It just occurred to me that I’ve never heard a man say that he’s “stressed”.
When a man is stressed, he’s stressed in the real sense of the word and doesn’t have to say it out loud because it’s obvious.
Women, on the other hand, are constantly stressed, though far from the real sense of the word.
The phrase “niko na stress” is quite common in our conversations, why, just a few minutes ago, I overheard a colleague moan, “Haki this hair is stressing me,” referring to the weave she’s been meaning to replace for the last two weeks.
We women are “stressed” over just about anything, including what to wear.
I bet that today there’s a woman who was “stressed” because she had nothing to wear to church, never mind that her wardrobe is groaning under the weight of an assortment of clothes.
We’re stressed that our children aren’t eating enough, we’re stressed about an impending exam that we tell everyone who cares to listen that we haven’t studied for, we’re even stressed about what we’ll make for supper – our stress list is endless.
Since I’m one of the people who use (or should I say misuse) this word a lot, I decided to check up its actual meaning, an exercise that convinced me that I’ve never really been stressed, going by the serious-sounding symptoms described.
They include physical aches and pains, diarrhoea or constipation, nausea, dizziness, chest pains, rapid heartbeat, over-eating, over-sleeping, procrastination and nervous habits such as pacing about and nail-biting.
While I admit that I’m a terrible procrastinator (my defence is that I work better under pressure) and that sometimes I over-sleep (when I forget to set the alarm), I doubt this makes me fall under the category of “stressed”.
The other day, a friend forwarded me a hilarious chain email titled “Why men are happier than women”.
“Three pairs of shoes are more than enough, and new shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet,” the first one read.
I just had to laugh at this one. I know women who have enough shoes to open a modest shoe store.
Believe you me, for a woman, the search for a good shoe, especially one to go with a particular outfit, is nerve-racking business, and can induce the symptoms of stress.
I also know women who cannot be caught dead with flat shoes, even though the killer-heels they favour are the source of horrendous back pain and painful corns on their toes, which of course give them more items for their “stress” list.
I had to agree that, yes, based on these two observations, men’s feet, and by extension, lives, may be happier than women’s.
Wrinkles add character, it continued. well, it is said that men tend to get better-looking as they grow older, wrinkles and all, while a woman’s beauty fades with age.
I don’t know about that, but I do know that there are numerous anti-ageing cosmetic products tailor-made for women and having to choose between what’s on offer is enough to bring on rapid heartbeats and dizziness.
The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades on men. If only women had it this easy. unlike women, men worry about their hair at most twice a month. As for women, hair is an expensive and virtually a daily stress factor.
You can wear shorts, no matter how your legs look, and a five-day vacation requires only one suitcase, declared another. How true, is all I can say.
Can you imagine how hard it is to pack suitable outfits for all the “what ifs” that could arise during a holiday?
And now for the last gem: the world is your urinal. well, one could argue that due to this, a man’s bladder is normally more relaxed and happier, but at the expense of the environment.
Women have to learn to hold it in and the stress of looking for a clean restroom is maddening.
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