Heart racing . . . eyes watering . . . body aching . . . Typically this means I’m watching Jennifer Love Hewitt in a Lifetime Channel movie. But not this time.
I have a man cold.
You probably won’t find “man cold” diagnosed on WebMD, so allow me to explain exactly what this means and how it differs from other associated illnesses.
Man Cold: A debilitating illness exclusively targeting accidental adult males, often accompanied by incessant complaining and the inability to perform routine tasks like emptying the dishwasher or putting clothes in the hamper. (What I have.)
Monster Cold: A man cold with symptoms multiplied by 1,000. (What I fear I’m getting.)
Common Cold: A mild, temporary irritant. (What women get.)
At the first sign of a sniffle last week, I knew what was coming . . . a grave illness that requires the typical man cold response.
* Use of alcohol to dull symptoms.
* Sympathy phone call to Mom. (She enjoys worrying about her children, so really this was a favor.)
* Lame attempts to use new Barry White vocal range to seduce wife.
* Refusal to seek professional medical treatment unless on deathbed.
* Sleep, television, complaining and more television.
But what worries me most about my condition is that I’ve lost days from work. I had no choice. I really couldn’t subject my office mate to eight hours of wheezing, sneezing and hacking my poisons into our confined area. (Which reminds me . . . I need to call HR and see if they can dock her two sick days instead of me, since my absenteeism was in consideration of her.) I also couldn’t bear going to work only to hear my work wife tell me, “Wow, you look really awful.” I can get that brutal honesty at home from my real wife, who conveniently claims to have the common cold this week as well. (Kelly loves to upstage.)
All of this suggests my man cold may indeed be morphing into monster cold status. The evidence appears on my bedside table: Mucinex, Flonase nasal spray, Tylenol, tube of Carmex, Kleenex box . . . all lined up next to a greasy-haired, red-eyed snoring guy who won’t get out of bed before noon. Attractive imagery, I know. It’s a good thing I’m married and no longer have to worry about my appearance.
Despite this illness escalation, I’m ready to do battle, accidental adult style. I’m determined to conquer my cold using the most effective therapeutical treatment I have in my arsenal.