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 not to yell at them. Some are oversensitive, and there's nothing worse than an over- sensitive woman.
My name is Ron......
Let me relate how I handled the situation with my wife, Julie. When I took "early retirement" last year, it became necessary for Julie to get a full- 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 club so eating dinner out is not a reasonable solution. I'm ready for some home cooked grub 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 they won't clean themselves. I know she appreciates this, as it does seem to motivate her to get them done before she goes to bed.
I really think my experience as a teacher helps a lot. I consider "telling people what they ought to do" to be one of my strong points.
Now that she has gotten older, she does seem to get tired so much more quickly. Our washer and dryer are in the basement. Some-times she says she just can't make another trip down those steps. I don't make a big issue of this; as long as she finishes up the laundry the next evening, I'm willing to overlook it. Not only that, but unless I need something ironed to wear to the Monday lodge meeting, or to Wednesday's or Saturday's poker club, or to Tuesday's or Thursday's bowling, or something like that, I will tell her to wait until the next evening to do the ironing. This gives her a little more time to do some of those odds and ends like shampooing the dog, vacuuming or dusting.
Also, if I've had a really good day on the course and it was wet and muddy, my clubs are a mess, so I let her clean them, you know... get the grit off the grips and a little light Brillo on the club faces at a casual pace. My golf bag is heavy so I lift it out of the trunk for her. Women are delicate, have weak wrists and can't lift heavy stuff as good as men. But, I did tell her I don't like to be awakened during my after-golf nap, so rather than bother me, she can put them back in the trunk when she's finished.
Another symptom of aging is complaining, I think. 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 tact 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 awhile. And, as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well make one for me, too, and then take her break by my hammock. That way, she can talk with me until I fall asleep.
I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support Julie. I'm not saying that showing this much consideration is easy. Many men will find it difficult. Some will find it impossible! Nobody knows better than I do how frustrating women get as they get older. However, guys, even if you just use a little more tact and less criticism of your aging wife because of this article, I will consider that writing it was well worthwhile. After all, we are put on this earth to help each other.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Ron died suddenly Thursday Feb. 3. He was found with a Calloway extra long 50-inch Big Bertha Driver II rammed up his butt, with only 2 inches of grip showing. His wife Julie was arrested, but the all-woman jury accepted her defense that he accidentally sat on it, and she was released on Friday, Feb 4.