“I’m sick.”

I’m hungry,” my husband groaned last weekend while we were at SMX at the bridal show.

Uhhhhh… we’re still not yet done setting up,” I said.

But I’m hungry,” he moaned like a ravished child. I need something to eat.

I was torn.

While I don’t want my husband to be hungry — and grumpy — I do believe there is a time to work and a time to eat. A time to be game on and a time to relax.

It was almost 10am and we were still not done setting up. The guests were coming and our booth was not yet ready!

After the booth was almost ready, I went with my husband to eat. Once full, he sniffed and said, “I’m sick.”

First, you are hungry. Then once hungry, you are sick. What else is next?

And there he was sniffling and sneezing. Yes, he is really sick. And when hubby gets sick, he gets grouchy.

Oh, and I am sleepy.”


First, I have no sympathy for sick people… unless of course they are really sick. As in sick that they collapse on the floor and have to be taken to the hospital.

When I was very young, my father pushed me to go to school even though I was sick. “Sickness is not an excuse,” he would say, only taking me home if I am sick enough to be sent by the teacher to the clinic and sent home by the nurse.

I was almost never THAT sick.

So save a high fever that kept me bedridden and a one-week bout in the hospital, I had perfect attendance in school. In short, I was only absent if I needed to be, and I was not maarte about that.

Not my husband.

If he is sick, he cannot operate properly if he has a cold. To solve the problem, he sleeps it off. Drinking half a bottle of Dimetapp, my husband will zonk out after half an hour, snoring noisily in his sleep.

Sleeping does wonders for him. A bit of sleep and rest and he’s all spic and span.

The problem is, he is usually sick WHENEVER we need him.

Sickness chooses no occasion and last weekend, sickness caught onto him on the very first hour of the show.

So instead of having an equal partner who readily helps out in all elements of the show, I have to instead be very considerate and take care of my husband, who needs as much attention as the show.

Marriage is a delicate balance.

And here lies the dilemma — between the show or your husband, who do you take care of first?

I think therein lies my mistake: I chose to take care of the needs of the show.

I consoled myself in thinking that my husband is a grown man who can take good care of himself, forgetting that men also like to be showered with attention especially when sick.


The show must go on,” I said to myself. And between the show and my husband, the show still needs immediate attention, while my husband can sleep his sickness off in the car.

My second mistake was to be frustrated.

I was frustrated that my husband was not pulling his own weight, conveniently choosing a very busy occasion for the company to be sick, as if it was only an excuse to get away from work. How convenient is it for him to be sick in the beginning of the show? That way, all he has to do was rest, leaving me to do all the work!

How can I leave the show alone? And our staff? Seeing my husband slumped by the booth looking sickly and sleepy is not the best showing of our company to our people and to the exhibit goers.

It’s a hard balance.

At one side, you want to be sweet and romantic, catering to every need and want of your ailing husband.

But on the other side, you have to instill discipline when it comes to work. No, you can’t take a break whenever you want to just because you’re a boss and no, you can’t abandon your people when they’re working alongside you on the weekend.

Wah, work has a way of dampening romance.

Up until now, I feel sorry that I lack empathy for those who are sick and in need.

I simply cannot sympathize too much when people are sick, since if I was in their shoes, I would still trudge on and get over the show as quickly as possible even when I am weak, sleepy or hungry. This has always been my training since birth.

I feel like a drill sergeant. 🙁


Oh well, in the end, husband did sleep off his sickness in between the show.

I almost suffocated in the car,” he complained. “But I feel much better now.”

On the bright side, his parents did come by to check out our booth. I think they liked what they saw and was happy to see both of us there working.

And this my friends is what working with your spouse is all about. It’s not all beds and roses. In fact, we argue a lot about how to run the business.

And yet, there are roses amongst the thorns.

You almost killed me by letting me sleep in the car,” husband grumbled.

Well, almost. 🙂

Onto the next show!

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