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If a man doesn’t make the bed and wash the dishes, is he sorry?
My wife has been gone visiting a few days, and I’ve been fending for myself. It’s not hard to do, really. I don’t have to make the bed; there’s no one here to complain if it’s not made. Just throw the covers up and it’s done.
I don’t wash dishes — or put anything in the dishwasher — until the odor of spoiled food begins to permeate the whole kitchen. That usually takes a couple of days unless I have the air conditioning on. Then I can go three days.
I haven’t filled the sink but once anyway. I went out to eat last night, and I plan to go out again tonight.
Clothes are hanging on every chair back in the bedroom, but I’m not worried just yet. A lot of weeds have sprung up behind our house, and my Weed Eater is ready to go to work. But I’m not. I understand the fish are beginning to bite now that the lake water has warmed up, and I have a brand new rod and reel to try out.
I don’t know if I’m a typical guy or not, but I flirt with being sorry when my wife is gone. Southerners understand the word sorry. Sorry is the man too lazy to cut the tall grass lapping at the cement blocks holding up that old car in his front yard. Sorry is the man who won’t go outside to see if it’s raining, instead whistles in the dog to see if he’s wet.
I know sorry men, and I don’t think I’m one of them. I just have a different take on what’s important in life. I, for example, like to find a comfortable rocker and just set for a while. Note the word set, not sit. If I’m sittin’, I won’t be there long; I have something else to do. But if I’m settin’, well, I’m just settin’.
“What are you thinking about?” my wife will ask.
“Nothing,” I’ll say.
And I’m really not thinking about anything. She doesn’t understand. You’ve got to be thinking about something. But, no, you don’t. A man can just set and not think. It’s good for the soul.
My wife thinks it’s important to make the bed every morning even if she doesn’t expect company, to wash the dishes every day even if they don’t stink, to hang up clothes even if she expects to wear them again in a couple of days. I don’t.
Does that mean I’m sorry? No, not at all. It means my lifestyle, if left alone, is more relaxed than hers. Our priorities are different.
Do I miss her when she’s gone? Of course. I don’t know what I’d do without her. She is the light behind my rainbow.
Tomorrow night, mind you, I’m going to sit down, not set down, and think about what all I have to do before she gets home.
And if I don’t do it, I’ll be sorry.
Phil Hudgins’ column is published in many newspapers around the Southeast.