We’ve all heard of, and many of you have probably fallen victim to, the dreaded Man Flu; a disease so feminist it was probably invented by Germaine Greer herself as it only attacks the male species. But while many of you attempt to ward off the misandric virus, you are dangerously ignorant of a more grievous condition – Paused Masculinity Syndrome or PMS.
Paused Masculinity Syndrome is to men what Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is to women; an excuse to eat unlimited chocolate, complain about fat, cry and do nothing for five days straight. Granted, males don’t experience the soul-destroying pain their female counterparts do, they still suffer through the mood swings and hectic hormones that make life a living hell.
As crazy as it may seem, PMS has actually been scientifically proven. It’s called something more boring and clinical than Paused Masculinity Syndrome (which I just made up to prove a point) but is classified as an acute state of hypersensitivity, anxiety, frustration, and anger that occurs in males and is associated with biochemical changes, hormonal fluctuations, stress, and loss of male identity.
It occurs in a regular cycle as the male body attempts to cope with fatigue and physical over-exertion which causes testosterone to be released and burned at an accelerated rate. When this occurs, the body goes through a brief period of being testosterone deficient. While most prescribe rest and a healthy diet, Doctor Blaire prescribes a metric tonne of rocky road icecream, multiple viewings of The Notebook and a hot water bottle or heat pack.
I also recommend building your wife/girlfriend/female housemate a Jodie Foster style panic room to live in seven days a month because everyone knows that when two or more women cohabitate for any length of time, their cycles tend to link up. If both of you are busy crying over Finding Nemo and feeling fat, who’s going to be there to open pickle jars, heroically tackle spiders or move heavy furniture around the room when the feng-shui isn’t healing your cramps because there’s too much tension between the lamp and the ottoman?
I’m sure that most guys tuned out of, or actively repressed most of their high-school health ed. classes out of sheer embarrassment so the poor little dears had to learn the terrors of pre-menstrual syndrome by being tortured by hormonal sisters and girlfriends (one behalf of all women, I’m sorry!). Nobody thought to teach them about the challenges of Paused Masculinity, so I feel that it is my responsibility to help you boys get through your time of the month.
Identifying and treating the symptoms of PMS:
Insomnia: occurring shortly after the horrible nightmare about your totally metrosexual favourite pink paisley shirt not fitting right. Insomnia is one of the first identifiable symptoms of what is, in your case, ‘manstruation.’
Dehydration: suddenly finding yourself overcome with the need to drink a billion litres of water is not uncommon curing PMS but if the thought of sitting with your equally irritable and thirsty girlfriend makes you feel even more girly, a nice cold beer is a good way to remind yourself that deep down inside you’re as manly as Elton John when he married Renata Blauel.
Inexplicable waterworks: crying over nappy ads, RSPCA commercials or that ad with all the talking red-headed toddlers is completely acceptable. It’s just like The Big Lebowski says, “strong men cry too.”
Headaches: often linked to dehydration, headaches can be cured by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, however keep in mind that with the fluctuation in chemical and hormone levels, your body might be craving sugar. This is your cue to eat raw cookie dough and drink unlimited hot chocolate!
Backaches and cramps: Suckers! You still suffer this part as much as those of us with the XX chromosome. A heat pack helps to reduce soul-destroying pain in the lower back, while staying in bed curled in the foetal position also has a delightfully calming effect. This is the perfect opportunity for you to play endless hours of CoD without your girlfriend making you feel guilty – she’s probably in the next room watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians in exactly the same position.
The dreaded mood swings: zero to bitch in .01 seconds. It in these moments when you can go from being absolutely in love with the women in your life to hating everything about them from the way they flip their hair and pick their nails to the way they constantly wear your clothes and leave them in some floral reek they like to call perfume. Invest in a stress ball and a teddy bear. The first is to carry around in your pocket for the sudden burst of aggression and the latter is to keep in your bedroom to cry to at night when you remember that Dawson and Joey never got back together in season 6.
Paused Masculinity Syndrome is equally as debilitating as Man Flu, and it is important to remember that while you may feel that you’re dying or that you look too fat in your favourite jeans to be seen in public, you will get through it. You will live to see another AFL season, eat more pies, ogle more boobs and drink more beer while discussing manly things like cars, fishing and proper chainsaw maintenance.
– by Blaire Gillies
P.S If you’re sick of The Notebook, apparently there’s a love story hidden in the plot of Die Hard…