On the beat

Are men big babies when they’re sick?

By Jim Bucher

It was bound to happen sooner or later. After a very long stretch without so much as a sniffle, I think I’ve got it good.

This bug I caught – or rather the bug caught me, has knocked me for a loop.

Aches, pains, congestion and fever with a lethargic, no-energy feeling, makes for a not-so-fun few days.

It’s been a lot of fluids, cold meds and chicken soup, not necessarily in that order.

Now for a guy who considers himself sort of active, always on the go with something or another, sitting and lying on the couch isn’t much fun. It turns out the TV and I are becoming fast friends, which fast tracks me back to days gone by as a kid.

I don’t know how it was with you, but for me a “sick” day from school (whether you were or weren’t) was always a blast. I do remember the day when you got sick as a kid and took a day off of school, that it was an all-day television extravaganza with plenty of cartoons, lying around in your PJ’s and having plenty of the aforementioned chicken soup.

Gosh it was so much fun playing hooky – I mean being ill – that in my mind I’m thinking may have to extend this another day by running some hot water over the thermometer.

MOM: “Hun?”

DAD: “Yes?”

MOM: “Your son’s temperature is 118, should we be worried?”

DAD: “I’m no doctor, but until it hits 120, I wouldn’t worry about it. Now, can you change the channel to Lawrence Welk?”

And wasn’t it wonderful, for me at least, to have not only my mom, but aunt and grandma home with me who of course felt so sorry for me being ill.

“Anything you need Jimmy?” they’d ask.

I would flash the baby blues and in the most pathetic, pitiful, mousey voice answer, “No I’m fine, but some bacon and eggs sounds good about now and can you bring it to me in bed?”

Wow, this never happens when you’re well.

So as a grown man who acts like a kid, what do I do with all this down time?

Well, I should get caught up on my writing for Dayton City Paper, do laundry, get my stuff ready for the tax man, clean the house and… ah, wait, that’s what I do when I’m well! It’s time to do absolutely nothing for a few days.

How about catching up on some television viewing?

I’ve DVR-ed a few things like The Academy Awards from last year, a bunch of Three Stooges shorts, Modern Family season four and a boatload of Pawn Stars episodes, not to mention my new favorite show, Chrisley Knows Best on USA Network.

Plus, my daughter, who as of this writing has been off school with her sick father for three days because of the snow and cold, scored one of her friends’ Netflix passwords so we have a wide array of entertainment options to choose from.

I do miss the sympathy pains from my childhood.

This is no scientific study, but could explain why many men are branded babies when ill: just blame our moms.

So, why can’t our significant others feel the same way towards us guys as did our dear mothers? Not sure, but according to one expert it is official – men whine more about illness than women.

They call the condition “man flu” and suggest that men are probably exaggerating illness to gain “maximum sympathy.”

Hmmm, you think??

A recent study of 3,000 people also found 50 percent of men like to classify a common cold as “the flu” and regular headaches as “migraines.”

Also, “Men may have fewer bouts of genuine sickness a year – five compared to the seven suffered by women – but when ill, their attention seeking behavior makes sure their partner knows about it.”

But even with all the bellyaching, men are actually less likely to take time off work, with 76 percent “struggling” through.

The survey also found women are more likely to whine about their aches on a daily basis; but maybe the most interesting aspect is the sympathy and caring.

According to the study, “Women score higher than men on being prepared to dole out the sympathy for an attention-seeking partner, whether they believe they are genuinely ill, or not.”

Well, how about that?

Now could someone please get me my fuzzy slippers, some soup and the TV remote? After all, I am sick you know.

Cheers!

Buch

A regionally known and loved local television icon for over 25 years, “Buch’s” followers describe him as trust-worthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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