It starts with a tickle, the feeling like there are a few rough and irritating hairs growing in the backs of our throats. We pretend it’s not what we know it is, that we’re going to be fine.
Then we wake up with the tickle transformed into a full-fledged scratch. The insides of our skulls are filled with a growing mass of concrete and our bodies ache, pain rippling throughout with each breath and dry, useless cough. At this point, there is no denying it. We have a full-blown man cold, and the havoc it wreaks upon us is only slightly better than being mauled by an angry mountain lion.
The man cold is a hotly contested subject, even hotter than the fever scorching our brains like a supernova. While the truth is that a supernova would be more pleasant is lost on half the population, those of us who suffer the man cold know better. No less an authority than WebMD almost sort of acknowledges this. (Since it’s WebMD, the site also suggests that the symptoms are likely due to a rare tropical disease that the medical community thought was eradicated in the late 1800s. We’re not sure that’s wrong.)
Some—read: wives—are less sympathetic to these truths. This viral video, for example, totally ignores the reality of the man cold. Meredith Masony, the mom and blogger who made the video, doesn’t even follow through on her joke about mercifully killing her husband and freeing him from this mortal cold.
Gamma Rays Give Man Germs Super Strength
Where to even begin. For starters, go back to the WebMD article. Women, being possessed with more estrogen, seem to have some advantages at battling viruses, since estrogen doesn’t nurture the bugs coursing through a mom’s veins because it nurtures basically everything else. Men may be bigger and stronger, but the testosterone that leads to those size and strength advantages also makes viruses bigger and stronger.
Maybe. Honestly, the research is inconclusive. Since I’m not a medical professional, though, I’m going to say definitely. It’s the same science behind gamma rays and the Incredible Hulk.
Moreover, our bodies were not made to endure hardships in the same way that female bodies were. Our most sensitive parts are actually on the outside, just waiting to be abused, particularly by children. Women don’t have such external vulnerabilities, and they also handle childbirth. It’s as though the universe conspired to give men some disadvantages to make up for the size and strength thing, and it would be nice if women had some sympathy for those disadvantages.
The other thing worth pointing out is that Chicken and Stars is demonstrably the superior chicken and pasta soup combo. It leaves chicken and noodle limp, lifeless, and sad, quivering in its shadows. Granted, I didn’t know anyone made it at home, but apparently, they do. This recipe only takes two hours and 15 minutes! Yes, you could buy stock from the store and shave off some time. We probably won’t complain.
Stop Minimizing Our Truth
As to the fact that women, and moms specifically, handle the rhinovirus with more resolve than do men, well, that’s sort of y’all’s thing. Handling a cold is just one of the various challenging and painful acts women do on the regular. You can’t expect us to isolate one thing—the cold—and respond to it differently than we do to everything else.
Our brains are on fire, our noses incapable of drawing oxygen, our skulls on the verge of exploding, and we can’t find an angry mountain lion on Amazon Prime to come dispatch us. It’s real, and it’s not spectacular. As such, maybe, as Otis Redding sang, you need to try a little tenderness.
Instead, you invalidate our feelings and accuse us of being melodramatic, of being babies who are responding very poorly to this horrendous inhaled beast that is doing its best to render us completely immobilized before slowly finishing us off. You laugh at our misery and try to tell us how we should really feel.
Well, guess what? We don’t need your lady opinions about the severity of our man colds. We don’t need you to attempt to womansplain away our misery. Just as we will never experience the joy, wonder, and intense pain that is childbirth, you will never experience the nightmarish hellscape and journey through the valley of the shadow of death that is the man cold.
So, in the name of all that is good and right in the world, for the sake of all that binds us, please attempt some understanding and bring us our soup. Also, I’m pretty sure we asked for orange pineapple juice, not plain orange juice. And, for the love of God, if you threaten to kill us, follow through. We could really use it right now. You have no idea how much we’re suffering.