Girls’ Day


It’s March 3rd – otherwise known in Japan as “Girls’ Day.” Everywhere, little Japanese girls celebrate by displaying a set of dolls dressed in Heian period court costumes. Sean is celebrating by claiming to be “on the verge of death” from a sudden case of stomach flu. I, too, am slightly sick, courtesy of last weekend’s sinus infection. We’re both home – it’s my day off and Sean called out of work. He’s loudly languishing in his room and I’m sniffling in mine. We’re separated by a thin membrane of a sliding paper door and I can hear his every grunt and whimper. He, in turn, can hear the clacking of my computer keys; a reminder that since I’m using the machine, he can’t watch episode after episode of The Office. Sorry, Sean – I have deadlines. Besides, it’s not as though I haven’t tried to help him today. I gave him the last of my flu medicine. I went out into the freezing, pouring rain to pay our rent and buy this week’s groceries, including fresh fruit and 2 Vitamin C drinks for him. I made him a sandwich, which he didn’t eat because he says he doesn’t like crab. I made him soup, which he didn’t drink because he said it was too strong. I brewed him a pot of lemon and ginger tea – from scratch, I might add – which he didn’t drink because he said it made him sick. I brought him a piece of roll cake, which he only picked at because he said it was “just okay.” I can’t do right by Sean today, and I wonder if the fish, chips and mushy peas I’d planned for tonight’s “Cheer up, Sean!” dinner will meet with a similar fate.

I won’t lie – I’m a bit miffed. Not because my efforts to show concern have been rebuffed, but because when I was sick this weekend, I received very little sympathy from Sean apart from a bottle of C1000 Vitamin Lemon drink. The rest of his help consisted of asking me over and over again why I was acting so “narky.”

“I’m sick!”

“Are you? You don’t look sick. Come on, make me a toastie.”

“I am sick! Remember how much smoke there was in the izakaya last night? I think that’s what gave me the sinus infection. I’m glad I had some leftover throat anesthetic from my Tonsilitis because my throat was really bothering me this morning.”

“Well, cheer up, so. Christ, women are such babies when they’re sick.”

And here, today, he’s a 6-foot baby girl curled up in his bed.

“E!” he croaks from behind his pane of cardboard. “Help me. I’m dying.”

“You’re not dying.”

“I am! This is my deathbed.”

“It had better not be.”

“Why can’t it be?”

“Do you really want to die here?”

“I don’t think I have a choice.”

“Great. So I get to send your giant carcass back to your mom in Cork.”

“Would you mind? And would you make me something else to eat?”

“Yes, I mind! I’ve made you a sandwich, a bowl of soup and a mug of tea – all which you rejected. And this, after being so unsympathetic to me last weekend!”

Sean giggles weakly in his room.

“Why?” he asks. “Was something the matter with you last weekend?”

“I swear to God, Sean.”

It’s 7:31 p.m. right now. Still raining. Need to pick up some more potatoes from Supa Tamade. If potatoes can’t cure what ails this sick Irishman, nothing will.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Expat on the go says:

    You remind me of my husband and I 20 years ago!! They get ‘better’ with age – and with a gentle reminder of how they are ‘supposed’ to act 😉
    I’m happy to see that you are not giving in to him… don’t ever do that because they are like children – you give an inch, they take a yard. And, if some of you are wondering, my husband and I have been happily married for 16 years.

  2. Yoli says:

    Girl I put a stop to that nonsense. I used to cater to him when he got sick, hand and foot. However, when it was my turn, he would not even get up to get me an aspirin. I read him the riot act a couple of years ago, gave him a taste of his own medicine (no pun intended) and he at least now gets me my aspirin and acts concerned.

    I think it is adorable that you have girls day. Why don’t you post a picture?

  3. seminascosto says:

    Yoli, I would have loved to take pictures! I was inside all day, though – partly due to deadlines, rain, and Sean being sick. He ended up getting much worse last night and now I feel guilty for bitching about him. I don’t think he’d like me to take a picture of him languishing in his bed. 🙂 Maybe I’ll get out for a bit today!

  4. Expat on the go says:

    How is Sean? Was it a 24 hour stomach flu? And do you get them once a year in Japan?

  5. seminascosto says:

    Sean is better today, thank goodness. I wrote that post on Tuesday and on Tuesday night, he took a turn for the worse; shivering, shaking, near-fainting. Wednesday was more of the same and then Wednesday night he started to get better. I think today he might be in pretty good form! I’ve never had the flu here, nor has Sean. People seem to be more afraid of the common cold or hay fever here ….

  6. Expat on the go says:

    Glad he’s back to normal 😉

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