Jane Green
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Man Flu

July 18th, 2016

Jane Green HUsbandHours spent rolling my eyes: 4

Hours spent feeling compassion: .25

Hours spent feeling guilty about not being more compassionate: 26

Hours spent writing: 0

Our household has just come down with a serious case of man flu. When I say our household, I mean Beloved, but we all felt his pain.

He lay in bed groaning that he was dying. He does this every time he is ill. And Florence Nightingale I am not. I am the least sympathetic, least patient nurse imaginable. And I am increasingly cross that he keeps saying he is dying, because I can’t stop thinking about the boy who cried wolf.

If he actually was dying, I would probably be doing exactly the same thing as I am doing now – stomping around the bedroom rolling my eyes and shaking my head whilst muttering under my breath. And I would feel horrible for the rest of my days. I don’t quite know how to muster the patience for man flu, and I’m quite sure I would have far more compassion if he actually were dying.

I am not allowed to be ill. There is always too much to do. Which is lucky because I hate being ill, and generally believe that mind over matter is a spectacular thing. I do sometimes take to my bed, but that is generally because I have a case of the blues, or the tireds, which, thanks to my lovely thyroid and Lyme issues, is a little more often than I would like.

Bed is my favorite place in the world to hang out. Not during the summer months, but as soon as there is a chill in the air the electric blanket is dragged out from the linen closet, the winter duvet goes on, and I crawl between the covers with a cup of tea, a few books, and the ubiquitous iphone.

When we lived in Figless Manor we had a television in the bedroom, and I always hated it. My husband finds it much easier to fall asleep to the dulcet tones of a television, whereas I like absolute dark and quiet. I would regularly wake up in the early hours of the morning to find my husband fast asleep, and a flickering television screen with bare-breasted beauties and small bearded men.

It turned out that he would always fall asleep to Game of Thrones, but I was ever so slightly horrified. “What are you watching?” I would prod him hard to wake him up. “What is this?” Clearly, this is before I moved over to the dark side and became a Game of Thrones obsessive myself.

But no more television in the bedroom. I would also like to put a ban on husbands with man flu. In the meantime, I shall have to brave the moaning with a box of tissues and a hot toddy. And that will be my good deed for the day.

(This article was first published in The Lady Magazine.)


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