John B Keane: why women are allowed their pains

Middle-age women and pains go together the same as bacon and cabbage or fish and chips and when a woman is without pain she is left with little to complain or talk about.

Middle-age women and pains go together the same as bacon and cabbage or fish and chips and when a woman is without pain she is left with little to complain or talk about.

A woman is entitled to her few pains and more important still she is entitled to air her views and boast about every possible opportunity. She must never forego a chance to talk about them and any individual, male or female, black, brown or white, is fair game and should be recruited as a listener at every possible opportunity.

There are many men who believe it is right and proper to compliment middle aged and elderly women on their fine appearences. There may be women in this category who will accept such compliments and go as far as express gratitude for them, but believe me, the vast majority of advanced females would rather that they are shook looked or had peaked. They like to be told that they often looked better and that they should see a doctor.

The reason for this is that they feel out of things and they feel, too, that at home too little has been made of any pain or ache they may have.

Most husbands are inclined to say “Wisha that’s nothing,” or “yerra, haven’t I that meself.”

This is just not good enough and it must be remembered, too, that these women would rather talk about their pains than their neighbours, which goes to show that they really show their pains.

Having a pain that everyone else has is no use at all. The more unique the symptoms, the happier a woman will be. It is almost like giving birth to the first born. Many of these women secretly hope that they will give birth to an original pain and do a service to the world.

When a woman complains of certain symptoms it is the duty of the sympathetic listener to look appalled and if he wants to make a lifelong friend he should tell the woman in question that the symptoms resemble a disease that somebody died from. To say anything less would be to make little of the pain. Anyway what’s the use in having a pain if it isn’t a worthwhile pain?

There is something about me (don’t know what it is) but whatever it is I seem to attract woman with pains. They go out of their way and while the conversation may start innocently enough, sooner or later I am confided in and I am told about the current pain.

There are many men like me, and I have friends who are nervous wrecks from listening to accounts of pains, aches and diseases which would fill books. They seem to attract women with pains. It is no joke I assure you and bad as this is, the worst of all is the woman who wants to show you where the pain is. I was asked by a woman of 73 to put my hand on her ankle for the purpose of feeling a lump which she incurred as a result of falling out of her bed. There is no length to which they will not go out and drive home to the listener the amount of suffering they endure.

Should you mention the most recent news about a woman who has been sent by her physician to a hospital or to a rest home they shake their heads as if to say: “Isn’t it fine for some?”

In fact, they give the impression that it is themselves who should be in hospital and not the other parties.

“I should be in hospital” is another great saying. No comment should be made at this statement. If you agree, you may be taken at your word, and with you might forever rest the initial responsibility for having made a hospital patient out of a perfectly healthy woman.

If you disagree and tell her she looks grand you could be in danger of making an enemy for life. The best thing to do with these women (God bless them) is to look sad and nod your head in agreement as often as possible without giving yourself a headache.

Some women often have more than one pain at the same time and they collect other pains in various ways. When they hear of a new ailment in another woman they resolve not to let her have it all to herself. They are convinced that they are entitled to it, too, and would be better off having it.

To conclude, it must be remembered that a women who has worked hard all her life and who successfully reared a family is entitled to a choice pain or two if she feels the need of them.