A combination of allergies, several broken noses, and the recycled air system at work have led me to a point where I spend a lot of time blowing my nose and sneezing. Often very loudly sneezing.
A combination of poor eating and seasonal laziness also have led me to a point where my four year old looks at my belly and wonders whether a baby brother or sister is on the way.
During my last weekly gym visit, my efforts at combating issue #2 were interrupted by issue #1, an explosion of approximately seventeen consecutive sneezes. A woman passing by, perhaps ten to fifteen years older than myself, stopped to politely say “God bless you.” Slightly dizzy and running into another issue of mine, that I think I’m funny, I made an offhanded comment about how I hadn’t peed myself, so maybe I wasn’t so old after all. She responded with this:
“Why, did you pass five children out of your vagina also?”
I’m assuming this anti-male bias originated in some bad experience from her past. Either her father or her children’s father(s) obviously caused some deep-rooted bitterness. Maybe she was wearing a set of Depends that needed to be changed. Any witty comebacks I may have had were thought of much later, most either unsuitable to print or ripped off from George Costanza. Instead, I mumbled something incoherent and stumbled off towards the treadmills.
Finding an open one in front of a television tuned to ESPN, I switched my I-Pod over to the Naughty By Nature Pandora station and put the woman’s comments out of my mind, concentrating instead on my heart rate and trying not to fly off the back.
I soon found my attention diverted to a television tuned to Fox News, a channel that I should know better than to pay attention to. The story being discussed was new recommendations for physicians encouraging more emphasis on early identification of depression in pregnant and postnatal women.
The medical “expert” on the panel, Dr. Marc Siegel, agreed with the recommendations. It was his view that many new mothers were indeed depressed, stating that “they often suffer from sleep deprivation and can harbor resentments towards husbands that aren’t getting up to help them.”
Listen, I know that as a man I’ll never understand the burden of breastfeeding or the pain of childbirth. My boobs sag for other reasons. I’ve never had a kidney stone so my closest reference would be a small degree of lactose intolerance and a great love of cheese.
But I’m a good father, and all of the guys I know are good fathers. Committed men there for their wives and children. How sad that these stereotypes still exist. How sad for the women dealing with the men who are perpetrating them.
Running out of time, energy, and patience, I switched to cool down mode and pulled out my phone to browse Facebook as I briskly walked my last ten minutes. One of the first things I saw was this hilarious meme:
It turns out that going to the gym is absolutely horrible for my blood pressure.
This post was previously published on www.thirstydaddy.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
Photo credit: Jeremy Barnes