Wednesday, September 30, 2009

wifercize wednesday: the man cold

You girls with dads, brothers, or husbands under your roof will know the symptoms. Fever, headache, body aches and pains, sore throat, chills, sneezing, runny nose, coughing. Not unlike your regular cold but for one detail: a man is suffering with it.

I suppose we will never know for sure which is truly worse, the regular cold or The Man Cold, since our experiences are entirely subjective and our pain comparable only to previous experience. I had, at one point, thought that the pain of having a compacted sternum (due to a mild car accident) along with the constant sneezing that accompanies seasonal allergies was the worst I had ever endured. Then I contracted a kidney infection. And, so, I revalued my definition of pain and my tolerance for it.

But kidney infections are no match for The Man Cold, no! I can remember my own father, a strong, muscular, generally healthy man who worked as a carpenter, when afflicted by an occasional Man Cold, schlepping about the house in Man Slippers and terrycloth housecoat. How the mighty have fallen!

I caught a cold from goodness knows who, complete with a sore throat, headache, and stuffy nose. The same ailments spread to my darling husband just as I was recovering from them. Since I was the source of this disease in our house, I felt a funny sort of guilt (or was it empathy?) for his discomfort (P.S. Why is it that we, almost always, cite the culprit from whom we caught a cold or flu? As if to say, It's not my fault!) which was soon tempered with amusement.

When I came home from work yesterday, there lay my husband, my "strong, assertive, firstborn alpha male", wrapped up like a taco in a blanket on the couch, blinking at me from the hood of his grey, wool sweater. Taking care of Andrew is the few ways of loving him that is rare. I can hug him, kiss him, call him, email him, listen to him, pray for him, and laugh with him daily but he's capable enough to look after himself.

Unless he's sick. Then he is crippled with mumbled sentence fragments, a general loss of interest in anything ("Do you want tea?" "Yes." "Do you want green tea?" "No." "Wildberry?" "No." "Chamomile." "No." "Peppermint?" "No."), an inability to move, a keen sense of temperature drops or increases, an appetite for soup, but not too much soup, and a knit brow. Impervious to my affection in this state, I am free to fuss over, tend to, and cuddle with him.

Lumped together like two puppies on the couch, we watched episodes of Saturday Night Live last night. I tucked the blanket around his torso and his legs.

He groans. "You missed my feet. My feet are out. This is worse than before."


Andrew G said...

Oh, am I that bad?

Well, at least I haven't called 911 yet...

Sarah Aubrey said...

You're not bad at all, La. Just cute. Thanks for being my muse. :)


Seth Kimberley Graham Hunter said...

I thought andrew didn't like his blanket tucked in over his feet?

Anonymous said...

I think it may have to do with the fact that men generally don't allow themselves to be seen as vulnerable. But when they're sick, they have a perfectly justifiable reason to let themselves be coddled. And I believe they take full advantage of it. ;) Personally, I think it's adorable when my 6'5" tall husband calls on me to lay a blanket on him because he's "freezing" even though it's so hot in the house I'm walking around in shorts and a tank top in the middle of February. :)