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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :

Man Should Not Live Alone

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry

As I recall somewhere it is written, "Man should not live alone."

I don't remember if this is in the bible or some other place, but as whoever wrote it (God?) was a really smart fellow, or person (to be gender sensitive).

Last week we took a short vacation over to Arizona. You can never say that I am out of the running for what's happening now. I am wherever the action is going on. Phoenix had its hottest day in ten year…topped out at 118 degrees. They are also having dueling serial killers who seem to be competing for the title. We elected to stay inside in the cool, read books and eat from the mini-bar and room service. I think we charged more for room service than the hotel cost us. But, what the heck, it's a vacation, right?

Anyway, coming home, my dear sweet wife gets called away to go baby-sit our new granddaughter for another week, leaving me to survive on my own.

I don't do good alone. I am spoiled.

So, to give you an idea of what I was forced to endure, here is a short list:

I stopped up the toilets two times…

I spilled dishwasher soap all over the kitchen floor….this is a huge mess to clean up.

I wasn't watching one dog, who rolled in deer poop and then jumped into bed with me.

I fed the other dog too much and she barfed all over the den and living room.

Now, as women are aware, these are the kinds of issues they deal with each and every day. Not so for men. We are trained from the dawn of civilization to hunt, slash and kill, but not to clean up yukkie dog barf from the rug. My solution was to pour water on it and towel it out, but that didn't work as well as when my wife does it. I never noticed what she uses to clean the rug, so that was a big loss. I think the plant I placed over the stain looks fine.

The overflowing toilets weren't a big deal, I just got that plunger thing and got those unstopped in a heartbeat. However the water on the floor was tough to mop up since some of it found it's way into the kitchen where I had just spilled the dishwasher soap on the floor. This turned into a biohazard nightmare and not one I wish to repeat anytime soon. It also was the cause of a major slip and fall on my part that could have netted me some big bucks if it had happened in a store in the mall, but I can't very well sue myself can I?

The dog rolling in deer poop was the worst. He must think it smells good or he thinks he needs some type of doggie cologne or something, I can't figure it out. Anyway, he jumps into bed and I am immediately looking at my shoes to see if it was something I tracked in. He is looking at me with one of those…"Who me?" looks and I find him covered. Off to the shower for the two of us, another thirty minutes to take all of the stuff off the bed… wash it and remake it. I'm convinced that remaking a bed is an art. You should have to get a license of some sort if you want to do it right. I failed.

I did manage to run the dishwasher as well as the washing machine. Men never empty the dishwasher; they just keep adding to it and washing the old things over and over. So, if you use something like a potato masher the first day, it stays in the dishwasher until the thing gets completely full and you are forced to empty it. Or on the other hand you could just live out of it from day to day as I did and keep using only one plate, spoon, knife and fork…and a glass and a coffee cup. Works for me.

The final test of forced single living is how men do the laundry. I throw things into the machine until it gets full, then do a load and then throw those into the dryer. When the dryer gets full, I move everything to a bed in the spare bedroom and sort everything into neat little piles. I have a sock pile, a towel pile, underwear pile and sleep stuff in another pile. Saves having to fold everything and put it all away into drawers when you are just going to use it again tomorrow.

When my wife got home late last night, she stayed up until midnight getting the place back into the kind of shape she is used to when she is in control. Her last words as she came to bed were…"It's easy to see how you would live if I died."

I'm not sure it that's a compliment or not.

© Peary Perry
Letters From North America >

August 3, 2006 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to www.pearyperry.com

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