It's that time of year when you and I are about to get reacquainted. I see that look of fear in your eyes, although personally, I consider that as a sign of respect. After all, I am not your usual run-of-the-mill kind of ailment. Naysayers will be quick to tell you that no one has ever died because of me, but I have my own reasons to say that science is perhaps lying. If we dig up the real numbers, I'm sure thousands of men around the world have succumbed after I've had my way with them. So the question is, do you want to be next?
I will usually send you some indicators via the universe. A little droopiness here, a little tiredness there. You know, nothing too major but still enough to sit up and take notice. The next question is this: do those around you know what you are going through? The first thing that I'd recommend you do is to tap into your inner actor—but don't lay it on too thick right away. Remember, while it is imperative that you eventually put up an Oscar-worthy performance, remember that overdoing it from step one will only get you a Razzie or at best, a Filmfare award. And those are literally awards you can buy at the store. If you're going to do something, give it your best shot.
Begin by giving evasive answers to questions and becoming a little reclusive—like someone who is trying to mask great suffering would...
Begin by giving evasive answers to questions and becoming a little reclusive—like someone who is trying to mask great suffering would. Gradually upgrade the symptoms to low grunts and holding your head as if in pain and generally being subdued. Bonus points if you can add a few sniffles or watery eyes to the mix. It will help speed up the attention-getting process. At this point, be aware that there are people around you who will mock you in your hour of pain and need. Sometimes, it may even be your wife/partner. I've heard some even say things like: "You need to be taken to a paediatrician because you're acting like a baby." And some friends will be just mean. Make a mental note of their names—they are not your friends.
If you're used to asking for help or sharing information about yourself, that's great. Just keep talking about the pain, how it feels like a truck ran you over, how your head is pulsating with constant pain as if tiny versions of Federer and Nadal are in there executing one of their never-ending volley of shots. However, if you're usually a kind-hearted soul who is more used to helping others in their time of need and are considered generally selfless, this is the time to invoke the "repayment clause" in your relationships.
Make sure you call up all the people you've helped and let them know about your malady. Of course, if you are in a relationship, your partner should be your first target. Just remember that it is of absolute importance that you get your partner and friends on your side so that they believe you are almost dying. Also be selfless and guilt-free when they offer to help. This is not the time for you hold on to your ego and refuse their love and care. The key here is—do not be strong. Strong men make me angry. And trust me, you don't want me to up my game.
Bonus points if you can include dialogues similar to, "I need to write a will" or "If I die, please tell our kids/family that I love them"...
There will be cynics around who urge you to just take medicines or pop pills and to "man up." And what's worse is that you'll have other men uttering these words to you. Too bad that some men can't stick together for the greater good. But look past the naysayers—you need to believe that that no one else has experienced this illness like you have.
Bonus points if you can include dialogues similar to, "I need to write a will" or "If I die, please tell our kids/family that I love them" or "I don't think I'll make it" in there. In short, turn up your emo game. It doesn't matter if you are the most aggressively macho man alive; when I tell you to, channel your inner man-child and be as immature, silly and needy as you possibly can. This is one of the few opportunities where you can get away with doing this as an adult.
Oh, and before I forget: keep in mind to groan and grunt, and sigh loudly constantly. The intensity is of utmost importance. It's not about how severe it actually is. It's all about how intense you can make others believe it is.
And if by the end of your ailment period, your room (and preferably the house) doesn't look like the emergency room from Grey's Anatomy, then I'll be very disappointed. So make sure you keep that Drama King crown all polished and don't let me down.
See you soon.
[Not to be confused with that silly cousin of mine, common flu]
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