Sunday, June 15, 2008

LETTER FROM BRUCE

It is important for men to remember that, as women grow older, it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as when they were younger. When you notice this, try to show some understanding. My name is Bruce , and let me relate how I handled the situation with my wife, Beverly.

When I retired a few years ago, it became necessary for Bev to get a full time job along with her part-time job, both for extra income and for the health benefits that we needed.

Shortly after she started working, I noticed she was beginning to show her age. I usually get home from the golf course about the same time she gets home from work. Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says she has to rest for half an hour or so before she starts dinner. I don't yell at her. Instead, I tell her to take her time and just wake me when she gets dinner on the table. I generally have lunch in the Men's Grill at the country club, so eating out again at night is not reasonable. I'm ready for some home-cooking when I hit that door.

She used to do the dishes as soon as we finished eating, but now it's not unusual for them to sit on the table for several hours after dinner. I do what I can by diplomatically reminding her several times each evening that the dishes won't clean themselves. I know she really appreciates this, as it does seem to motivate her to get them done before she goes to bed.

Another symptom of aging is complaining. For example, she will say that it is difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her lunch hour. But, boys, we take 'em for better or worse, so I just smile and offer encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two or even three days. That way she won't have to rush so much. I also remind her that missing lunch completely now and then wouldn't hurt her any (if you know what I mean). I like to think that this is one of my strong points.

When doing simple jobs, she seems to think she needs more rest periods. She had to take a break when she was only half finished mowing the yard. I try not to make a scene. I'm a fair man. I tell her to fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and just sit for a while. And, as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well make one for me, too.

I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support Bev, and I'm not saying that showing this much consideration is easy. Nobody knows better than I do how frustrated women get as they get older, but, guys, even if you just use a little more tact and less criticism of your aging wife because of this letter, I will consider that writing it was well worthwhile.

After all, we are put on this earth to help each other.

Signed, Bruce.

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