Diary of a Marriage: Diary of a Wimpy Wife

When J.’s sick, he’s vulnerable and cute. When I’m sick, I’m, well, annoying. And highly dramatic.


It’s not like I’ve never been in pain before. I’ve been hit in the face with a softball (that was never my sport), I’ve had my wisdom teeth removed, I’ve had kidney stones (which the nurse told me she thought was worse than giving birth—just sayin’). Still, when I get sick, I complain as if I’ve lived my entire life like some sort of bubble boy.

It started last Friday night, when I felt a niggling tickle in the back of my throat. By the next morning, I didn’t have a voice and it hurt to swallow. Then came the sinus headache, the kind that makes you want to drill a hole in your head to relieve the pressure. I began explaining this to J. as I sat with a bag of frozen peas on my eyes:

“You know what I just want to do?” I said, probably a little dramatically.

“Yes. You want to drill a hole in your head to relieve the pressure,” J. answered.

I was startled. I guess I’ve said this to him before.

“It just feels like … “ I began again.

“It feels like someone’s blowing up a balloon inside your brain,” he said.

I stopped explaining my symptoms to him then.

I’ve come to realize that there are two types of people in this world: those who can suck it up and those who can’t. Apparently, I am the latter. Which is interesting, because I’ve always fancied myself the brave, silent type.

Are you kidding me?” This is what J. said when I told him this last night. Evidently, he does not think of me as very brave or very silent.  I made him rank me on a scale, as this is the most accurate and mature way to find out how he really feels about me. We set one as Ghandi and ten as someone who shall not be named, as she reads this blog and may have given birth to me and will definitely complain if I portray her as, well, a complainer.

“You’re a 7.5,” J. said.

As is typical with these marital rankings of ours, I was floored. A 7.5? Surely, I wasn’t that bad. Of course, when you compare me to J., I’m a hypochondriac. When it comes to illnesses, he’s not just silent; he’s completely mute. When he was in grade school, he went to school with pneumonia for a week until his mother finally realized that something wasn’t right. A few months ago, after he’d been looking flushed and dazed for a few days, I finally convinced him to go to the doctor. Turns out, he had strep throat and a 102-degree fever. The man could be on his death bed before he’d mention, off-hand, that perhaps he had a bit of a cold. On the other hand, I moan and grumble and send him out for Rita’s Water Ice and entertain wild fantasies of taking an electric drill to my head.

“It’s okay,” he said last night. “I think of it as practice for when you’re pregnant, ‘cause that’s not going to be pretty.”

Do you and your groom handle sickness or pain differently? Who’s the more annoying patient?

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