“If you check out early,” she said, “I sure as heck am not going to take the time to train another husband.”
According to her, after 30 years, she is just getting me to where she thinks I might be worth the trouble. And yes, she used the word “might.”
Not sure if this was a compliment or not, I found myself pushing for a bit more information.
“So,” I said, “If you knew how much work I’d be when we met, would you still do it?”
Her silence, although for probably only a brief moment, settled in my gut like a rock on the bottom of a swimming pool.
I now recognize that for many wives, a husband is a long-term project that never seems to get finished. And for some, if they really knew what they were getting into the first place, they’d sure as heck give the matter a moment of serious pause.
Yes, much like our dog, I can be taught to perform useful tricks: take out the garbage on Sunday night, don’t turn on the bedroom light when I’m first up in the morning and don’t put stinky, sweaty clothes in the clothes hamper. My wife will tell you, hands down, it was much easier to house train our dog.
But our dog, best I remember, learned how to live in our house in a few short weeks. A few newspapers here, a couple races to the door when he looked ready for business, and presto — housebroken in no time. Me, well, I still occasionally find myself halfway up the stairs before I remember I was to take off my dirty shoes from mowing the grass.
With our two kids, my wife knew what to expect. Although no two are ever alike, they generally fall into place once you come to the realization that if you feed and water them — and occasionally fertilize with a bit of discipline and encouragement — they generally turn out fine.
Men, on the other hand, never really seem to grow up.
You can tell us to do something a hundred times and we’ll do it, yet just when you think we’ve got it — and don’t say anything — we immediately revert to our former selves an act like we never knew any better.
Yes, we are just that numb.
Men are a deeply flawed species. We mean well, but for some reason, we just can’t seem to keep it together too long with out outside help.
Which brings me back to our dog. We both like to eat, take naps all around the house and are easily distracted. But for some reason, he is better at following instructions.
Maybe in my next life, I’ll make it easy on someone and just come back as a dog.
Woolsey is publisher of the Douglas County Sentinel.