Monday, March 23, 2015

Husbands Underfoot?

Does the Normanator appear to you to be underfoot?
*I should think NOT!

  When Del left a lifetime of work on a line in a manufacturing plant, Carol was livid.  "What," she railed, "Am I supposed to DO with him NOW?"   I laughed and made the effort to cheer her up.  I offered her another cup of coffee.

  Her coffee got cold as she went on, whinging and whining about how Del was going to "ruin my life" and how "I'll never have another moment's peace."

  Soon the "happy" couple were leaving one household for another.  They could spend Del's newly minted retirement in an expansive brick home on a corner lot where Del could groom the sprawling lawn.  Carol had her doubts...

  She phoned one day to report that Del was driving her crazy.  "He is unpacking all the moving boxes and has rearranged the living room!" she complained.  I reminded her that lots of people HIRE folks to do that for them and maybe she could look at being grateful.  She didn't hear me; she had begun to cry.  She wailed into the phone:  "The worst of this house is that it is a ONE BUTT kitchen!  How will we manage when he takes over the kitchen and all the cooking?"  While she blew her nose I timidly suggested that she could go into the living room and enjoy the new layout.

  What followed next made me wish I hadn't answered the phone that morning.  "You don't understand, Connie!" she hollered.  "Just wait til you and Norm retire.  You'll see..."  Fortunately, her door bell rang and that conversation ended.

  Carol was still fussing and fuming about how Del was underfoot when we moved 150 miles from them.  Her emails were filled with complaints about how he cooked this and he washed that and the yard was too big and the kitchen was too small.

  What ever happened to living happily ever after? 

  I've heard other women complain that their household routine was upset when the man of the house retired, too.  I never did understand that because when my dad retired my mom and dad hung out together and they had time to play cards, grocery shop, go fishing on a whim, or just pack a picnic and go for a drive to enjoy one another's company.  They even got bicycles and peddled all over their little home town.  It seemed to me they were sharing their lives and enjoying one another immensely.  

 Well, that is-they enjoyed one another until The Big Blow Up when Mom moved out.  But that had nothing to do, so I was told, with Dad's retirement.

  I've heard tales of husbands who took to drinking too much because they did not have to answer to an employer any more.   Wives have confessed to me that they felt they no longer had privacy because the newly retired husband grabbed the mail.  Stories of husbands 'hiding' in the garage so as not to have to help with household chores or listen to long phone calls  have circulated.  All these had the recurring theme of husbands being underfoot.
  What a strange concept this is to me.  The Normanator and I thoroughly enjoy hanging out in our retirement.  We have spent our time feeling grateful for having good health and the opportunity to design relaxed but interesting days together.  We both like to read so we spend quiet time in that pursuit.  We are die hard Nebraska Cornhusker sports fans so we noisily watch our favorite teams with snack foods for meals!  I cook; he dries the dishes.  We joke.  We tease.  We entertain.  We join our peers at table when the Breakfast Bunch meets on Tuesday mornings. We deliver Meals on Wheels and attend church regularly.  We drink pots and pots of coffee.  He bakes.  I clean.  When he goes to the "40" to work on wood I take care of the house and laundry.  We don't think our kitchen is too small!  We are full of life and the joy of living it.  We are eternally grateful that we have this life.

  Husbands underfoot?  Not in this house.  Not ever.

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