There was a report on the news the other morning that the man flu is a real thing. My husband, Beau, couldn't wait for me to get out of the shower to tell me this. I haven't seen him that happy in a long time. Like all he's ever needed was some goof to come out with a study stating men are big babies.
I wonder how much that guy was paid to do that study. And yes, of course, it was conducted by a man. I guarantee you I could have done my own study for half the price.
This was not a revelation to me. I know all too well that the man flu is a real thing. I've experienced it. All too often. Starting back when I was a kid.
When I think back now on my childhood I can remember every single time my Dad had the man flu. He only owned one single pair of pajamas and he only wore them when he was sick. Looking back, this was his way of letting the world know he was sick. We just didn't have a name for it then. But if those pajamas were on, he was suffering from the man flu.
Funny. I don't recall my mom being sick. Ever.
Now I'm a mom. So that means I've been puked on. Peed on. Pooped on. Sometimes all three at once. Sometimes by multiple children all at once. But I'll take all four kids simultaneously puking, peeing, and pooping on me over my husband having the freaking man flu any day.
First of all, let's define man flu. It's what women commonly refer to as the sniffles. If you're a woman, you go on with your day. Maybe you throw a few extra tissues in your pocket. But besides that, you continue taking care of business.
One time, I was lying in bed with a 103 degree fever. I also had strep throat. I was also pregnant at the time. With two babies at home. Beau rolls on through the door after being away all day and tells me he thinks he's coming down with "something."
The only thing he was about to come down with was my foot right up his ass. Bless his heart.
I'm lying there, in a pool of my own secretions, burning up with fever, my throat feeling like a million razor blades are ripping it apart every time I swallow. And this sonofabitch had to blow his nose today and wants to call an ambulance.
This normally goes on for days. The man feeling as though he's coming down with something. I'd prefer if they actually came down with it already. You feel like something is coming on? You're either sick or you're not. You don't get three days to complain that you think you might be soon.
And if you ask me again to take your temperature you're going to have to bend over. Oh that's not how your Mom used to do it? I'm not your mom. Call her.
I can also see this in my kids. My son flaps around on the bathroom floor. Tears falling from his face. As he misses the toilet every time. Just like a real grown man.
I can remember one time in particular that he was really sick with the flu. We were in the bathroom and in between pukes, he tells me that he's yelling at God in his head to make it stop but God isn't listening to him. Well, God is a man. Perhaps He's got a case of the sniffles Himself and isn't answering prayers right now.
On the other hand, I love it when my daughter gets sick. She's amazing. Like a machine. She gets up, walks into the bathroom, and yaks her brains out without so much as a splash. She rinses her mouth out after wiping down the toilet with a Lysol wipe for good measure. She then declares she's better and goes about her day until it's time to puke again. I want to be just like her when I grow up.
Women are the stronger sex. We all know this. It's not a secret. We are the ones who give birth for a reason. Because we can freaking handle it.
We don't run to the doctor every time we get a cold. We do a shot of DayQuil and get on with our day. Unless our fever is over 102 degrees, we don't even sit down, let alone lie down.
To quote one of my all time fave movies, Follow That Bird: A man is crying and is told to, "Be a man." The crying man responds, "But I don't want to be a man." Exactly.
Read more by Eileen O'Connor at No Wire Hangers, Ever blog.