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MLS English Language Program

Davis Square

402 A Highland Avenue, Suite I

Somerville, MA 02144  United States of America

© 2019 by James Doyle

ENGLISH EXPRESSIONS

 

I Have A Headache

"I have a headache." = "I do not want to have sex with you right now."

Example:

John:  “Hey, babe. Let’s go to bed early tonight…”

Mary: “Not tonight, honey. I have a headache."

Notes:

1. Literary Reference: Author Amy Adams uses this expression in her January 24th, 1983

short story for The New Yorker, entitled "Mexican Dust." "For whatever reasons—fatigue,

drinks, the flight—Miriam has a headache as she and Eric go to bed that night. But women

cannot say that anymore, she knows, when they are not in the mood to make love. 'I have a

headache': a sitcom joke. And so she does not say it and they do, happily—a happy surprise."   

2. Media Reference #1: Journalist Joyce Wadler uses this expression in a November 14th, 2012 New York Times article entitled "Going on the Pill. The Blue One." to describe her experience taking Viagra: "After about an hour, however, I was aware of a dramatic change. I had developed a red flush on my face; I was a hot tomato, though not the kind I had planned. I had also developed a horrible headache. The sex pill had turned into a bad joke: Not now, honey, I have a headache." (https://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/15/booming/the-time-she-tried-viagra.html)  

3. Media Reference #2: Author Sarah Hepola uses this expression in a January 13th, 2016 NPR broadcast entitled "Going Away Without 'Ghosting': A Better Way To Say 'I'm Not Into You.'" "And lying to men had, unfortunately, been a long-standing habit. 'I have a headache.' 'No, I don't mind if you text during dinner.' 'I'd love to talk about "Star Wars" right now.'" (https://www.npr.org/transcripts/462787811) (At 55 seconds into the broadcast.)

4.   Media Reference #3: Dorothy Parke's character of "Julie" uses this expression to reject the sexual advances of Ted Danson's character of "Sam Malone" in season 

6, episode 16 of the sitcom Cheers, "Yacht of Fools." (Sam: "Julie..." / Julie: "Sam, I told you I have a headache." / Sam: "Oh, wait a minute. Hey, Drake's in there, isn't he? Oh!" / Julie: "Well..." / Sam: "I don't believe this. You're throwing me over for that guy? Why?") (At 15 minutes and 45 seconds into the episode. Originally aired February 4th, 1988.)