Okay, fellows, this is for your eyes only. If your beautiful bride spots this we’re both in big trouble. These helpful hints are guaranteed to make things easier as you travel down the highway of life with the girl of your dreams. Strict adherence to these “guy rules” can add years of enjoyment to your leisure time, while ignoring them could make the rest of your days one long journey through a traffic jam in a construction zone.
#1 – Two words that will make life much less stressful and help ensure marital bliss – “Yes, dear.” No matter how far off the mark she is, a simple “Yes, dear” is always the best response. When you back the dinghy into a fencepost and she’s reminding you for the third time that she told you to use your rearview mirror, “Yes, dear” is the safest response. Explanations or excuses will only lead to one or more nights on the cramped sofa of your motorhome, travel trailer, or fifth wheel. Come on, you goofed. Man up and admit it. “Yes, dear.”
#2 – Three words that have saved me much trial and tribulation – “Shut up, Nick.” Over the years I have enlisted many friends and more than a few strangers to remind me that my macho mouth is about to override my butterfly butt. A quick “Shut up, Nick” from a concerned pal or wise onlooker at just the right moment has saved me from many nights on the sofa. (See Rule #1 above.) There are times you need to be reminded that silence is indeed golden. Don’t dig your grave any deeper. If you have to, get on the telephone and call a buddy and have him tell you to shut up. Call me, if worst comes to worst. I’m here for ya, big guy.
#3 – Chores. You’ve got a lot of responsibility, what with piloting that big RV down the highway, selecting the right radio station to tune into in strange towns across the country, and handling the complex operation of the television remote control once you make camp. Now she wants you to help with chores, too? It’s just not fair! But don’t refuse, that’s a sure road to trouble. Be quick to agree. In fact, spring to her side and offer to help out with every chore that comes up. But be creative. A little forethought can make housework much more fun. And if you mess up bad enough, long enough, she’ll eventually decide it’s easier to just do it herself and leave you to your reruns of Married With Children. Washing dishes is a great place to start. You’d be surprised how few pieces of her grandmother’s prized china you have to break before she shoos you away from the sink and banishes you to your recliner, remote control in hand. Laundry? No problem! Forget all that nonsense about sorting, just throw everything in together. Soon enough all the colors will mix into a great shade somewhere between gray and green. Once she’s replaced her wardrobe, I guarantee she won’t allow you anywhere near a Maytag ever again. Got the picture? Grocery shopping is even more fun. Throw that list away. You’ve got a great memory, right? Who cares if she wanted broccoli and whole wheat bread. Grab those pretzels and beer. You’ll need them when the Game of the Week comes on. One or two trips to the Safeway should be all it takes to get you back in your recliner where you belong.
#4 – You’re never lost, you’re exploring. Isn’t that why you bought that big old RV in the first place? To get away from the interstate highways and investigate small town America? Don’t admit that maybe you should have listened to the guy in the gas station and taken a left at that fork in the road 20 miles back. Point out to her just how pretty the poison ivy looks in that field next to the mud hole you’re currently mired in, and how many of her friends back home ever got to investigate the industrial areas of Detroit and Cleveland? She’s a lucky gal to be traveling with a modern day Marco Polo like you.
#5 – The smaller and more annoying the dog is, the greater the chance you’ll wind up living with it. I know traveling in a Class C motorhome with a Saint Bernard can get kind of cramped. And I agree completely that a Pekinese does not make a very comforting guard dog when you’re boondocking in some lonely rest area 65 miles outside Omaha. Do not try to convince her of this! Just as men love red Corvettes and big old Golden Retrievers named Buddy, ladies love noisy little furballs with names like Mitzi or Mr. Snuggles. Accept the fact that this yappy little dog is going to be gnawing on your slippers from now on. It’s just easier that way. Cats are even worse. You’ll never convince her it’s not the cutest thing in the world when old Tom uses your favorite sweater to knead his claws. “Yes, dear.”
#6 – Her mother/sister/aunt is a wonderful guest. You’re thrilled she’s invited herself on that long awaited road trip up the Alaskan Highway. It’ll give the Missus someone to keep her company while you take the Pekinese for a walk so the bears don’t snatch it for supper.
#7 – You were not looking at the gorgeous blonde in the convertible next to you at the stoplight. Why, she’s young enough to be your secretary! No ma’am, you were just thinking how wonderful it is to have a mature companion to share your golden years with, someone you can communicate with on an intellectual level.
#8 – It’s your job to handle the hookups. Who wants their lovely lady messing with things like sewer hoses anyway? Besides, you need the time outside the rig to thank your lucky stars you finally found your way back from that country lane you were exploring. And if you spend just one more minute cooped up inside listening to her mother/sister/aunt complaining about the mosquitoes, you’re liable to use the Pekinese to swat that big one on her forehead!
#9 – Cold showers are good for you. Face the fact that most RV water heaters only hold six to ten gallons of water and she needs every drop of that to wash her hair and have a proper shower. Don’t complain, just crawl under the icy spray and get on with it. If you wait until the water heats back up, the Pekinese will have your spot in the bed. Then you’re back on the sofa, whether you complain or not.
#10 – So you asked for a 5/8 inch box end wrench and she handed you the toilet plunger. Keep your mouth shut and thank her just the same. It could be worse – she could offer to fix the awning. This is a lose/lose situation for you. Either she does a better job on the repairs than you ever could have, in which case you’ll need to drag your fragile male ego to a shrink for some serious counseling, or else she’s onto us and read rule #3 above, in which case it will be unsafe for you to sit under the darn thing to read the sports page anyway. Take your plunger and get to work. “Yes, dear.”
Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series.. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.
Thought For The Day – I don’t eat health foods. At my age I need all the preservatives I can get.