This week Moville writer Sharon Thompson shares another tale exploring the life of local people.
Each Sunday this series will showcase works of literature written by local women for readers to enjoy.
This week Sharon shares a handy guide to dealing with ‘very sickly’ patients that vie for attention through a network of discarded tissues and lots of complaining.
Surviving the man flu when you’re a woman
He’s got a sore throat and he’s moaning. You’re hearing about it for the fifth time since you put the kettle on to boil.
‘I’m dying,’ he sniffles.
There’s a tinge of pity in you, but he failed to notice your near pneumonia bout of sickness last time (while you had the period from hell) so you’re not overly keen to mother him too much.
‘It’s never been this bad and I know it’s going to get worse,’ he coughs.
We all roll our eyes and despair, but I recommend the following; –
Ignore the tissue trails and exaggerated snuffling, as much as possible. They can’t help it. It’s an inbuilt need to soak up sympathy.
Don’t give in to pity him. A single sign of empathy will make him take to his bed or worse the chair in the living room, where he’ll demand to be nursed.
He does sound bad, there’s no question he’s got a few symptoms. He looks ashen and is croaky and his nose does seem to be running. BUT if he was that bad – he’d take a pill or go see the doctor. Wouldn’t he?
No-one has really died, since the Middle Ages, from the type of cold he has, no matter how many times he talks about his will or the funeral arrangements. So offer to ring the priest/clergy for him.
It will always appear worse if you mention a chore you need done or the kids need help with their homework, so sneak this up on him with as little warning as possible.
It will always miraculously disappear if a pal calls looking for help with something or there’s a chance of a few beers. Take notes of times and dates he recovered!
No matter what you say, it will always be a hundred times worse than anything you’ve ever had to endure (including childbirth). Record him secretly if possible.
Hot whiskeys will always be better than honey and lemon, so join him in having one. Feck Slimming World!
Try not to commit murder – like everything, this time will pass.
When you catch his cold, just try half of his tactics and wait to be told – ‘You’re not as bad as I was when I had my Man Flu.’
Sharon is the co-founder of #WritersWise a trending, writers’ tweet-chat (www.writerswise1.wordpress.com).