October 4, 2012

Loophole Revisited, Under Nearly Identical Circumstances

I keep thinking, "WHY am I so cheesed and sad and weighed-down-with-the-cares-of-the-world-ish over NOTHING??"---and then I remember, it's not nothing: Paul is sick. It reflects the depth of my love and commitment that I do not put the word sick in quotes.

He has a cold. It is the same cold the rest of us have had. So he has dropped completely out of household chores, and in fact has gone past the "not helping" line and into the "putting his dishes on the counter instead of into the dishwasher right below it" zone. I suppose I should be grateful for the heroic effort it took him to unselfishly choke down sustenance and then to drag his dishes allllll the way to the counter, when after all he has a SORE THROAT and FEELS KIND OF TIRED.

Furthermore, one of the kids got an ear infection, and the VERY MINUTE that child said his ear hurt, you will never guess: PAUL'S ear started hurting! And when I took the child to the doctor the next day and the ear infection was officially diagnosed, Paul realized he had now been feeling sick for THREE WHOLE DAYS and HE needed a doctor appointment TOO. The level of woundedness he displayed when I suggested that grown-ups wait to go to the doctor until they have something the doctor can treat, rather than going when they feel kind of icky and want extra sympathy and drama and fuss made over them.... Well, let's not discuss it. This topic always going to be a touchy spot in our marriage.

I genuinely worry that as he ages he will get some sort of long-term or chronic illness, because then I would be bound by the terms of our contract to deal with it. Which reminds me once again of the loophole.

38 comments:

d e v a n said...

I had to go back and read the loophole post again. One of my favorites!

A. said...

Ha! Men are such wimps about illness. Your original loophole post is hilarious!

Amanda said...

On no. Not a man-cold. Those are the worst. I don't know how they manage.

My eyes could not roll further back into my head.

Lyndsey said...

Oh man, you crack me up. And I wholeheartedly understand because my husband is the same. Grown men should just never whimper. Unless like, a limb is cut off. And maybe not even then.

Please, I beg of you, do the women of the future a favor and DO NOT BABY your boys when they are sick. I am convinced that the root of the man cold rests firmly in men not realizing that their wives are NOT their mothers and thus not wholly sympathetic to the "feeling kind of icky"s.

Hillary said...

I remember when I first got married, my husband got a cold and I hesitantly said something about how ridiculous he was being to my boss.

"Oh, it's like no one else has ever been sick before when they don't feel well." she said and it is so true! Particularly your bit about him unselfishly choking down sustenance. My husband does that, usually after I've made some effort to cook something to make him feel better, and it definitely makes you consider the loophole :)

MomQueenBee said...

HAHAHA! My top goal as the mother of four boys has been to raise them to be stoic about their illnesses, or at least stoic enough that they do not "need" their wife to run up and down the stairs with ice packs after some minor surgery, considering that the wife has just given birth and is wrangling both post-natal hormones and three additional pre-school children. Oh, yes. It's been 21 years and I WILL NOT LET THAT ONE BE FORGOTTEN.

Christy said...

When the title of the post came up in my reader, I knew Paul must be sick. I remember the loophole post that well! With some luck, perhaps he'll make it through.

Saly said...

I just re-read the loophole post and now I am considering the loophole myself. Why? Because the day after I was finally feeling better after having FOOD POISONING, Ed started to "feel queezy". And implied that maybe I didn't have food poisoning at all, and that something was going around. Guess who milked it for a few days?

Til death, whenever that may be!

HereWeGoAJen said...

Haha, yes. Matt is "so tired" right now. Now, let's recap: which one of us was the one who actually gave birth last week?

Robin said...

Oh god, I hate to say this, but I think your husband is leading a double life. Here on the east coast his name is Steve and he has two kids with me. It must be the same guy. Because if you even mention a sickness or disease around my husband, he's positive that he has it and immediately starts getting symptoms. And if he does get a cold, he gets to spent 3 whole days in bed. Who has never had a single sick day in 12 years of knowing him? That's right it's me. Oh, and I'm the one with MS.

You are a good woman :)

Lawyerish said...

OH LAWD, the Man Cold. You have my deepest sympathies. I really cannot BEAR it when my husband gets sick. The moaning, the LOUD SNIFFING, the eardrum-breaking sneezes, followed by more moaning about how death is nigh and it's probably cancer. My blood pressure is rising just thinking about it, and cold season is upon us. God help all of us women.

On the bright side, you made me laugh with this post and the original loophole one. You are truly a gift to us all, even in your hour of adversity.

shin ae said...

I am sitting here laughing and laughing and laughing.

Tess said...

I am absolutely TERRIFIED that Tosc will have some kind of chronic illness or health problem, because I would be SO BAD in that situation.

In spite of the fact that I cannot stand judgement over health/lifestyle stuff, it's hard not to be hypocritical when applying that to my husband, because it sort of IS my problem if his shitty lifestyle ends up meaning he is sick all of the time and has chronic medical problems as we age. In fact, I spend some (wasted) time being PRE-IRRITATED about this, which is...helpful.

Navigating the Mothership said...

Ah! The post I wanted to write two weeks ago when man-cold (again, same cold we all had) meant someone skipped 2.5 days of work to lie in bed. MUST BE NICE !#*U$KDJFNKJ!H!K!!!!! (I am a SAHM)

And when I had horrible, awful morning sickness for 3 months both pregnancies, that was really, really hard on my husband. He had to do more dishes. Poor guy.

Temerity Jane said...

One time, I made fun of Phil's man cold, and then I caught it, only I caught it WAY WORSE than he had it, AND I had to keep taking care of Penny. And then? I started BLEEDING OUT OF MY EARS.

I am not making that up.

So not only will I make fun of man colds, I won't even allow them in my house any more. I WILL NOT HAVE IT IN MY HOUSE.

H said...

I love this post and The Loophole post! You have my sympathies.

My husband stops talking if he has the slightest tiny bit of a scratchy throat. In a way, it is good because I can't HEAR him whine but it is also super annoying when I'm trying to communicate about important things. Also, every scratchy throat, according to him, is due to the wind or, in warmer weather, an open window through which a breeze surely passed.

Maggie said...

UGH! The man cold! The thing that irritates me in addition to all of the points mentioned here is that my husband also does virtually NOTHING to try to avoid getting sick. For example, every year I get a flu shot. I get the kids flu shots. I leave it to him to get his own flu shot because he's a grown man. He NEVER gets it. Then he gets the flu and wants me to feel bad for him.

Similarly, he can seldom be bothered to eat right or even try to get sufficient rest so he's like a walking sign saying "cold germs, please come here, I'm vulnerable!" BAH!

Mama Bub said...

I propose that the only thing worse than a man cold is the man who refuses to admit when he's actually sick. Because then he just hacks all over all of us, rather than just taking his germs elsewhere. All of this because his mother swears that her children NEVER got sick. Ever! She said to one of his cousins, "Your kids all have colds? At once? Is there something wrong with them?"

So he doesn't GET sick. He says it's residual cat allergies. From the cat who never lived in this house, and has been out of our family for over a year.

Jenny said...

Here's something interesting that may possibly offer some hope. My husband actually has an unpleasant and painful chronic illness (Crohn's disease.) He has dealt with it gracefully and with wisdom, not complaining, just getting through it, even through horrible pain and surgeries and weird diagnoses and fear.

But. BUT! Whenever he gets a sore throat, he still acts like the world is ending! He drags around and asks if I think juice would help and sniffles and takes his temperature three times in an hour! It's maddening!

My point is that perhaps if Paul got something awful, God forbid, he'd rise to the occasion. Maybe the little things are what trip us up in life.

JEN said...

My mom always says, "men don't suffer well". No they do not.

Nicole said...

Oh good lord. MEN. Man colds. WTF.

Nellyru said...

Holy...swistle, did you really write that FIVE YEARS AGO? Really? It has been FIVE YEARS? *faints*

Swistle said...

Nellyru- I CAN'T BELIEVE IT EITHER. I was like, "Let's see, where's that Loophole post I wrote awhile back?"---thinking, like, mayyybe two years ago. And then I was like "WHAT IS THIS ABOUT PREGNANCY??" And there's 5-year-old Henry running around bothering me while I'm looking up the post! He was a FETUS then!

Alice said...

Heeeeeeee. I am dating a man who DOES NOT suffer from ManColds for the first time in my life, and I've got to admit it's fairly jarring.

The most surprisingly unpleasant side effect is that for the first 2 years we dated, I'm pretty sure he thought *I* was a hypochondriac, because I kept having things happen like ribs dislocating or needing PT on ankles that collapsed, etc. He never has ANYTHING go wrong - and/or when he does, he ignores them and they get better in, like, a day. He's basically bionic. But as a result he thinks I completely overestimate the level of medical attention a given ailment requires.

Anonymous said...

Two of the most annoying things men to 1) bitch and moan like children with they have the teeniest of "illnesses" and 2) don't admit when they are crabby. It's a wonder why we women aren't sainted from birth!

DB

Mrs. Irritation said...

Oh sweet heavens, my husband does the same damn thing. Which was particularly troublesome this weekend when our daughter came down with pinkeye for the first time. Hubby knows it is Highly Contagious thus spent hours mentioning how his eye was itching. It's been 5 days now and neither of us contracted anything but he STILL insists it is lurking below.

Gigi said...

Since I didn't know you 5 years ago, I had to go read it and I died!

I hate the Man-Cold. Somewhere out there MUST be a woman scientist working feverishly to find a cure just so she doesn't have to listen to her husband whine anymore.

Carmen said...

Crikey, I love that loophole post.

Safire said...

Ahh...the man cold.

http://youtu.be/VbmbMSrsZVQ

Tina G said...

My husband has major hyphochondriac man colds EVERY time there is even a hint of a sniffle because once 30 years ago he had Pneumonia (with a capital "P") and nearly died. So that must always be kept in mind. Always. And now that he is the ripe age of 62, I try not to be too eye-rolly. Meanwhile, I'm always amazed at how he never sneezes or coughs when he is sick? But yet he IS sick in his mind. Oy.

C C Donna said...

Oh, misery loves company...I've enjoyed every comment! My husband has a man cold, he stays in bed watching tv with a towel wrapped his neck. I asked him once why the towel? He said it helps heal his sore throat by keeping his neck warm. This from an educated man!

Erica said...

My husband does that dishes on the counter thing in good health, so you can imagine the shining beacon of laziness he becomes when he is ailing.

My favorite was when he came back from a guy's weekend in New Orleans and was supposed to give me a break the next day, but was having a hard time because "terrible indigestion" had kept him up half the night. INDIGESTION. I mean, I'm so filled with sympathy, even thinking about it now, that I am almost brought to tears.

velocibadgergirl said...

My dad is a huge hypochondriac. One month he saw too many cholesterol ads on TV and announced that he had arteriosclerosis and needed to go have a procedure done. My mom suggested perhaps he'd need a doctor to diagnose that first.

beyond said...

you must have seen this at some point in the past, but in case you haven't... here you go:
("For God's sake, woman, he's a man, he's got a man cold!")
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbmbMSrsZVQ

Anonymous said...

Omg, I've had the same infuriating week for the same reason! My household has that same cold, including myself and the baby- the baby is on three medications at three months old, and I can't take anything other than saline spray bc everything seems to dry up my milk. But I AM SUPPOSED TO DROP EVERYTHING bc my 39 year old husband wants pulp free OJ with the mango flavor? I'm sick as a fricken dig, and he just has the sniffles and if I hear about it one more damn time I'm going to karate chop him.
Allison

J from Ireland said...

Hahaha hilarious and all your funny commenters.

Tara said...

I am very, very lucky in that my husband really doesn't do the "man-cold" thing. He essentially denies that he's sick, or just quietly deals with it. One time he wasn't feeling well and stayed home from work (rare!), and he called me a couple of hours later to say he thought he might need me to take him to the doctor because he felt too sick to drive. Among jokes from my female colleagues, I left to take him to the doctor. Well, he ended up being diagnosed with appendicitis shortly after that, and he was in surgery by late afternoon. (My colleagues were appropriately apologetic & impressed.)

The man does not fake his illnesses. If he's not well, he's seriously not well. I had no idea how lucky I was, really, until reading your post & all the comments. I'm sorry you all have to deal with that!

CARRIE said...

I need to let my husband read these comments so he knows he is not the only man in the world whose wife is not sympathetic to his plight when illness strikes.