I want to talk about something that just hit me like an anvil upside the head the other day.
If you’ve ever been in relationship with a man, trust me, you’ve experienced this:
The Sick Guy…
Perhaps your hackles are already raised. You’re envisioning your man, lying in bed, moaning, asking for soup, and lozenges, and a heating pad, and a glass of water, and a large slice of your very soul. And he’s asking for all of it in that voice that clearly demonstrates his eminent demise.
Here’s the play-by-play:
His voice, a raspy whisper: “Sweets?”
Me, working downstairs, “Yeah?”
“Can you bring me some soup?”
“Yeah, we have Lipton Chicken Noodle or Cream of Celery.”
“Don’t we have any homemade soup?”
“You know we don’t. Are you wanting homemade soup, love?”
“Would you mind? With homemade noodles.”
(Sure, shall I mill the flour too, head on over to Europe and pluck the non-modified wheat? Track down John of God and ask him to bless it? Slit my wrists and add 1.5 drops of my own blood?)
“Sweets, I need some water. No ice.”
“Can you bring me a hot water bottle? Extra hot. With a soft towel wrapped around it?”
Am I exaggerating? Only slightly. Is this an amalgamation of every man I’ve ever been in relationship with? Pretty much.
After a couple days of this you may be wondering if you can ever sleep with your guy again since you’ve suddenly become his mother.
Or… maybe this is all me, but if you can relate at all then you understand how much this used to drive me batshit crazy.
Notice I said “used to.”
I had a revelation a few weeks ago, when I was feeling under the weather myself and pushing through, forcing myself to work, making myself fix dinner, pulling myself this way and that to get things done despite my low energy. I realized that my guy doesn’t do this. When men are sick they literally stop. Everything.
Why don’t I simply just stop? And… when I make that choice not to, because believe me it’s my choice, how am I justified in feeling resentful (the silent killer of relationships everywhere) toward my guy for not allowing me to stop. He didn’t tell me not to. Why am I too prideful to say “Can you bring me some soup with homemade noodles?” Nope, instead I throw on my martyr cloak, snot rolling down my upper lip, eyes bloodshot, and limp around, head lolling on my chest and say things like, “I’ll be okay,” and “I’m fine.”
The world isn’t going to end if I stay in bed for a few days. If I had kids I’m sure I’d even have enough strength to dial the phone to order a pizza for them. Or, holy hell, I could ask my guy to do it.
I’ve come to believe, when that anvil hit me, that guys have been getting a bad rap. We could learn a thing or two about self-care from them if we stopped long enough to pay attention, shed our martyr cloaks, wipe our noses and go to bed.
What’s your experience with The Sick Guy? Do you don or shed your martyr cloak when you’re under the weather?