Unless you have spend your entire life living under a very large rock, you could not have possibly failed to notice the different ways that men and women tend to cope with illness. The term ‘man-flu,’ for example is a pejorative term often used in a light-hearted manner to highlight the exaggerated symptoms that men suffer.
In contrast, fairly little, seems to be mentioned about the equally contagious ‘lady-flu,’ of which I am currently a sufferer.
Although sufferers of Lady-flu (also known colloquially as ‘Suck it up Sister’) display all the same aches and pains, coughs and sneezes as those of man-flu, one marked difference is the level of sympathy and care that they receive in order to overcome it, particularly from their partners.
Unlike my husband who retires his weary body to the peaceful realm of the bedroom to sleep off or sweat out his illness when he falls ‘victim,’ I am expected to trudge along. The children will not take care of themselves, the chores will pile up and the dinner won’t cook itself either. Apparently I do not have time to be sick. How dare I even suggest it?
On Sunday, I had hoped for a little respite. My head was thick and heavy with a cold and my back ached from coughing. I just wanted to close my eyes and lie down. Unfortunately, The Woo (4), Foghorn (3) and Bubble (21 months) were not even remotely interested in ‘keeping it down’ for their poor mother and my day started as usual at 5.30am.
Apparently since I still had all my limbs, Hubbster did not think I needed any help and took himself and his surfboard down to the beach.
I won’t lie to you, the words ‘shark bait’ did momentarily enter my head.
He returned four hours later, after stopping off here and there (and every bloody where), only to announce that there was no surf that morning due to the tide. If it wasn’t for the fact that I have lost my voice, he would have heard me calling him every expletive I could lay my tongue on.
But wait…it gets worse.
Later the same day, I was still in my zombified state of exhaustion when he announces that he has to ‘pop up the road’ to a neighbour’s house for ‘ten minutes’ to help him get a BBQ rotisserie off the back of the ute (or some crap).
Now, despite being fairly well adept at mathematics, Hubbster seems incapable of measuring time, especially when it involves him being somewhere or doing something else…or checking out stuff on Ebay.
After spelling out to him slowly and clearly so there could be no misinterpretation of my meaning ‘ I. am. Very. Unwell. I. need. Help. Today. With. The. Children. And. Preferably. A. Rest. Ten. Minutes!” he mooched off up the road.
After forty minutes, I decided to give him a little reminder. I know what a gas-bag he can be, and figured he’d got carried away talking.
His mobile began to ring on the Barbeque next to me.
How very convenient I thought. (The bad language has been edited out for your reading pleasure).
The problem with Hubbster you see is that he not only over-estimates his own intelligence at times, but he also under-estimates mine. Whilst he thinks that leaving his mobile phone behind is a fail-safe plan to avoid being called back before he is ready, it is an instant signal to me, that he has premeditated taking his sweet time, and had absolutely no intention of being back any time soon!
‘Ten minutes,’ was just a rouse to get the hell out!
Like a hungry cat he arrived home at tea time, with a ridiculous grin on his face and a few too many beers under his belt. Now, I certainly don’t condone domestic violence, but to say that I would have liked to have frisbeed the dinner plate at his head and gouged his eyeballs out with a rusty fork, is putting it very mildly. It took my utmost effort to stop my head from spinning on my shoulders like the girl from The Exorcist.
Later, when the children were tucked up in bed, I let loose. His arse was grass, and I was the lawn mower!
Do you know what he had the gall to say to me, fuelled by a belly full of beer and an exaggerated sense of wellbeing?
“You’ve just got the flu. You’re not dying. Deal with it.”
What a mongrel!
I can see you all reading this with that same outraged look of disbelief. What an absolute maggot!
So….do you know what I did? I did the only fair thing under the circumstances.
I shared my lovely germs with him. I gave him a nice dose of flu too.
And do you know what? You’ll never guess who called in sick to work today? (Yes!)