We’ve all heard of the infamous “man cold,” the one that knocks out the man in your life and makes him feel like he’s been hit by a Mack truck.
I’ve often wondered what makes this cold so different from all the other colds. How it is that these big, strong, virile men can be so crippled by the common cold.
And then I realized it’s not the cold. It’s the men.
I now understand why, when the kids come home contaminated, men distance themselves as soon as possible, and why, when men show signs of a cold at work, they get sent home immediately. Their male co-workers encourage them to go home so they don’t catch it and female co-workers understand that a sick man is not productive.
Ladies, this is serious. This is a big deal. The man-cold is not to be taken lightly.
In order to help my fellow women, I’ve devised the following easy, 10-step guide to deal with your man when in the grips of a man-cold.
Step 1: Understand that while this does, in fact, present just like the common cold – the cold you had last week, in fact – it is a much bigger deal.
Step 2: Know that while in this situation, you can NOT under any circumstances, let he who is sick, know that you know this. If you must express this sentiment to someone, please, call your mother. She understands.
Step 3: Sleep is the best remedy. Quarantine him to his bed. (Yes, I know this is often your bed, too, but it’s time to take one for the team.) For when he is sleeping, he’s not whining. At least not as loudly.
Step 4: Medicine and whiskey will truly make him feel better, even if he doesn’t need either. The placebo effect of Tylenol or Ibuprofen for his aches and pains is real. The whiskey will help him sleep, and stop whining. Refer to Step 3.
Step 5: Continually check his temperature to verify that he is, indeed, sick. Men feel comforted by knowing that their illness has a quantitative aspect. If the fever is climbing, they are getting worse. When it breaks, they are on the road to recovery.
Step 6: Don’t suggest a doctor. Men do not like the doctor. Even men with man-colds don’t like the doctor. When hearing the suggestion to go see a physician, they will say, “It’s not a big deal. It’s just a cold.” They don’t really mean it’s just a cold; they simply don’t want to see the doctor. Why? Refer to Step 2 and call your mother.
Step 7: Prepare yourself for the recovery. The amount of food that will be consumed once he begins to feel better will shock you. Lots of food will be required. You’ll probably need to shop, so plan ahead.
Step 8: Nothing else will get accomplished during the man-cold. Men cannot multi-task when sick. They can focus only on one thing, and that thing is getting better. Please, do not ask them to do anything else as it will hinder the process of getting better.
He will proposition you for sex, because he feels slightly better at that moment. But don’t ask for anything else because it’s just not going to happen.
Step 9: Enjoy the silence. It’s like poker night. You can watch whatever you want on TV, stay up too late reading your book, and have some time to yourself, periodically interrupted by checking in on him, of course.
Step 10: After he is well, there should be no mention of the cold. It is in the past, hopefully never to be repeated. Definitely clean the sheets, disinfect, change toothbrushes, etc., but not because there was a cold, because ‘it’s time to do these things.’
That, my female friends, is my suggestion on how to navigate the man-cold. I’m sure that our mothers and grandmothers did so with much more grace than I can generally muster. I generally catch the cold from the contaminated kids and then, despite my protests, the husband kisses me anyway. Then just as I’m feeling better – BOOM.
I strongly urge you to not share these tips with the men in your life. They don’t need to know all our secrets.
I have one son at home. I am going to try my darndest to stop this vicious cycle from continuing. At a young age boys are just like their sisters when they’re sick – cuddly and adorably pathetic. They just want their Mom. I’m not sure when this all changes. Maybe it doesn’t change.
Now that I mention it, maybe my mother-in-law will come out and take care of him next time.