It’s pretty much common knowledge that when a guy gets sick, he turns into a big, kvetchy, insufferable sucky-baby.
Why is this?
Well, I have a theory that I developed this past week when I myself was down with a cold.
It started as a cough last Wednesday, then developed into a pretty darn annoying cough by Thursday. By Friday, it was a bad cough with sniffles. By Friday night, I was quite sick. I went to bed early and woke up Saturday morning feeling awful. This continued through the weekend with me spending a good chunk of it either in bed or sitting in my trusty leather wing back chair feeling miserable. Fortunately, I live alone so no one was subjected to my beasty society except me.
Suffice it to say that I had a lot of time to ponder this profound question. Why are guys such sucks when they’re sick?
We’re generally OK with putting up with the big stuff. Death, divorce, loss of employment, etc. We take in stride, to a large extent. But give us the flu or even a common cold and we’re quite pathetic. The whining, the whimpering, the kicked-puppy look. It’s quite sad, really.
I think it goes something like this…
Women are used to physical discomfort. Periods, pregnancy, morning sickness, swelling, child birth, bloating, water weight, cramps… the whole nine yards of being female. Guys, on the other hand, don’t have to go through any of that.
They way I try to explain it to women is as follows: Try to picture in your mind your best day of the month. The one day where you have no aches or cramps or swelling or anything. The one day of the month where you feel absolutely fantastic. Got that firmly in your mind? Good. Now imagine having that day every day for the rest of your life. THAT’S what it’s like being a guy. You feel great all the time! So when guys get sick, it seems like the end of the world because it is such a foreign feeling to us.
I try to keep things in perspective. It’s just a cold or the flu or whatever this thing is that’s making me feel so horrible. At least I can afford medicine and have a warm, dry place to live and a bed where I can lie down while I cough all night. On Friday afternoon, I made a big pot of chicken soup (thank G-d for Jewish penicillin!) and I have an entire library from which to choose what to read.
But the most sobering reality check came just after Sabbath when I turned on the computer and learned that about 150 rockets had been launched so far over the weekend from Gaza into southern Israel. Almost 300 in all over the weekend. My daughter, Exhibit One, lives in the seaside city of Ashdod, well within rocket range of Gaza.
Nothing like a nice dose of the real world to put one’s petty problems into perspective.