don't like to see themselves as weak. Self-pity is not in their
nature, and if it is, they don't tell anyone. So when do they ever
feel sorry for themselves? When they're not feeling well.
There's nothing better than having the man you love be sick with
a cold. Some of the best times I've ever had are nursing boyfriends
who are unwell. They're usually bedridden, so they're in one place.
I know where they are and they're reachable at all times.
They listen to me because they have no choice.
I can talk about anything I want and they'll pay attention. And
even if they're not paying attention, they can't move. I can get
away with asking the same question twice and not have to worry
about being snapped at. They don't have the energy to argue.
Also, they need me. And they're grateful.
When else would getting a glass of water be considered a charitable
The perfect situation is when a man is mildly
ill. A serious illness is a different matter. Ideally, he should
have a slight fever - no more than 101. Any higher than that and
all they do is sleep.
Even better is when they're on antibiotics.
Handing him a pill makes me look useful. Being nauseous is also
a plus. No matter what I feed him, I'm Martha Stewart. But he
can't be nauseous to the extent he's vomiting - that's too much
What I really love about this situation
is that, for a brief period, he's complaining more than I am.
It levels the playing field. His defences are down, which makes
him vulnerable; so he's sexy - but in a way that feels safe. It's
hard for a man to be arrogant with a runny nose.
I know people say the true test of a relationship
is going away together, but I'm not so sure. I think the true
test is when he gets sick.
What constitutes "sick" is phase
one. Getting a splinter and going to A&E isn't appealing.
A broken limb or the flu - that qualifies.
As long as it's not avian flu. Or anything contagious.
Phase two is all about discovering how he
handles feeling under the weather. Some men prefer to be left
alone. I hate it when that happens.
Other men take it too far. Being a caregiver
is a choice - not an obligation. Just because you're sick, it
doesn't mean I'll do your taxes.
My ideal scenario is to have my bedridden
boyfriend marvel at how caring and generous I am. I will ask if
he needs an extra blanket, and just then he'll realise how special
I am and decide that all of my negative qualities mean nothing.
So what if I'm depressed? When push comes to shove, I'm there
with the Kleenex.
"You're so devoted," he'll say.
Which, under normal circumstances, would
translate to "clingy".
"It's nothing," I'll reply. And
I mention how, when I'm feeling unwell, I'm sure he'd do the same
for me. Only then, when he nods in agreement, I won't believe
The sad part is that he'll start to get
better. And as soon that happens, I know it's only a matter of
I get demoted. Once he's back on his feet
and healthy again, he'll realise that thinking I was the greatest
was just a moment of weakness.