All Cold and No Play Makes Dad a Wimp

Like most people, I love this time of year: the apple-picking, the pumpkin-cutting, the leaf-jumping. Oh, and let’s not forget the eye-rolling once football season is underway (it’s my husband that does the eye-rolling).  But other than my undying and bordering on pathetic love for Tom Brady with his ridiculous mullet and chiseled-out-of-marble chin, the fall season brings one more thing to my household that could make a grown woman cry.

Last weekend, I was busy baking an apple pie, flitting around my kitchen in my apron, humming the tune to Monster Mash, and floating on a high of cinnamon and nutmeg, when my world came crashing down.

“Ohhhhhh…” A low moan was coming from the living room couch. For a brief moment, I hesitated, my fingers hovering over the pie crust. No, it couldn’t be, I thought.  I shook my head, giggling nervously, and continued pinching the sides of my pie, letting the apple-sweet smell transport me back to my blissful world where brightly-colored foliage and pumpkin hay rides existed.

“Ohhhhhh…ohhhhhh…” The moaning got louder and trailed on even longer, straight into my cinnamon haven, complete with a pathetic whimper at the end.

“Honey? Honey!” my husband called out, his voice almost frantic.  I placed the pie in the oven and walked into the living room, wiping my hands on my apron.

“I think I’m sick,” he said, blowing his nose into a tissue. My husband’s voice sounded similar to what I’m sure most people sound like on their death bed. My carefree autumn days were coming to an end.

My husband had a cold.

The common cold: common in the sense that, at any given point in time, one or both of my kids have one. For weeks on end, they shuffle around in their pajamas, hacking and sniffling themselves from room to room leaving behind a trail of tissues. When I’m unlucky enough to catch their germs, life goes on. I grab some Kleenex and a vaporizer, take a few swigs of Nyquil, and continue my daily existence as normal (i.e. run the entire household by myself).

But when my husband gets a cold? Everything comes to a grinding, sniveling halt.

“Yes, you’re sick. There, there,” I whispered, rubbing his back. “You have a cold. It’ll be okay, I promise. So, are you going to the grocery store today? We’re out of cinnamon. Oh, and while you’re out, we need more Nyquil.”

The look in his eyes was like a lost sick puppy found on the side of the road. It became clear right away that my husband was going to do neither of those things. His intent? To lie on that couch and not move a muscle until every second of his week-long germ-fest was over.

This reminds me of my most recent major surgery. A couple years ago, I had endured five abdominal incisions and almost bled to death as the
surgery went on for more than three hours, much longer than the doctors had expected.  After it was all over, I was in agony. This surgery completely wiped me out, even more so than my previous two c-sections. I spent two days in the hospital morphined up to the eyeballs. When I returned home, every step I took was excruciating. My husband was able to take one day off from work to help care for me. So I lay in bed, swimming in Vicodin, feverish and in severe pain. The next day (a mere three days after major surgery) I was alone and taking care of my two young kids. I faintly remember that at one point, I had to make them lunch, and almost passed out from the pain, right there on our kitchen floor. But I pressed on with gritted determination. As God is my witness, my kids would never be without their peanut butter and jelly.

I am a woman. I am a mom. This is just what we do.

But my husband has a cold.

I sat down on the couch and tried to discuss with him how much stronger women are than men. But if he could just somehow reach deep down and tap into some of that inner strength, he could overcome this cold, get up off the couch, and help me with the dishes. I’m not sure he was even listening, being consumed with his illness and all. His hacking and moaning just became more miserable.

“Buh men can ben presh more weigh,” he sniffled.

“Oh, really?” I playfully jabbed him on his arm.

“Ow! That hurt!” he cried.

So why do men crumble with the first sign of a cold virus?
What happens inside their brains to make them turn instantly into puddles of
emasculated wretchedness?

It’s the one big mystery left in the universe.

But I have a theory:

The “Plop-Plop-Fizz-Fizz-Oh-My-God-My-Husband-Has-A-Cold-Someone-Just-Shoot-Me-Now” Theory

Consider the typical man: He is shopping at Wal-Mart, drooling over the automotive section, trying to decide between the Armor All deluxe or regular. He touches the shopping cart handle, touches his nose and instantly, the cold virus enters his nasal passages. This immediately triggers a mucus-producing response.  Soon the man’s sinuses are completely filled with pus.

He goes home, feeling achy and feverish, and parks himself on the couch. He attempts to blow his nose. But it’s too late; the pus has already leaked and crossed over the brain’s delicate membrane into the main section of his brain: the He-Man-frontal lobe. This area is the main force behind a man’s “take-charge, I am Manly Man and a Warrior and I can bench press 350 pounds and I must prove my manhood by hunting and shooting defenseless animals” personality.

Next, the other two major areas of his brain begin to slowly shut down. First Food, then Sex.  Yes, in that exact order. The thoughts about both are still there, but his ability to do anything about them is dulled. This leaves only one tiny part of his brain fully functioning*: The Little Boy-oblongata. This is where he’s reduced to nothing more than a crying, whining five year old boy who wants warm milk, a blankie and hugs from his
grandma.

*Some medical journals have alluded to another as-yet-unnamed and unverified section of a man’s brain responsible for watching Pawn Stars marathons in his underwear.  It is believed that this part of his brain also remains completely intact during a bout with the common cold.

I am so convinced of my theory, I’m thinking of having it submitted to the next New England Journal of Medicine. Plus I drew up a little diagram. My husband saw it and said, “I don’t get it.”

Diagram of a Wimpy Cold

So ladies, am I wrong? If so, I have all the time in the world to come up with other theories.

My next one: Why men can’t cry in front of other men. Wish me luck.

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124 thoughts on “All Cold and No Play Makes Dad a Wimp

  1. OMG! So that’s what happens to my husband when he gets a cold! You’re a genius! Now, if only we could find a cure.

    With my husband, he’ll wimp around the house, force feeding himself (handy excuse to eat too much), popping hundreds of vitamin C pills. But if I ask him if he’s taken a decongestant or something to actually make him feel better, the answer is always no. Why can he not find something to take so he might actually be able to function? I guess all brain cells shut down at the first sign of a cold.

    Great post! Too funny!!

    1. Sue, finding a cure is a huge goal of mine. I’m pretty sure I will never find it.

      My husband will take any and every cold medicine on the planet. He’ll lay there all drugged up and whiney while the rest of the world moves on around him. Sometimes if we’re lucky, the kids and I will both get sick, but he won’t. I’m thankful for these small miracles.

      1. This post and that video have captured the phenomenon most perfectly! I remember, years ago, I bought my ‘man’ a new blue terri cloth robe for Christmas – and he scoffed at me! What would HE need a silly robe for? He, being all tough and manly and from the strapping midwest and all. 3 weeks later, he catches a ‘man cold’. He put that robe on and clutched at its lapels, sniffling and moaning deliriously. Dutifully, like women everywhere, I went to the store, got him medicine, made him tea and chicken soup and spoon fed him. Seems my gift of a robe was suddenly his new Man-Suit-of-Sick-Armour!

        Oh, and when I was sick? He’d stand there yelling at me to get up off the sofa and stop being a lazy bum! (needless to say, we parted ways)
        Great post! My first visit to your site, I think!

      2. “Clutching at his lapels” Oh, that is hilarious, Spectra! The poor poor guy.

        My husband doesn’t yell at me to get off the sofa…but he does freak out a bit if I’m sick. I think he knows that if he had to take care of the kids by himself for more than a few hours, he’d be in deep trouble.

  2. Mary the OINKteller

    Wahahahaha! You hit the nail on the head! “The little boy oblonggata” is perfect. My husband does the same thing. I know that it’s because his mother coddled him when he was sick as a child. My children are not coddled. Not even when they’re sick. My mother was a nurse. Not the nursemaid kind, but rather, the you’re-not-that-sick kind. When you figure out a way to dampen the little boy oblongata, please LMK!

    1. Well, I think my husband was coddled A LOT by his mom (he is the only boy out of three, so he’s got the Mama’s Boy thing going on even now) If I ever figure out how to deactivate the Little Boy oblongata, I will be the Queen of the Universe, women everywhere will worship me.

  3. You are not only not wrong, but totally awesome! I’ve long pondered on these things myself, but have never once giggled at the pondering . . . until now. 🙂

    I lovelovelove this. Thank you for the giggles on a morning where I am, indeed, at work and plowing on with a cold. If indeed I stopped plowing forward in the face of colds since becoming a mother, I’d very seldom get anything done.

    1. Knowing that I somehow made you giggle inbetween your coughing and sniffing makes me very happy today, Deb.

      And I know, can you imagine NOT plowing forward with a cold, especially now that you’re a mom? There is no other option. Hope you feel better soon!

      1. I forgot to add that this entire week, both my kids are very sick (one has an ear infection, fever, cold–the other one has bronchitis, fever, cold and asthma attacks/nebulizer and inhaler treatments) And I am sick with the cold as well. But I somehow managed to continue life as normal–even wrote a damn post about it. My husband is barely registering a pulse.

  4. Hi,
    You are spot on, a genius. So often I have wondered why guys (my Husband included) act like such babies when they are sick, I have always put it down do something in their DNA. 😀

    1. I think you’re right, Mags. It is some kind of genetic mutation that causes the rest of their brain to temporarily shut down. I do wonder if it’s the Mama’s Boy mentality as well. If that’s the case, I truly feel for my son’s future wife.

  5. This sign hangs over my bed: A woman looking for a husband never had one.
    Seeing as I run the show all of the time by myself anyways, full-time job, colds, flus, twisted muscles and the list goes on…it’s nice to see that flying solo, nothing much has changed with the male species to make me too jealous of what I don’t have-LOL! And, for enduring each and every day as you do with one in tow, I commend you and cannot wait to read what other mind-boggling displays of man-childhood you discover the answers to…just in case I DO ever decide to look…again….harder…with my eyes wide open…hee, hee, hee. 🙂 I love getting your blog! I need these reminders! Cheers to moms who rule! 🙂

    1. See, this is what you’re missing! 😉 Man-childhood–I love that phrase.

      Yes, if you do ever decide to look again, ask him about his response to being sick. His answer might make or break the deal. And speaking of moms that rule, you certainly do. Full time job and being a mom makes you a super hero in my book. Mom are the glue that keep everything together, no question.

    1. Thanks! Hmm…y’know, I should write a book about this, what with all my ranting and ravings, it could easily fill up a few hundred pages, right? Georgette, I have to tell you that whenever I see your reply and you call me SAM, it always makes me smile. I love that nickname! Sam I am! 😀

  6. You are so right. Men are total babies when they have the slightest sniffle. My husband is equally self-indulgent, but instead of Florence Nightingale, who I am perfectly willing to become, he Wants To Be Left Alone. Think grouchy bear with a toothache.

    My Mom, a very wise woman, once likened women to willows that bend in the wind, and men to strong oaks. Sometimes a stiff wind (or cold) can make them crack and then…timber!

    1. Oh, how I wish my husband was Wants To Be Left Alone. Instead he’s Wants To Be Fawned Over Forever. I do care that he’s sick, I really do. I suppose I do dote on him for a few minutes. It’s just that the world can’t stop (and it never does for me, so why him?)

      Your mom is a very wise woman. I can always tell when my husband is about to crack and fall, so I just try to scramble to get out of the way in time.

      1. I have to confess, that was my third attempt at drawing Jim’s brain. I am a terrible artist, can barely draw a stick figure. For my next diagram, I might have to bust out the different colored sharpies to make it real high tech.

  7. Ha! This was fantastic, and I love the drawing. I definitely think you’re onto something with this. I may even be able to help you run some studies. (And Peppermeister is the same way about Pawn Stars!)

    1. Isn’t that drawing something? I think Peppermeister and my husband should together and have a Pawn Stars marathon while we run some more scientific studies on why men are mesmerized by that show. (okay, I find it a little interesting at times too…)

  8. Oh, wow. It’s like you just stepped into my world. My husband is a roll-up-his-sleeves, stand-up guy in so many ways, but absolutely turns into a mushy ball of rotting tissues when he gets sick. What is it about them?

    I love, love, love your drawing. Please create it into a 3-D diorama, and then I’d also like to suggest you add pie charts or bar graphs into future posts concerning husbands.

    1. “mushy ball of rotting tissues” Now THAT was the description I was going for, but you nailed it, Angie.

      Yes, I am very proud of my drawing. It took me all of two minutes. My husband wasn’t impressed though. He looked at it and said, “Why is my nose so pointy?! And where’s my face?” and I said, “How did you know that was you?” Oh, snap!

  9. Brilliant!!! I love it. In addition to everything you have mentioned, my husband can make the most God-awful noise with just a little bit of snot. Makes me want to comfort him by holding a pillow over his face.

  10. I had a hernia operation a few years back and my doctor told my husband that I was never to carry laundry baskets again.

    I have so much more to write, but I have to bring the laundry upstairs.

    1. Ouch!

      This reminds me of when the doctors told me not to carry anything for a few weeks after my surgery. The next day I was lifting my kids, the laundry, the groceries. Yeah, women are tough, alright.

  11. When then Husband would exhibit all the classic symptoms of a cold, I would say “You have a cold.” He would say, “No, this is something different, something I’ve never had before, something really bad.” Each time he had a cold, we went through exactly the same thing. Hilarious post.

    1. Isn’t it interesting how different each cold virus is? My husband will mutter the same obvious things over and over. He’ll shuffle from room to room moaning gems like, “I’m sick” or “I am really REALLY sick this time” or “I don’t feel good, honey and this time I mean it!” Maybe it’s because their He-man brain is in complete shock that they can’t run around proving their manhood? Or there need for food and sex has vanished so they start to panic?

  12. John Erickson

    Hey, hey, enough guy bashing! As the sole male respondent (so far), I must protest (a little). We’re not ALL helpless pathetic wimps when we get sick. Okay, SOME of us are SOMEWHAT less pathetic than that. Occasionally. Sometimes.
    (Oh heck, even I can’t get through this without setting off the BS alarm!)
    Though I think you have the “Sex” part of the brain a bit small. And you need one more part, the “Loud” section. This is the part of the brain that supports hunting, shooting, cars, Jean Claude VanDamme movies, and heavy metal. Fortunately, I had part of that section removed years ago, so while I still love cars, I only shoot blanks (in my guns, ya perverts!), prefer listening to Barry Manilow and disco (Oh, The Shame!), and lean towards Arnold rather than Jean Claude.
    (God, I’m still gagging over the thought of trying to make whoopee with a head full of snot. UGH! 😀 )

    1. You are very brave, John. I was waiting and hoping a man might reply to this post.
      Good job on the backpedaling, too. Well done!

      Y’know I hate to stereotype men. But truth be told, well… I am telling the truth. 😉 My husband does drool in the automotive section, he does watch Pawn Stars in his underwear. He is a Big Baby when sick. I can’t deny these facts.

      And you’re right, the sex part is kinda small. Maybe it should be one third of your brain? (I’m thinking food and sex should stay equal though…) I’ll take that under consideration for my next diagram. But I have to say, if you listen to Barry Manilow and disco, the sex section might have to shrink just a tad to be replaced by the Shameful and Guilty Pleasures section.

      1. John Erickson

        Naw, the sex part still has to be largest. Guys think about sex while eating, sleeping, and … well … having sex. Even a guy, flat on his back dying of a man-flu, will STILL pause the Tivo on the chick in a bikini. Thinking about sex requires very little oxygen – the less, actually, the better. For whatever THAT is worth…..

      2. You are correct, sir. I just had a conversation with my husband for about 3 minutes. After it was over, I asked him to tell me honestly how many times he thought of sex during those 3 minutes and he said: 3,598.

        I will attempt to recreate a more accurate version of the man-brain today.

        Your comment reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George wants to combine his two main loves in life: sex and eating. So he tries to eat a pastrami sandwich in bed while having sex. Men aren’t good at multitasking are they?

      3. I’ve read they have a “Golf” section, too. And its bigger than the “sex” area of the brain.This was not from a scientific study,but drawn directly from a survey of men themselves, who rated golf more important than sex.

        I’m having quite a fun time stalking your blog this morning 😀

      4. Stalk away, Spectra. I am about to do the same to yours. mua haha

        My husband had a pretty good sized Golf section once upon a time–when we were first married and he still lived in that carefree world full of rainbows, gumdrops and had endless amounts of free time (in other words: Before Kids) Now that part is all but shriveled up and absorbed into the Food area. So sad.

  13. Snoring Dog Studio

    I don’t think this is a stereotype any longer. This situation is rooted in fact, out of the experiences of millions of women throughout the globe! And the noises that come out these big babies when they don’t feel good! Arrgh. And we let them be in charge? Remember how some men used to (or still do) have issues with a woman being president because of her period? OMG. We’re trusting men to run the country and they can’t even run to the bathroom for a Kleenex.

    1. Yes, SDS, I completely agree! (see above reply to John)

      In my experience, (and I know I might be a little biased) the Annoyance Level of a woman in the throes of PMS is waaaay under the level for a man with a cold.

    1. John Erickson

      Okay, here’s the plan. All you ladies who get mad at the hubbies for their “man-colds”, contribute to a fund. Then, when one of y’all get sick, I catch a bus out to where you live, fill in for you, and show the hubby how to behave. I get to see the countryside, and y’all get to wallow like the dudes do.
      So, what’s my first bid? 😀

      1. Sounds like a good plan, John. But I’m not convinced that you wouldn’t just raid the fridge for some beer, then park yourself on the couch and feed my husband’s reality show habit. (right now, he’s into watching Ice Road Truckers…)

        1. John Erickson

          Well, you beer is safe, ’cause I don’t drink alcohol any more – just iced tea. And the only marathons I stop for are Three Stooges (Curly only), and classic Doctor Who and Babylon 5 (neither of which currently run in my area). Oh, and any of the “Family Guy” versions of Star Wars – priceless!

      2. Oh my God–we LOVE Family Guy Star Wars. I bought my husband all three on Blu Ray for Father’s Day this year. We watch it all the time. Good stuff, brings us to tears it’s so funny. Okay, so when you come over, I’ll let you guys watch that and you can bring your own iced tea.

  14. 110% correct! I love the diagram. I’m just glad that the hubby doesnt look like a glazed donut as my kids do by using their clothing in place of a kleenex, though I have witnessed him shooting snot out of nostril when he’s outside with no kleenex…ewww

    1. Glazed donut! Ha!

      I believe what you’re referring to is a Snot Rocket. My husband used to do this in front of me when we were first married. I told him if he continued, it would be grounds for divorce.

  15. Okay, not a lot of guy comments here, so I’ll sort of stand up for guys… or at least for myself. I’m reasonably tough when I get sick, which thankfully is not very often (knock on wood). But you are right, if at all possible I will avoid dealing with kid-raising for a day or so. But I’ll also do the same and be the kid deflector if wife is sick. What I actually hate when I have a bad cold or flu or whatever IS attention. “No, I don’t want any tea, you’ve asked me that 12 times, just leave me the hell alone!” I don’t moan or whine and if I need tea or chicken soup or Nyquil, I can get it myself.

    1. I am in shock. I had no idea men like you existed. Good for you, BRC! This gives me hope! I know I was pretty harsh in my post, so I have to give my husband a little credit. He does deflect the kids a bit when I’m sick. He does make me chicken soup. But he also hovers around me with this look of terror in his eyes—like he’s afraid Mom won’t ever take care of the house or the kids again. It really can flip him out when I’m real sick. I also feel loads of guilt if I even SIT down, and that is my own issue. My husband never seems to feel bad for laying down on the couch all day, for days though when he’s sick.

  16. Right on! I’m sending your diagram to my son who is a neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School. This is important information that he needs to know. Don’t be surprised if it shows up in the next issue of “Science.” LOL!

    1. Gasp! Well, I am very excited now. Tell your son to be prepared to have his mind blown by my theory. I will await the next issue of “Science”. This gives me hope that maybe some day they may even find a cure!

  17. This was hilarious to read and so true on many levels. Men just don’t cope the same way as women. It is known that we have a higher pain threshold, even if a lot of guys deny that, but I’d like to see them deal with waxing, or childbirth (which I have yet to experience). So it often takes but a simple cold to knock them out. And we all know that as much as the men contribute in many wonderful ways, when mom is incapacitated, things just fall apart. It’s exhausting for moms, I’m sure, but it’s just more proof of how awesome moms are. So, my hat’s off to you (if I were wearing a hat), and all moms, mine included, for taking care of the kids and the extra kid. 😉

    1. Thank you for taking your hat off to moms everywhere. They do deserve it!

      Dounia, my husband has gone through something almost as painful as childbirth (maybe even just as bad) he passed three kidney stones when we were first married. He was basically in a fetal position on the floor at one point. But you are so right, us women do have a much higher pain threshold…I think we also can endure pain for longer periods of time than men. Say, for instance labor that lasts almost 25 hours (like mine). My husband would have lasted about three minutes before he begged for an epidural.

      Speaking of the pain of waxing: If you ever want to know if a man can handle pain, just ask him to pluck one eyebrow. My husband did that once and he screamed, “Oh my god! That hurts! OW OW OW OW! How do you do that without crying! I would just let my eyebrows grow into a unibrow! OWWWWW!”

      1. Reading that comment made my day so much better because it had me laughing out loud (neighbors might think I’m crazy now)! Just what I needed on a gray, rainy day.

        Ok, the part about the 25 hour labor or the kidney stones didn’t make me laugh, that just had me simultaneously impressed and feeling awful for both of you.

        Oh, and I confirm the eye-brow plucking theory. Been there, done that. It’s not a pretty sight.

      2. The eyebrow plucking works every time. I am happy I made you laugh! 😀

        It is not only cold, raw and wet here in Maine today, but it’s going to snow later. Yep. It won’t stick to the ground though, so I’m fine with it.

      3. John Erickson

        Who do you think invented the electric razor? A guy whose straight razor was dull, and tried the tweezers. Heaven knows no MAN ever test-piloted an EpiLady! (Jeez, the guy who invented THAT was really pissed at his wife THAT day! 😀 )

      4. Ah, yeah…the EpiLady. One of many torture devices no doubt invented by a man. The pain we go through for “beauty”. Sheesh. I think I should just go with a unibrow this year and see what my husband thinks….

  18. Well, what have we here? Yet another post lamenting the frailty of men. We’re such wimps. We’re such babies. I have to tell you, I’m tired of hearing this. It makes me sick. I mean, it literally makes me sick. I suddenly don’t feel so good. I ache all over and I swear my head’s going to explode. I’ll be back. I’m just going to lie down for a while. Maybe take a nap. Could you get me a pillow? I think I might even be coming down with a fever. Would you just check? Do I feel warm to you? My throat is so dry. Do you think you could get me some juice? And a blanket? Not the brown, itchy blanket. The blue one with the bunnies on it. Thanks. I’m just going to sleep for maybe three or four hours. Five at the most. Be sure to wake me up, because I want to finish telling you off. That is, if I don’t completely lose my voice.

    1. Oh, Charles. There, there. It’s gonna be all right. You sit right down on the couch. You want the remote? Here’s your bunny blankee. You comfy? Another pillow? Sure! You just rest your weary little head. Let me see if you’re burning up. Hmm…I’ll go get you a cold washcloth. Better now? It’s too cold? Now you’re hot again? Here, I’ll get you the fan. Some soup? Sure! You don’t like chicken noodle? You want the kind with the little star-shaped pasta instead? And the tissues are too rough on your nose? And the orange juice has too much pulp in it? I’ll run to the store and get them for you. (door slams. screeching tires in driveway)

      Y’know I’m not coming back, don’t you?

    2. (by the way, Charles…when I read the first few lines of your reply, for a split second I thought maybe you were being serious. Maybe your brain had finally turned into mush after last week staring directly into the sun all that time, and all of your frustration was coming out. Whew! good to know you’re not really mad at me. That much. Right?)

      1. Okay… so not only is your post hilarious, dangerously hilarious, but your comments are too! What a great blog you have, Darla. You are a fantastic writer, and you are dead on with the sick-husband story.

        “‘Yes, you’re sick. There, there,’ I whispered, rubbing his back. ‘You have a cold. It’ll be okay, I promise. So, are you going to the grocery store today? We’re out of cinnamon. Oh, and while you’re out, we need more Nyquil.'” This line had me laughing out loud. Isn’t it what we all wish we could say? I remember I drove my 1-week old newborn daughter to the doctor’s office, by myself, after an emergency c-section, where I couldn’t even stand up straight (or a number of other things I won’t get into in a blog comment) just so my 18 month old son could have his nap.

        I wanted my husband to stay home with our son, so I nearly tore out my staples getting the car seat out of the car at the doctor’s. Guess this male pampering starts early.

        Thanks for all the smiles! Great post.

      2. “Dangerously hilarious”, I love that phrase, Melissa. I think that’s the best kind of hilarity, right? 😉 I agree, the comments are funny too–I love my readers, they always make my day!

        Your story about taking your newborn to the doctor’s while practically tearing out your staples is such a mom thing to do, isn’t it? We don’t even hesitate either. We just grit our teeth and do what much be done. (I’m not saying men couldn’t do that stuff for their kids, I’m sure they could, they would just complain a lot more I think…) I remember after my second c-section, my doctor told me I’d be in the hospital three days. By the beginning of the second day I was walking around, carrying my daughter, breastfeeding and packing my bags all at the same time. Women are the weaker sex? I don’t think so.

  19. This is the kind of thing that just floors me every time. How are all guys the same when it comes to colds? What the hell is it? The mucus theory may hold, but of course I have to wonder…do women simply have more Mucus Antibodies? Do we have some sort of XX-chromosome Mucus Barrier in our brains that prevents it from blocking all functions? Why are women able to suck it up but men can’t?

    My boyfriend manages to be wimpy and tough at the same time. He tries to keep his routine as normal as possible, but my goodness is he grumpy! 🙂

    Awesome post!

    1. My guess is the genetic code that allows us women to endure horribly painful things (like having a 25 hour plus painful labor, then a c-section, then taking care of a newborn the very same day) is the same chromosome that allows us to suck it up and deal with the sniffles.

      At least your boyfriend manages to go about his routine. You are lucky!

  20. Hi Darla,
    Your post is hilarious. As a mother of two children – now grown – I thank you for the great laugh. What would our husband’s do if there wasn’t a couch with a TV?

    Us females know we’re really the stronger sex, and that’s why we’re the one’s who carry the babies and give birth to them. When my son was 10 days old – and even though I’d had a C-section – I had to mow the lawn. Where was my spouse? He was several thousand miles away (working) and the email to stop growing and immediately didn’t get to the grass…

    1. Rosie, the couch and TV is a godsend. My husband would be lost without it. And I have to say, I don’t think I have ever actually laid down on the couch and watched TV all day, ever. Although I do dream about it. It would feel like a vacation to me.

      I had to laugh at you mowing the lawn after your c/s…it reminds me of when I was out mowing the lawn when I was near full term with my first baby. (granted, I may have been trying to get the baby to vacate the premises…) But my point is, we can do all the things men can do AND sustain another human being inside of us at the same time.

    1. I know, isn’t it fun? I’m not sure the men are laughing as much but…

      I love my husband dearly, I think men are wonderful overall. But the man-cold is where I have to be real. I’m just reporting the facts.

  21. When my kids were small, I told them that the cold/flu fairy could only make them better if they stayed in bed and did nothing. No TV, no books, nothing. Unless they truly were very sick, they quickly got bored, and then miraculously felt much better. Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t believe in the cold/flu fairy…

    1. Damn, I thought you were onto something here for a minute, Margie. But you know, it’s not a bad idea. You don’t really need to believe in a fairy. I’ll make my husband stay in bed and confiscate the remote, so no TV, no way to watch endless episodes on the DIY or History channel. He’d be cured within minutes I bet!

  22. Pingback: It’s the Reason for the Season «

  23. To be honest, I was the first person to read this post of yours and now may be i am the last one to comment on it. Although it was funny, but could not dare to comment on it or hit a like on it. Although to an extent you are right! Men has strength to fight against all the odds in life but for us it is really difficult to deal with stuffs like cold. Actually we men do not have antivirus installed in us to deal with this virus.

    All the best for your next one- “Why men can’t cry in front of other men.” Now being a man i am giving you a reason for that, actually we know a man can wipe away tears if its only in a woman’s eye, but he is never going to do it if the tears are in a man’s eye. So why to cry in front of a other man!
    Waiting for that post of yours. I hope you are going to give solid reasons for that 🙂

    1. Well I am happy you decided to comment after all, Arindam. 😀 I need to know what men think (and if they can defend themselves…)

      Now as for why men can’t cry in front of other men, I am not promising anything or if I can ever give a solid reason. It really is a stumper! I’ll give it a shot though, because I think it would benefit everyone if men could just let their emotions out once in awhile.

      1. Thank god I am not the last one to comment on your post. 🙂
        Actually this thought help me to write my last post. May be that post of mine was an answer to what men think, although i did not try to defend ourselves as i know what you wrote is a fact!!

  24. It seems this phenomena called “man-cold” is a universal one…love this term…I live on the other side of the world and you not only had me in splits of laughter but totally in awe of your ability to describe my home in the man-cold scenario…thank you for this hilarious post!

    1. Thank you for letting me know that it doesn’t matter where you live, you can’t escape the man-cold. (although I was holding out hope there might be a tiny tropical island somewhere where “mancolds” didn’t exist and margaritas flowed freely)

  25. See, what the problem was is that he was a couch football fan. If he had season tickets, the cold would have become a “mere annoyance” and he’d have pressed on valiantly (and, of course, expected a medal for his bravery). Your mistake was attempting to send him to the grocery store, which clearly had no bearing on his self-interest (despite the cold-saving Nyquil’s presence). 😉

  26. What you should do is apply for a National Institutes of Medicine grant to confirm your hypothesis. You could qualify for several hundred thousand over the next few years. Trouble is, it means your husband will hang out on the couch, you will continue to do all the work, and not much will change.

    Better to just let him get up off the couch and eventually head back to work!

    Very funny post. I just discovered your blog — I’ll be back to visit you and to visit Maine (I just drove back to VA from MDI — through the October blizzard. Some guys don’t like to stop their cars for anything.

    1. I don’t know, Elyse. I like your idea. Several hundred thousand dollars could buy me a good pair of ear plugs. Then I’d be able to let him lay on the couch and whine all the live long day. Hmm…I’ll have to consider it now….

      Thanks for visiting. Hopefully next time you go through Maine it will be glorious summer weather. This last storm was just wrong. My pumpkins were covered in snow and trick-or-treating was treacherous with all the ice.

  27. Priya

    The next time my husband has a cold, I am going to be chuckling all the way through. Thank you for making it bearable for me in the future (for it is going to happen)!

    As for the next theory, you will give the best, there’s no doubt. Can’t wait to read it!

  28. Pingback: Men versus Women and the battle of the common cold « the donovan boys

  29. I wish I’d seen this earlier! I’d have quoted and featured you as expert opinion!
    I had foot surgery a month ago that turned into the foot-surgery equivelant to your abdominal nightmare. It was done under general anesthesia (after the usual fentanyl, versed and even propophol failed to make me lie still), but outpatient. I was still very foggy when we returned home. I went straight to bed, only to be woken a few hours later with “we’re hungry and Dad says to ask you for dinner”. Grumpy was out flat on the couch with the clicker and a case of man-flu. Sigh.

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