Why Guys Are Such Babies When They Get Sick

One dude explains why his fellow men cry out for their mommies during cold season.

Man. The stronger sex. The half of the population to whom pain is but a faint idea. The only gender to claim Tim Allen as a de facto mascot. These are, of course, sweeping generalizations (except the Tim Allen thing. The Toolman is ours). And how better to counter one set of sweeping generalizations than with another?

While there are many arguments to be made against crowning either sex stronger than the other, flu season is upon us, so the reason du jour is that fortitudes of men everywhere are currently being reduced from Calvin Klein Bieber Ad to Pre-Photoshopped Calvin Klein Bieber Ad. Do all men turn into brittle-boned kvetch factories when they get sick? Of course not. But some do. And here are the reasons behind the whines:

1. “This Never Happens!”
An excuse that’s not just for the bedroom anymore! Some men, present company included, love to boast about how they never get sick. It’s a way of asserting physical dominance without ever having to provide actual proof. It’s like telling people you have a 12-pack and bulging biceps, but they just have to take your word for it. It’s the best.

It’s also impossible. Nobody is immune to everything, and nobody likes to be proven wrong while sneezing into their own bowl of chicken soup.

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2. His Body is a Mancave.
Men love their bodies. On the obvious end of the spectrum is the gym rat who treats his body like a well-oiled machine. On the less obvious end, the schlub who treats it like a well-managed Arby’s, always keeping it stocked with curly fries and roast beef. Both men care deeply about what they put into their bodies, as well as what they are able to get out of them. And whether they’re trying to perform more reps or more farts, getting sick can throw a frustrating wrench into the dude-machine.

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3. How Is He Supposed to Fight Off The Bad Guys?!
At any given moment, in any given scenario, every single man is devoting at least a fraction of his brain to one ponderance: “If enemy commandos attacked right now, how would I use my skills and tools to get my loved ones to safety and dispatch the baddies as the one-man army that I absolutely am?!” This is not a generalization. This has been proven in a decades-long study performed by the definitely-not-made-up thinktank Norris, Neeson, & Seagal. The only way to foil it and turn him from action hero to waaaahction hero is an actual fever.

Of course, now that you know the—please forgive me—wahhhtionale behind the plight of the sniffly man, what can you do with it? Outside of the satisfaction of knowing that your man is just as big a baby as you thought, what good does this do you? For starters, you can remember that there’s nothing rational about their heightened sensitivity, and arguing with a grumpy sick person will rarely get you anywhere. But if you don’t want to fully indulge his delusions (we don’t blame you), do what his parents did when they didn’t want to deal with him: Plop him in front of the TV with one of his favorite movies. We suggest something by Norris, Neeson, & Seagal.

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