For My Wife

I could tell Kelly wasn't sleeping well last night. And I knew this morning when she wasn't getting up that she was out of commission. Yep, I have a sick wife at home.

Now I'm not trying to cause any trouble with my fellow men-folk, but it seems that we of the testosterone-driven persuasion handle illnesses worse than them estrogen-laden creatures do. I know, this is me releasing a stereotype to the general public, but I believe it to be true: men milk sickness for everything it's worth. My saying this might be breaking some sort of man code of silence about the issue, but we should fearlessly admit our short-comings so we can meet the future head-on! Trust me, men! We must diffuse this weapon of mass destruction that women can [and have been able to] use on us. Let's get it all out on the table: We're babies when we're sick. We want women to sympathize and take care of us. It's tough being a man! Now get me some stinkin' chicken noodle soup!!!

Case in point: the week before last I had some kind of ear infection type thing that gave me the sniffles for a few days. One of those days I had to go into work while I had a fever. I claimed victory over the sickness, unwilling to let it hold me down. My temperature was a blazing 99.1 degrees, but I was able to persevere. Just to keep people informed, I sent around one of those prayer emails that read like this:

"Please keep me in your prayers today as I'm suffering with some sort of severe illness. I'm not sure exactly what I have but I refuse to seek medical attention for it, as there are other people in more dire circumstances than I. I do not know what will happen as a result, but if the Lord calls me home today, don't feel bad for not taking me seriously. I find inspiration from the words of the great poet Gloria Gaynor: 'I will survive.'"

I installed a web cam in my office so people could monitor my progress throughout the day. Channel 9 News did a story on my entitled, "The man who refused to quit." By the time I got home that night, Kelly had seen "Save Steve" spray painted on the Warren County water tower and knew my condition was serious. She waited on me hand and foot the remainder of the evening; the chicken noodle soup flowed like water in a flash flood, my friends! Luckily, I survived.

Conversely, I find reactions to illness to be different with most women. My mother would be sick about two days a year and she usually faked being well so she could get stuff done. I honestly can't remember a time where she was sick for consecutive days; I'm sure she was, but never let it show. I think the day after my sister was born she left the hospital and proceeded to build our house with her bear hands. Kelly's cut out of the same mold. That's why I know she's not feeling well today, because she'd be at work if she could. She's gotta have something like malaria. Is that contagious?

So my wife's at home today feeling horrible and I'm at work feeling fine. While I do feel a bit guilty about not being sick with her, she'll have to go this one alone. Fortunately I just added Apple's Airport Express at home, so she can get on the laptop wirelessly while she's bed ridden and surf the web. And she'll probably get some work done this afternoon while, if I was home sick, I'd be messing around with fantasy baseball stuff. Yep, typical male.

Hope you feel better, baby. You're the champ. Promise I'll take care of you when I get home- and all the chicken noodle soup you want.