But His Boys Won’t Take Care of Him When He’s Sick
As I predicted, Howard Homecoming 2010 was another memorable weekend for the life books, even if it was the most miserable one for me personally.
I wasn’t prepared for the cold front that came blowing through D.C. and so, within hours of arriving in D.C., I felt my throat tighten up and the congestion getting out of control. What made things worse, I had no proper attire to keep me warm for the evenings. I had no coat, no jacket — at least not one that went with what I was wearing — so I just knew this cold I was starting to have was only going to get worse. Not because I lacked the wardrobe and the meds to fight it; not because I had to attend the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally the next day, all day (you can read the two write-ups I did on it here and here); not because I knew each night I was there, I was going to be out late, which meant a serious lack of rest; the biggest reason I knew my cold was going to get worse before it got better is because I was with my boys all weekend, and the last thing any of them was going to do was nurse me back to health.
When I wrote last week about valuing and cherishing the role my boys play in my life since being single, I hope I didn’t come off as spiteful towards women. My boys truly do mean everything to me, and will always be in my life, so of course I will never let a woman come in between our bond, but it doesn’t mean the two relationships — the one with my boys and the one with whatever woman I end up with — can’t co-exist. I need both, for entirely different reasons, and it’s something I learned over the weekend when I was sick.
See, my boys are going to see the runny nose and just tell me to get a tissue. If they have a box of their own, they’ll say I can get a couple, but they won’t give me the whole box and buy another one for me before the end of the weekend. We’ll pull up to McDonald’s and they’ll ask me if I want anything, knowing good and well the Hi-C Orange McDonald’s serves does not qualify as my necessary dose of Vitamin C and I shouldn’t be eating anything but soup. They’ll wake me up when I’m taking a nap so I can get ready to roll out with them, and if I ask to borrow a jacket, they’ll assess if it’s one of the ones they wanted to wear before they say yes. They will hear me coughing, blowing my nose, and talking in a raspy voice, and still say, “Man, come to his happy hour, there’s mad girls up in here.”
If any of this is reading like some attack on my boys, understand this is far from it. I know exactly how my boys are, and I love them all of the same. Matter of fact, if any of them did anything different from the things I just described, I would be so shocked, I would ask them if they were sick. We’re men, for better or for worse, and unless we’re in some life-threatening situation, we tell each other to “man up”. Hell, I don’t think I even asked any of my boys if they had some tissue.
We don’t do things women do for us when we get sick. A man isn’t giving another man his scarf, but a woman will take hers off and give it to him. A man isn’t putting his hands on another man’s forehead to see if he has a fever, so much as he’s saying, “Damn, you really do sound sick.”. A man isn’t bringing him the best chicken soup in town, so much as he’s talking about the chicken soup his mom used to make. These are things only a woman will do for a man. These are things only a man can expect a woman to do. We care about our boys as much as we do the most important people in our life, but we know better than to think they’ll take care of us when we’re sick because we think they’ll suck at it.
Women, on the other hand, don’t suck at taking care of a man when he’s sick. Women are great at taking care of a man when he’s sick because they make him feel like it’s okay to be sick. They say what he has has been going around a lot lately, and instead of saying “Man up” they say “Lay down.” Like his boys know how to have his back when a fight is about to go down, his woman knows how to have his back when his lung sounds like it’s about to be coughed up.
Any man out there will say a life without his male friends is empty, but if he’s honest, he will admit a life without a female friend is not a healthy one to live.
The Process: Still haven’t worked out, as I’m getting over this cold. Needless to say it’s been an off week. I have to get better before I hit Miami this weekend. Speaking of…UIGM readers who live in Miami, hit me up. I need tour guides cause it’s going to be my first time there. Oh and vote today!
The TENTH Edition of the Poppin’ Questions Podcast is now up! Click here to listen