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Someone to watch over me

Posted on Monday, April 5, 2010 in Relationships

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“Either we have a really bad connection, or your voice has been replaced by a crazed Replicant,” “I said.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.”

I stopped just short of saying, poor
“I’m so sorry. I’ll bring over
some chicken soup.” 


“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
. Not only because he’s, well, sick, but because he won’t let me pamper him. He hates pampering. This is a problem, because:

  1. I’m a woman
  2. I’m not all that good at many things, but I absolutely know how to pamper, and
  3. 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?

Uh, no.


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?

photo © green308 –

Bring on the comments

  1. Jenni
    Twitter: msjennixo

    I do like to be pampered when I’m sick. Now that I live with my mom again, I do get pampered when I’m really sick. It’s kind of nice, but not the same as having “your guy” doing it.

    When I was with my ex, I was never pampered when I was sick. I was expected to still take care of the kids, cook, clean, and go into work if I could manage. But when HE got sick, the world had to stop, and he needed to be taken care of. Ugh!

    Do I ask for help? No. Do I take it when people offer? For the most part.
    .-= Jenni´s last blog ..‘I Can Handle This’ =-.

  2. dadshouse
    Twitter: dadshouseblog

    I refuse to be babied. But I could use a little feminine nurturing and pampering…
    .-= dadshouse´s last blog ..Jesse James, Tiger Woods – Why Should We Care? =-.

  3. Linda says:

    I have never been nurtured when I was sick, yet I do the nurturing if they are sick. This last fall I came down with a horrible stomach flu. My son started it, daughter was second, and I was last. And I must say that my kids surprised me and took very good care of me, making sure I had something to drink, tucking me in and my son rubbing my feverish forehead. I must admit, it was nice to feel the love. 🙂

  4. Kat Wilder says:

    It's a bummer if I can't pamper the BF when he's sick; it's a bigger bummer if no one pampers me!

  5. Don says:

    Everyone likes to be pampered. Period. It makes you feel loved and cared for.
    .-= Don´s last blog ..‘Wastin Away’ in Beaver Creek… =-.

  6. Cathy says:

    Heh. This is odd timing. I don’t know if I’m sick or if it’s allergies, but last night I felt like crap. Came home and did some stuff and, when pulling lunch for today together, smacked my head on the freezer door. I just started to cry (I have two reactions when I’m ill or stressed: cry or vomit. You so do NOT want me around in a crisis) and this, of course, is about the time the boyfriend arrives to pick up lunch for the next day (we cook together every week and make lunches, and I store them and he comes by after work and gets the next day.)

    I would have said before last night that I don’t want to be pampered (I do very well alone with my cold meds and a shot of rum, thank you very much) but he came in, gave me a hug, let me cry, and then, while I was in a hot shower, got the bed turned down and walked my dog, closed the windows, and generally made sure I didn’t have to do anything but fall into bed. Then he stayed when I knew he was exhausted, too, and made sure I had whatever I need throughout the night.

    No, no, I know what you’re thinking, and no, this isn’t a new relationship. What’s unusual is that I’m the one who is used to doing that sort of thing in a relationship; it’s been a long time since someone has watched over me. I didn’t realize how nice it was.

    Love your blog, by the way.
    .-= Cathy´s last blog ..Hello, Springtime =-.