~Friday, September 29, 2006

Winners and Losers

I may be old-fashioned in this thinking, but I've always subscribed to the belief that men are stronger than women. I mean, there's a reason why there's not a women's baseball or football team. The lines may be blurred regarding which gender wins mentally and emotionally, but physically speaking, I've always been able to say, "Fine. You win."

Well that and I've never done a pull-up in my life, so personally it's a pretty easy concession for me.

The glaring exception to this, however, is pain. Women are much more stoic when it comes to pain.

My father once had his toenail removed. After he was done crying, he took a week's worth of codeine and we found him passed out on the bathroom floor. After an unfortunate accident lifeguarding, and I too was missing a toenail. I simply put a Band-Aid on it so I wouldn't have to look at it while it grew back.

You want to talk pain? We get cramps that feel like someone is tattooing our uteruses from the inside. Every month. That shit hurts, yet we are expected to get fully dressed and go into work and have clever thoughts all day long whereas we really want to lie in the fetal position and suck our thumbs while guessing what symbol is getting inked on our insides this month. I would like to see a man deal with that.

But not Adam.

In my morning e-mails from Adam, he briefs me on his gym class and what new injury he sustained that morning. The first week I felt sympathetic for him. Starting a new workout routine is very painful. Moreover it's not a pain others can see: there's no cut, no blood.

By the second week, I thought, Wow, this guy kinda complains a lot.

By the third week I thought, I wonder if complaining is just his thing?

Yesterday I get my morning report from Adam. Oh, looks like he reinjured his hamstring. He'll just do what he's done in the past-- moan about it all day long and be fine the next morning.

By lunch I received an update-- he tried to "be a good boy" and iced his leg.

I laughed.

By my nightly e-mail, it seemed poor Adam's leg had worsened:

This was a bit much, even for a girl whose father ODs on codeine for a toe nail.

"You have a wound on top of a wound on top of a wound?" I wrote. "Give it a couple of days before you get all hypochondriac on yourself and start diagnosing yourself off the internet."

For the record, I would have said that to any of my friends had they pulled the same thing.

Adam was not happy with my response:

Any mention of pending plans this weekend were dropped.

Was I too harsh? Maybe. I opened the reply window and typed, "Aw, I feel kinda bad for calling you a hypochondriac." I stared at my words. No, better not use the H-word again seeing as how it didn't go over so well the first time. I deleted and started again. "Aw, I feel kinda bad about the teasing I gave you," I wrote. "Glad it is easily remedied."

"Hehe..." he replied. "It's ok, I'm tough."

I laughed so hard I drooled on myself.


superstar said...

life just a good

M said...

haha, it's sort of like when men are sick the world stops turning so they can whimper a bit but when women are sick they just get on with it. I rarely get bad cramps anymore but it's the WORST when you're trying to get through a day of teaching kids (they're always at you) while feeling the pain of a billion needles STABBING at your pelvis and back.

Anonymous said...

I totally accept that men are the biggest sooks in the world when it comes to a little pain.

At the same time we are also absolutely hopeless at taking ourselves off to the doctor when we are suffering some sort of pain or other.

It's something in our wiring which makes it difficult for us to reach out for help. So when we complain about pain, particularly to a woman, it's our way of saying "What should I do?"

Men are good at doing one thing well at once. And when something is stopping us from doing that, such as pain or a problem we can't get our heads around, we complain in an effort for guidance.

How a woman is able to tolerate pain levels which would incapacitate most men is beyond me. As is your capacity for compassion and advice sometimes provided to your own detriment.

On behalf of men, I want to say thank you for your strength, your reserve, compassion and advice and while men can be incredibly sooky about pain, we are also big softies when someone shows how much they care about us. We do really appreciate being cared for.

Sarah said...

Mez- I read somewhere once that women have 9 times the pain tolerance men have. So when we complain about pain, why aren't we taken seriously?

Nick- "What should I do?" Suck it up, that's what you should do!! Sometimes men just need a good kick in the ass to remind them how strong they really are.

Oh, y'all are looking for compassion? Mea culpa. ;)

Phil said...

The only thing that makes me cry is my frakkin computer which is giving me the shits this week.

Rocky Mountain Princess said...

Okay, seriously... good for you! The guy sounds like a total pussy.

I laughed myself silly over this entry - especially the first part of it.

The poor guy obviously has some deluded notions about himself; I thought your response was hilarious.

Sorry, just being honest.

M said...

I don't know exactly why, but maybe: Women are seen as hysterical because we show emotion - and therefore not taken seriously (ie: take PMS for instance, most men don't realise that the emotions are REAL). However, if we don't show emotion we are seen as ball breakers and seen as unreasonable (again, not taken seriously). So basically, we can't win.

Nicola said...

Wow! This was too funny!! haha. hopefully poor baby Adam can get on with his life :)

Anonymous said...

Poor poor baby with his frostbitten, sciatic nerve problems that stemmed from ripping out his hamstrings lol.

(FYI Sciatic nerves tend to get pinched in the butt, not the hamstring)

rolling on the ground laughing here!


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