Herb had too much to drink at the office New Year’s party, and when he woke up the next morning his head felt ready to explode. He could recall almost nothing of the previous night, and he dreaded the thought of facing his wife, who he suspected would have a few choice words for him.
But when he opened his eyes, he saw that there were two extra-strength aspirin and a glass of water on the bedside table, along with a note in his wife’s handwriting. It read:
Your breakfast is on the stove. Brooke said she would do the dishes and clean up the kitchen, so you can just relax and take it easy. I’ve gone out to buy groceries so I can make your favorite supper tonight.
Your loving wife,
p.s. I’m going to stop at the smoke shop on the way home and pick up a box of your favorite cigars. I love you, darling!
Puzzled, Herb set the note down. He took the aspirin, then he went to the kitchen, where he found a hot breakfast, hot coffee, and the morning newspaper waiting for him. His daughter Brooke was busy loading the dishwasher.
“Morning, Dad,” she greeted him cheerfully.
“Morning, honey,” said Herb. “By any chance, were you awake when I got home last night?”
“I sure was,” she giggled. “You were totally hammered. You threw up in the bushes by the front door, and when you came inside, you fell over the coffee table and broke it. Mom and I had to practically carry you to bed.”
Herb was flummoxed. “So why is your mother out buying cigars for me and planning to make my favorite supper tonight?”
“Good question,” said Brooke. “I guess it’s because after we got you into the bedroom, Mom started taking your clothes off, and you hollered, ‘Leave me alone — I’m married!’”
Broken coffee table: $250.00
Two extra-strength aspirin: $.34
Saying the right thing at the right time: priceless
Henry and Alice had been married for 65 years. Although well into their eighties, they were both in excellent health, due primarily to Alice’s insistence on a healthful diet and regular exercise.
But one day while walking home from Whole Foods, they were hit by a truck, and the next thing they knew, they were standing together just outside the pearly gates.
St. Peter welcomed them and escorted them inside. He took them to a beautiful mansion and said, “This will be your new home.”
Stunned by the beauty of the place, Henry asked St. Peter how much it was going to cost.
“Nothing at all,” St. Peter replied. “This is heaven.”
Henry looked out the window, and saw that right outside the mansion was a championship golf course, more beautiful than any that existed on earth.
“What are the greens fees?” he asked.
“This is heaven,” said St. Peter. “You can play anytime you want, and it won’t cost a cent.”
Then St. Peter took Henry and Alice to the dining room, where they saw a lavish buffet set out with all kinds of delectable foods – juicy steaks, exotic seafood, gourmet cheeses, fine wines, freshly-baked breads and rolls, and rich desserts.
“Don’t even ask,” said St. Peter. “This is heaven. It’s all free for you to enjoy.”
“Where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods?” Henry asked.
“There aren’t any,” said St. Peter. “In heaven, you can eat and drink whatever you like, whenever you like, as much as you like. You’ll never get fat and you’ll never get sick.”
“No gym to work out at?” Henry asked.
“Not unless you want to,” St. Peter replied.
“No testing my blood pressure?”
“Never again. All you do here is enjoy yourself.”
Henry glared at Alice and said, “You and your bran muffins! We could have been here ten years ago!”
A man burst into a flower shop and said, “Quick! I need two potted geraniums!”
“I’m very sorry, sir,” apologized the florist. “We’re all out of geraniums at the moment. How about some lovely African violets?”
“No,” said the customer. “It was geraniums my wife told me to water while she was away.”
by guest columnist Herb Hickenlooper
It’s important for men to remember that as women age, it becomes harder for them to maintain the same standards of housekeeping as when they were younger. But when you notice this happening with your wife, try not to yell at her. Some women are oversensitive, and God knows there’s nothing worse than an oversensitive woman.
Let me tell you how I handled this situation with my wife, Peggy. When I retired about a year ago, it became necessary for Peggy to get a full-time job to bring in some extra income and for the medical insurance her employer provides. Shortly after she started working, I noticed her age was beginning to show. Here’s an example: I usually get home from the golf course about the same time she gets home from work, and even though she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says she has to rest for half an hour before she starts supper. But I don’t yell at her. Instead, I tell her to take her time and just wake me up as soon as she has supper on the table.
Here’s another example: Peggy used to clear the table and wash the dishes as soon as we’d finished eating, but nowadays it’s not unusual for the dishes to sit on the table for an hour or two. I do what I can to help by diplomatically reminding her that the dishes aren’t going to wash themselves. I know she appreciates this, and it does seem to motivate her to get them cleaned up and put away before she goes to bed.
Another thing that happens as women age is that they complain a lot more. For instance, Peggy complains that it’s hard for her to find time to pay all the monthly bills during her lunch hour. But boys, we take ’em for better or worse, so I just smile patiently and offer encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two or three days, so she won’t have to rush so much. I also remind her that missing lunch every 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.
Aging also affects women’s stamina. When doing even simple jobs, Peggy seems to think she needs breaks. Recently, for instance, she said she needed a break when she was only half finished mowing the lawn. But I didn’t make a scene. I just told her to make herself a nice big glass of lemonade and sit down for a few minutes, and as long as she was making one for herself, she might as well make one for me too.
I know that I probably seem like a saint for the way I support Peggy. I’m not saying that showing this much consideration is easy. Nobody knows better than I do how frustrating women can be as they get older. But if you use just a little more tact and a little less anger when dealing with your wife as a result of reading this article, then I will consider the time it took me to write it well spent. After all, we’re put on this earth to help each other.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Unfortunately, Herb died shortly after completing this article. The coroner’s report listed the cause of death as a perforated rectum. According to police testimony, Herb was found with a Callaway Big Bertha II Driver jammed up his rear end. His wife Peggy was charged with homicide. The all-female jury took fifteen minutes to arrive at a verdict of not guilty, accepting Peggy’s defense that her husband somehow accidentally sat down on his golf club.)