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Husbandry Blues
by Mary Elder-Criss
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Husbandry Blues

Sometimes, in rare moments, I pity my husband. My son, Jon, got married last year, which left Jerry alone in a houseful of females. Even two of our three dogs are girls. Except for a pup which is nine months old, and a frog that belongs to my youngest daughter, there is no male on the premises left for commiseration. And according to him, there is an awful lot of sympathy needed.

One of his biggest pet peeves involves razors that are always in short supply. Three pairs of legs and underarms make short work of a ten pack of Gillette’s. Another familiar lament concerns missing batteries from his beard and mustache trimmer. These always seem to mysteriously transfer themselves into a portable CD player or remote control.

Fingernail clippers are never where he leaves them, Oreos completely vanish before he gets his share, and his country music station is continually changed on the car radio. His vote is inevitably null and void when elections are held for family video night, his drawings always elicit the most female giggling while playing Pictionary and if the television remote lingers too long on fishing shows, loud groans echo throughout the domicile.

A trip to the mall is torture, Christmas shopping begins at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and his idea of a fun afternoon usually involves bait. He is continually sent after feminine hygiene products, invariably always buys the wrong conditioner, and cringes at the thought of waxing anything.

Women’s clothing is a complete and utter mystery to him. He once tried to surprise me for Christmas by buying me a sweater, and purchased a 16W when I was a size 10. He still can’t figure out why our younger daughter is in a size 10/12, and our older daughter wears a 3, or why our nine year old wears a size 2 shoe when she wore a size 13 last year. “How come it’s a smaller number when she’s older?”

He has no clue why we wail about having nothing to wear when our closets and dressers are full, or the stringent need we have to buy yet another pair of shoes. “You already have ten pairs!” Eyelash curlers make him shudder, flatirons are viewed with wonder, and nail salons are observed with absolute suspicion.

As a member of the male race, he’s shared the blame for the invention of such things as pantyhose, bras, and high heels, for no woman would ever think up such torturous contraptions. His one claim to fame is that Eve ate the apple first, which kept him feeling quite superior until he learned that Adam was right beside her when she did it, and didn’t try to stop her.

No one in the house shares his enthusiasm regarding football, baseball, or NFL drafts. Eyes invariably roll back in heads when he expounds upon a certain team’s season, or the likelihood that West Virginia might finally win a bowl game. None of us are as nearly excited over deer droppings in the nearby woods as he, or missing corn from the feeder. Squirrels and rabbits are cute furry little animals, not a possible meal. Skinning a catfish is never anything we want to hear about, no more witness.

He has learned the hard way to never answer in the affirmative when asked (a) “Does this make me look fat?” (b) “Is this dress too expensive?” or (c) “Do you mind visiting my family?”

He often relates to “The Man without a Country.” He is a man in an alien civilization, and once a month, two of the natives are none too friendly. If you feel so inclined, add him to your prayer list. In a few more years, he’ll be living with three unfriendly inhabitants, one of whom will most likely be entering menopause.

I’ve recently seen him eyeing an empty outbuilding of ours with a serious look upon his face. Not being fortunate enough to own a garage to escape to, I think he’s contemplating turning it into one; either that or perhaps a fallout shelter.

Copyright 2005 Mary Elder-Criss

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sherry Castelluccio  16 Jun 2005
Too cute! In our house the numbers are a little more even, but not quite- 3 guys to two girls. The lizard is still as yet undecided. Strangely, I find myself feeling more like your husband and at times I wish I could have my own "garage" to run into. What a fun piece!
Kathy Pollock 14 Jun 2005
Hey Mary, you left out the fact that camo isn't a fashion statement to anyone else. HIs day is coming, anyway--this will be your first football season with dish. ha ha
Karen Treharne 13 Jun 2005
Mary, this is so funny - and true! I relate entirely although I had only one girl, the trials of a single male are many when faced with two women alone! This would make a great piece for The Joy of Family column in the FW Magazine. If I could have your permission, I would love to use it in an upcoming month's issue. Please let me know. Yours in Christ, Karen


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