Monday, March 15, 2004
I have the urge to apologize
I feel like I should apologize to every girl I've ever dated. Now, I've had that urge a lot over the past few months, but tonight was a case where I just felt mad about it, and in fact I just paced back and forth across this tiny apartment all night, trying to walk it off.
I don't remember ever taking the explanation "I feel gross" seriously as a guy. I think I've written before about how men become complete babies when they get sick, but women are expected to soldier on. I think we get that impression because Mom took care of us as kids when we were sick, whereas the only times we associate illness with Dad was when he was so sick that he stayed home from work. There's probably a disturbing Freudian subtext to it somewhere, but I don't know what it is. And, of course, if guys can't see that a girl's sick with bloodshot eyes or stringy hair or something, they just assume that it has something to do with the scary girls-only internal organs and either dismiss it or ignore it because their brains aren't equipped to handle it.
So, today at work I'm sort of getting an object lesson on how possible it is to feel like absolute shit while still looking like a knockout. Makeup, for instance. Hides pallor or redness, or draws attention away from your eyes, all that stuff. And maybe it's just this body, but soreness seems to be much more of a common symptom than it ever was before. I'm not running a fever, but I just hurt, and that's not something you can demonstrate - people have to take your word that there's pain going on; it doesn't make your skin change color or temperature or anything. And there just seems to be more different kinds of stuff inside that can be off in different ways (you'd think I'd have the terminology better having worked at a biotech support company for this long). End result - you look okay, but you feel gross.
The point I'm getting to is that I just did not feel up to going out with Carter tonight, and I couldn't adequately explain why. And he was getting all pissed off, asking what had gotten into me like it was something more sinister than the common friggin cold. I mean, jeez, a good part of my job is answering the phone, so even I could tell that my voice sounded kind of flat what with all the gunk in my sinuses - it must have been obvious to him. I've never been so glad to have Mr. K ask him why he wasn't at his desk before.
I'll try and make it up to him later this week, and I felt bad about the way I pushed him off tonight - it's the sort of thing I remember driving me up the wall, and since I can remember what it's like to be a guy, I naturally want to be better than that. But sometimes you can't, and I feel bad now about the times when I might not exactly have been understanding... On top of just feeling ill.
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