I am a modern man. I can accept that women have their shortcomings. Especially as they grow older, they cannot be expected, for example, to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as when they were younger.
I make allowances.
Don’t you agree that more enlightened souls like you and I ought to exhort husbands not to yell at them, and worse? True, some are over-sensitive and there is nothing worse than an over-sensitive woman. I’m sure you accept that?
Let me relate to you how I handle such a situation with my wife, Petunia. When I took early retirement last year – with a consequent drop in income – it became necessary for Petunia to take up a part-time position in addition to her full-time job. Well, we are both getting older and you know what the National Health Service has become, so we had to join a private health scheme, which costs a lot of money!
It was shortly after that I noticed how she was suddenly showing her age. You need to know that I usually get home from the golf course about the time she returns from work. Now she knows how hungry I am after a round of golf, yet she almost always says that she has to rest for half an hour or so before she starts to prepare dinner!
I don’t complain! I don’t yell at her! I simply ask her to wake me when she finally gets the dinner on the table. It’s not so urgent. I mostly have lunch at the Club’s Men’s Grill so I can wait. Mind you, I’m ready for some home-made grub when I do wake.
Then there’s the dishes!
She used to wash the dishes as soon as we’d finished eating. Now they might lie there for hours! I do my best by diplomatically reminding her frequently that the dishes simply will not clean themselves. She appreciates this for she inevitably gets then done before retiring to bed.
Another symptom of the onset of sloth with ageing is her endless whingeing. She for example complains that it is difficult for her to pay the monthly bills in her lunchtime.
But we boys take them ‘for better or for worse’ so I just smile.
I encourage her to stretch these payments out over two or even three lunch hours! I also remind her – in the most diplomatic way imaginable – that missing the odd lunch wouldn’t hurt her anyway. You know what I mean. I pride myself in my tact.
I notice recently too that she has to take a break in the middle of mowing the lawn. But do I complain? Never! I’m a fair man. I tell her to fix herself a long, cool drink of freshly-squeezed orange and rest for a while. And so long as she’s fixing one for herself she might as well fix me one too.
I know that I must look like a saint in the way I support Petunia. I’m not saying that showing this much consideration is easy. Many men would find it difficult, some would say impossible! Nobody knows better than me how frustrating women get as they grow older and it all starts to sag, if you get my meaning.
But I hope that if you publish this letter, Agnes, some men will learn to show just a little bit more consideration.
If that is the case, I will consider my efforts in composing it well rewarded.
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