him, and even rubs his feet when he is sick, which she enjoys doing.
However, she did not know what to expect this time around, with his last minor surgery: he asked her to change the channel on the TV when the remote thingy was right next to him. One woman asked if he had had surgery on his hands; we all waited with baited breath for her answer."Nope, his-his foot, how-you-say, he-stumped his-toe." We all laughed; even she had to laugh...
Woman Number 2 had a cut of bitter sarcasm in her voice when she said that she was just "honoring her vows" and that she did not look forward to hearing her name called.
She says she feels like a prisoner when her husband is sick: "He goes to work when I am sick, and expects me to stay home whenever he is under the weather." I clutched my invisible pearls at what she said next:
He wants her to sit in the room and just "stare" at him the whole time ... she continued bitterly," ... in case his sniffles takes a turn for the worse, and tragically turns into the common 'man'cold!" We might see their story on a future crime show of "It Was Me or Him" ... her name was called next...
Woman Number 3 said that she is not allowed to be sick. Her husband is not convinced she is "sick" unless she is regurgitating and about to pass out; if she doesn't fall under these criteria, she is expected to do all of her wifely duties, even in the bedroom (how sad). However, when he is sick, it is a very different story.
She said he had a slight fever one night and that he was cooing in his sleep like a real-live baby. So, she turned him over as one would do with a baby, but he never woke up as he continued cooing ... she paused for a second and emulated the cooing sound he made, we all laughed and we were asked to keep it down ... not sure if the cooing is a bit hyperbole; nonetheless, she is a good storyteller.
Me: Years ago, I knocked on the door of a new boyfriend who called and said he was not feeling well; he said he had a fever. He looked so pitiful when he opened the door -- his voice went from a deep-baritone Barry White to a squeaky mousey voice.
I had a bagful of love, which consisted of everything from soup to a thermometer. I even packed a dinner bell; I thought it would be a cute idea for him to "ring" when he needed me. I asked if he had eaten -- I wanted to laugh when he said he "tried" to open a can of soup. I was running back-and-forth to clean his kitchen (A double tornado had blown through). He had a strong wrist, though; he wore that bell out.(I found his can opener inside the refrigerator.)
I took his temperature and started to shake the thermometer as you see in a doctor's office for an accurate reading, and nothing ... the red liquid inside did not rise. I touched his forehead and neck; he was cold as Alaskan crab legs! He had the unmitigated gall to muster up a few dry coughs, "Diedre, how bad is it?
When I walked out of the room, he had the nerve to ring that bell -- again! Let's just say "For whom the bell tolls" was no longer a cute idea. I went back, politely reached for the bell, and took it apart in a matter of nine seconds flat (that might be a world record), and I left with a resounding ringing in my ear.
When I got home, he had left an apology message on my machine; it was an elaborate plan of his to see if I was a nurturer like his mom.
Maybe this global crisis is a part of a man's DNA. Our complaints are all in the name of love -- what are some of your loving ones?