When It Comes to Sickness, Take It Like a Woman

Welcome to Scarlet Thread Sunday, when I throw out a thread of something I’ve learned in the labyrinth of life. Today’s title is exactly what my mother told me growing up.

Sick Woman Blowing NoseShe said that the usual phrase “take it like a man” needed to be altered when it came to illness. You see, many tough and formidable men sink into the pit of pitiful when they become sick. Whereas, many women–juggling 5 roles and 12 tasks at all times–don’t feel like they can afford to be down, even when they would like to be down.

Now I’m not saying that “men are bad, women are good.” I don’t believe that at all. I think God gave each sex some fabulous traits and a few weaknesses. I just think this happens to be a weakness for plenty of men out there.

And I am not alone. Check out this video that I happened to catch recently:

Now my own husband gets sympathy sickness–as in, whenever I’m sick, he’s sure that he has or is coming down with whatever I have. To be fair, we breathe the same air a lot, and sometimes he does indeed catch my illness. But other times, I think it’s, well, “man-cold.”

Whether this is your experience, or some other, I bet that your partner doesn’t treat illness the same way you do. Maybe they like you to wait on them hand-and-foot. Or perhaps they want to be left alone (me). Maybe they want the bed to themselves, or the living room couch, or every blanket in the house, or a cowbell to call you when they need something.

Whatever it is, it may not to be what you would want. I have a tendency to want my husband to treat me the way my mother did when I was sick: Check on me now and then, otherwise leave me alone, and let me have total control of the TV and computer…oh, and say a few lovey-dovey, you’ll-be-okay, reassuring words.

My husband is not my mother.

When he’s sick, I’m great for maybe 48 hours and then I want to say, “Take it like a woman!”

I am not his mother.

So these things must be negotiated a bit, so you can be there for your loved ones the way they need when they feel bad. Thankfully, my hubby and I are much better at caring for one another during sickness than we were in the first years of our marriage.

Which is good because there may be a day when one of us spends a lot of time caring for the other. There’s no telling what we’ll face in the future.

But I do know this: I’ll take it the way I take it, and he’ll take it the way he takes it. And that’s okay.

ROW80 Update

Time to check-in on “the writing challenge that knows you have a life.” All ten goals for this round are listed below, but the progress I made this past week appears in red type.



  • Finish writing GOOD & GUILTY, YA mystery. My previous working title was BREAKING THE COMMANDMENTS, which polled badly with teens I know. So I’m trying out GOOD & GUILTY. Anyway, I added 14,509 words. I’m so close to finishing the first draft!
  • Complete first round of edits of GOOD & GUILTY.
  • Write one short story.
  • Edit two short stories–one needs a final polish, the other a full edit.

Additional Goals

  • Exercise twice a week. Nursing a knee injury. *sigh*
  • Prepare for and attend DFW Conference in May. I started sorting through the schedule for which classes I want to attend, registered for a limited-seating workshop on making an ebook, and ordered updated business cards.
  • Prepare for and attend Immersion Master Class with Margie Lawson in June.

How has your week gone? How do you like to be taken care of when you’re sick? How about your partner, your child, or other loved ones in your life?

Special Guest on Language: Gallagher

Today is Amaze-ing Words Wednesday! I admit, however, that I am frantically getting ready to attend the DFW Writers’ Conference on May 19-20. So today, I want to give you the treat of a special guest on the subject of our tricky English language.

I hope you enjoy this fabulous comedy bit from one of my favorite comedians, Gallagher. He is talking about trying to learn English at school and the resulting confusion.

Have a great week, y’all!

ROW80 Note: I don’t usually check-in on Wednesdays, but I want to announce that I finished the first draft of my YA novel, SHARING HUNTER, on Tuesday. My fellow ROW80 writers — with their encouragement, accountability, and word sprinting — helped me so much. Thanks! And now begins the editing.

The Toilet Battles

A couple of weeks ago, I entered the bathroom to find something absolutely wonderful. It only took nineteen years of marriage, but I nearly did a happy dance right there before the porcelain throne: Without me around, my husband had installed the toilet paper roll properly — over, not under. I won! I won! I thought.

Okay, fine. I’m petty.

But thinking about our discussions of over/under, I realized I was onto something bigger. That’s not the only disagreement that couples have regarding the bathroom. This is definitely a crunchy/juicy topic worthy of a Deep-Fried Friday: The Toilet Battles.

pic from funnygrins.com

Down or Up. This is the age-old argument of whether the seat should be placed down or left up after a man uses a toilet. We ladies who have indeed shuffled into the bathroom bleary-eyed at 4:00 a.m. to use the potty and found ourselves falling toward the toilet water like Alice into the rabbit hole recognize that there is fabulous argument for, “Put the dang seat down, buddy!” Men may argue that women should leave the seat up after they use the toilet to return the favor.

Personally, I think if everyone puts the seat and the lid down, then both of you have to do something post-potty. In my house, too, that keeps the cats from drinking the toilet water — which isn’t bad for them, but kind of ick. Toddlers are also notorious for playing in the potty if you leave it open; thus, the child safety toilet locks.

(The left one is correct.)

Over or Under. This is the issue I seemingly won; however, my husband claimed that the way that particular holder is hung on the wall requires an over approach. He remains an ardent supporter of the under method of toilet paper roll installation. (Duly noted, dear, but this is my blog, and I still say I won.)

I simply cannot understand the Underlings’ position here. So you actually think it’s better to reach back and under to unravel the roll and then have the rotating momentum spill the toilet paper all over the floor, thus requiring additional time and trouble to re-roll the toilet paper — knowing it never goes back on the roll like it came?

We Overlords have discovered that installing the roll with the paper over allows one to easily choose one, two, or twenty squares of toilet paper and keep the roll neat. If you doubt the superiority of our position, we have all of the swank hotel housekeepers to support us! They install that roll over and present the TP with the flourish of a folded triangle. You can’t do that with an under, can you?

pic from squidoo.com

Folded or Wadded. A folder unrolls the toilet paper and folds it neatly before wiping. A wadder unravels the toilet paper and wads it up to wipe. At a church couples event, someone noted that every married couple will have a folder and a wadder.

This seemed like a preposterous notion. Since we had quite a few couples in the room, we tested the theory. Husbands and wives shared their methods of TP usage, and sure enough every single couple had a wadder and a folder!

I don’t know whether anybody has conducted a research project to confirm this oddity across the larger population. But perhaps we need to know. If you have two wadders or two folders, are they more likely to divorce? Does it indicate that you don’t complement each other in some deeper way? Should that be a question added to the internet dating sites for compatibility?

I don’t know, but my husband and I are happily married. Why he bothers to fold, however, I haven’t a clue, and I definitely think wadding is the superior way to use one’s toilet paper and one’s time.

Don’t come in?

Alone or Together. Some people simply cannot relieve themselves with anyone in the room. Everything plugs up and nothing moves. Even the jiggle of the doorknob on the other side may cause your body to tense and tighten from the fear that someone might walk in and disturb your much-needed alone time.

Others don’t know what the big stinkin’ deal is. If you’re married to someone and you’ve seen it all anyway, what’s the worry? Besides, these are normal body functions. We all do it. Most people had no problems going in front of an audience when they were potty-training. They were happy to have parents clapping at their newfound ability to land waste in the toilet as if they had landed the winning basket at an NBA championship.

What’s interesting is when these two types get together. One doesn’t mind an audience, the other nearly wets himself thinking about it (which is ironic, don’t you think?). What is a couple to do?

Now someday my husband and I hope to build a house. We want to customize some aspects of our home. In our current location, I have enjoyed having his-and-hers sinks and his-and-hers closets. One missing component, though, is his-and-hers toilets! If you want the Toilet Battles to cease, give each his/her own porcelain throne. Be the king or queen of your own potty domain and determine the laws accordingly.

So what are the toilet battles in your house? Who’s winning? Do you have any tips on coming to a truce?