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A Man Cold · 5 October 2019



Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases
published by Central Council for Health Education

This work is in the public domain.


I am sure that I have had a man cold before, but I had not heard the term before.


If you are a wife, you probably laugh when you hear the term man cold. If you are a husband or might want to be a husband someday, you either cringe when you hear the term or you are appalled that somebody would actually write about it. Or maybe you never heard the term and are as amused as I was when I first heard it used.


Apparently, wives have been making fun of husbands for years with the term man cold. It is a source of amusement for them. I found this out when I was talking to a couple of the women I work with.


The conversation was something to the effect that one of my co-workers was making fun of another co-worker’s husband who was lamenting about his man cold. He had not called it a man cold. But his wife and our other co-worker did. And they both laughed. Which begged the question (even though it made me look stupid): What is a man cold?


Sarah, whose husband was the one with the man cold smiled as she explained. A man cold is when a man feels sick and expresses that he feels like he is going to die. He curls up in bed and sweats out any fever that might be there, but is essentially worthless as far as parenting or partnering is concerned. But if a wife (whether she was a mother or not) was that sick, she would just soldier on. She would buck up and just do whatever needed to be done. That difference in attitude and performance is what classifies the sickness as a man cold.


I know. I should have been appalled that my and every husband’s manhood was taken so lightly. Was made so much fun of. But I had to laugh. I had to laugh because I knew what she meant. For I have had those man colds before. I have been sick and curled up in bed to sweat it out. I have been worthless while my wife soldiered on and kept the family going.


I hope that I can follow in all those wives’ and mothers’ footsteps and just soldier on next time I get sick. I hope that I can just keep going when I feel a little under the weather. I hope that I can stay away from getting a man cold. Or at least I hope that I can stay away from getting made fun of when I do get sick.


Which brings me back to my third co-worker’s plight. In his defense, he was at work. He was doing his job. He did not seem to be complaining too much. And he certainly was not curled up in bed sweating out his fever. At least not during the work day. I feel for him because he not only had his wife, but a friend making light of his health. And now he has another friend writing about it. (At least I never mentioned his name.)


When all is said and done, I am sorry for my friend’s illness. And I am sorry that I joined in making light of his plight. But at least I got to learn a new term. Now I know what a man cold is. I just hope I do not get one anytime soon. After all, I do not know that I could stand getting made fun of for getting a man cold.

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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