Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Danonymous Dan: Sick of Scolding

Sorry for my lack of words recently but I have been sick, and I don’t mean that in a Fritzel kind of way. I’m talking man-cold first class, with a medal in chesty cough, and a citation for blurred vision in the face of severe migraines. Honestly, when I sneeze I spray paint the bedroom.

Illness never seemed much of problem in life before – I’d just call in sick and turn the Xbox on. But I work for myself now: calling in sick means nothing gets done. If you couple starting a live music/comedy/arts production company with my stand-up comedy gigging, it becomes clear that my overworked self was due an illness. It’s a particularly virulent bastard too – all the people I live with have it, loads of the stand-up comics I know have it, and it lasts about two weeks, “Mum! Mum! I’m Dying!”

I don’t often wish I still lived at home, but when I am sick, like any man, I want the brow-rubbing, soup-ladling, hot-water bottle love that only a mother can give me. I want the ‘poor little bunny’ type stuff from the Man Stroke Woman sketch show.

‘But you have a girlfriend – surely she’s nice to you?’

My girlfriend lives in the US (major long distance, I know) but when I am ill I am sort of glad she’s so far away because her scorn at my sickness is somehow less cutting when delivered via a webcam.

During the periods of time we have lived together for months at a time the exact chain of events is this: I tell her I am ill; for the next five hours she is quite nice to me; and then that’s it. If I’m not better after that, she switches into scorn mode and I have to go and cower in an airing cupboard so she can’t find me.

Imagine my upset when I read a Telegraph article, which appeared to suggest this is commonplace – apparently many women do this? 

Now I know the research is just cynical PR nonsense dreamt up in the Monday morning meeting of whichever PR agency handles Reckitt Benckiser. However, we all know the scorn men receive for having ‘man-colds’.

The flipside to this one is that when she is ill, I do tend to try and offer lots of sympathy. In a slightly strange and thankfully-not-physical way, I turn into my mother. Why is this? If she’s ill, I jump to her every whim and wish, but if I am sick, I get beaten like a ginger stepchild. Also why is it that a mother will give this care, but a girlfriend won’t, despite that girlfriend receiving that level of loving caring attention from me?

I know what you are thinking… and no, I am not only nice to her just so she gets better quicker so I can knob her again. Of course, that is a gratifying side effect.


Ys said...

I always look after my boyfriend when he's ill. But he doesn't mope around being ill, he gets on with it; maybe if he moped more I'd be more testy ;)

My mother is very scornful with my father when he has man-colds ;) But then again my mother never coddled any of us kids when we got sick, either... I just don't think she likes ill people!

Anonymous said...

There's a fine line between ill & needing attention and being whiny. I love to look after my boyfriend when he's not feeling too great, but one ex was so whiny I couldn't stand to be around him til he was better.

I'm not saying that's the rule, but it can't hurt to be appreciative of the person who's doing the looking after.

Lauren said...

no offense, but many men are whiny little bastards if something's wrong with them. you guys tend to have a much lower pain tolerance than women, I find. so when you're sick AND whiny, especially if its just the common cold... and you EXPECT to get waited on hand and foot...

thene said...

Hmm, I don't do scorn, I do the five-hours-of-waiting-on and then I go into this zone of benign inattention. I guess girlfriends don't do hot-water-bottle love so much because we're not your mothers and don't want to get stuck down that road? That's no justification for meanness, though.

Peach said...



it's because we girls have extra sympathy and love for people in actual need of it, like babies, animals and the old. Men can get our sympathy too of course but when we compare what you think is feeling bad physically (and you're supposed to be BIG and STRONG etc) compared to what we have to put up with every month physically, I guess we think you ought to get a grip after a few hours, like we do.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan,

Just wanted to point out that this is your 4th article, but already the 2nd one having a bit of a pop at women.

I come to todger talk because it is so refreshing to hear men talk openly and honestly about sex and relationships and the sense of humour that it is often done with is an added bonus.

The web is already awash with sites where men primarily bitch about women, I'd be really sad if this place became another one.

Daring said...

Being someone else's long distance least she remembers! My guy is sick, and I try to remember to ask if he's feeling better the next day. But unless he says that he doesn't want to webcam because he feels like he's too ill to look at, I don't remember.

Maybe it's callous...but aside from nagging him to take more vitamin c (he won't) or some Nyquil (he won't) there isn't much to do. Otherwise, not much effected. *shrug*

Z said...

Generally, a man refuses to wear a coat or gloves, takes absolutely no precautions to try to avoid getting ill and then, once he is, he expects the world to revolve around him.

A man turns into a very small, clingy boy when he's ill and it's very irritating. Additionally, it's hard to see him as really ill when he still eats as much as ever. Most women go off food when they have flu, but men want their appetites to be tempted with constant snacks.

my sun sets to rise again said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
my sun sets to rise again said...

Also why is it that a mother will give this care, but a girlfriend won’t

If you're unsure of the difference between a mother and a girlfriend, then it's probably a good thing that your gf lives in the States.

Homer said...

I think you're all missing the point, which is that Dan has invented the first-class simile "beaten like a ginger stepchild"

Anonymous said...

In defence of dan, an ex-gf of mine told me to 'man-up' after injuring my ankle at rugby (aggravating the ligament damage).

The next day i couldnt walk on it and had to go to A&E! Getting on for a year down the line... it's still not healed. Needless to say she did feel guilty for a while afterwards. (evil snigger)

Anonymous said...

Homer - I loved that too!

"beaten like a ginger stepchild"


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymouse from 10th December.

I'm not the same person!


LauraAura said...

Why are people jumping on Dan's back about this? He read an article, he has experienced what that article talks about, he then wrote about it in a blog...he doesn't say this is absolute fact, he asks why it appears to be the case? From how some of the posters’ attitudes to their ill partners come across it looks like Danonymous got a point.

Seems to me some other girls can't take criticism well.

Someone earlier said something about periods – come off it. Just cause we have menstrual cycle doesn’t mean we can act like a bitch toward guys. I am sure being kicked in the balls is pretty painful, lets say its more painful than colds/flu, therefore because guys have to deal with testicular pain occasionally and we don’t, guys can treat us like shit when we have a cold/flu. Its nonsense logic.

Then we have crap about pain tolerance? Its not men’s fault they can’t tolerate pain any more than it’s a women’s fault she can multi-task better – its evolutionary it shouldn’t really be held against guys.

bob said...

I suspect and a lot of people will be in denial about this (on both sides), that the real truth behind the matter is that women often like to see their men as the strong one in a relationship and struggle to deal with the fact that he has weaknesses too.

Men don't respond to being ill in the same way as women do, simply because they don't have the same reaction to the same bug doesn't mean they aren't suffering to the same level.