Right now, pretty much everyone I know is sick in bed with a cold, the flu, or some nasty stomach bug that turns your digestive system into mincemeat. Seriously, flu season is the worst. But did you know it’s particularly awful for men? That’s because men tend to react to sickness in very specific, very dramatic ways. Based on years of observations of brothers, dads, boyfriends, and friends, I’ve identified the 7 stages all sick men go through on their journey from first symptom back to wellness. They are as follows:
1. Extreme Denial. It doesn’t matter whether he’s covered in chicken pox, drenched in sweat from a high fever, or vomiting blood, the first sign of a man getting sick is always the same: ardent denial that he’s sick, because he “never gets sick”:
2. Hesitant admission of the obvious. “Well, maybe I am getting a little sick”:
3. Extreme self-pity. Fine, he’s sick. But how can he be sick? He never gets sick! Being sick is for the weak! Being sick is the worst! Why him? Why now? He hates his life. He wallows:
4. Full-on regression to toddlerhood. As soon as a man has fully accepted his fate as a sick person, it’s not long before his inner toddler comes out. Soon he’s curled up on the couch in a blankie watching “The Magic Schoolbus,” asking you to rub his feet, and also could you maybe make him the soup his mom used to make whenever he was sick?
5. Insistence that no one has ever been sicker. Truth: no man has ever been “kinda sick.” They have to be THE SICKEST:
6. Anger. Once they’ve milked the pity parties and banana milkshakes and cancer scares for all they’re worth, it’s time to get mad:
7. Extreme denial. Finally, he recovers, and we end the cycle right back where we started. Once a man has gotten over a sickness, his story changes from “NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN SICKER” to “It wasn’t that bad,” until, a few days later, he’s completely forgotten about it and is once again claiming, “I’ve never been sick”:
Guys, never change.