Sean called me last week and he sounded awful.
“Either we have a really bad connection, or your voice has been replaced by a crazed Replicant,” “I said.
“Neither, but I wish a Replicant would take over; I’m sick.”
“Well, how about some wellness
tea and Nyquil?”
“No, I’m fine. Just leave me with
my aloe vera tissues and ESPN.”
“But, don’t you want me to …”
“No, I don’t want you to anything
but carry on with your life.”
Arrgh! I hate it when Sean gets
sick. Not only because he’s, well, sick, but because he won’t let me pamper him. He hates pampering. This is a problem, because:
- I’m a woman
- I’m not all that good at many things, but I absolutely know how to pamper, and
- women like to nurture. Period. It’s in our genetic makeup and I am not about to start messing around with evolutionary biology. It’s what keeps our kids alive when they’re crying because they’ve fallen off the chair while tagging the bathroom walls with our Dr. Haushcka lipstick in our favorite color, the discontinued color. We will still make them feel better, forgetting the fact that it was our last tube.
Not all men are like that, however. Some men love to be babied when they’re sick. Rob did. I often wondered if he acted sick just so he could get a “buy” on his share of the household chores while I doted on him with hot brandies, brought him the newspaper in bed and gave him massages with a happy finish.
Those genes must have been passed on to The Kid, too, who seems to need the latest PS3 game, $30 in iTunes downloads, a Jamba Juice intravenous drip and a movie-size box of Swedish fish to be cured. As if …
But when I’m sick?
No one rushes to pamper me. Oh, I might get some sympathy — “I’m sorry you feel crappy” — or advice — “Go to bed now and rest!” — or some pseudo-concern from my co-workers — “So, do you think you’ll be better by tomorrow?”
But pillow fluffing? Soup making? Nyquil buying? Tea brewing? Pampering by any stretch of the imagination?
No one wants to be near me because then they’ll get sick, too, and they just know I wouldn’t want that, right?
But then there have been times that I wasn’t sick, just laid up for other reasons and even the most basic grooming tasks were impossible, or, at the least, onerous. I needed help.
“So, how are you doing?” Sara asked me the last time I was so indisposed.
“OK, except I can’t even wash my hair!”
“I’m coming right over.”
And she did (with a chocolate croissant and a latte), and gave me a $125 salon-worthy wash, condition and blow-dry and threw in a scalp massage. Then she washed my dishes.
Could I have asked for help?
Would my friends have happily helped?
Did I ask?
Because as much as I love to nurture others, I have a problem asking for help.
So it’s pretty much my own damn fault I’m pampered-less, even if deep down I believe people should just intuit that. But people often don’t, especially guys (who just want us to tell them what we want, already!) and that’s why women get so frustrated sometimes, wishing they were more like us.
I’m OK having my gal friends nurture me, except there’s some things they just can’t do for me, like a massage with a happy finish. Well, I mean they could, but …
- Do you like to be nurtured when you’re sick?
- Do you like nurturing others?
- Do you ask for help when you need it?
- Can you accept it when it’s offered?
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