Men Need Women To Take Care Of Them

I don’t automatically remember how many years my wife, Sandy, and I have been married. First of all, it’s been a while and I lose track. Secondly, I have a hard enough time remembering my email address.
But I can do the math. Let’s see, we were married in March of 1979. It’s 2013 now. Yep, that makes it 34 years.
That’s a long time. It’s been great, though. She’s a terrific wife, an outstanding mother and a wonderful grandmom to our six grandchildren. We have managed to stay together in all kinds of circumstances, but this latest circumstance hasn’t always been easy. We’ve never lived apart for so long a time.
After I left my job at the Mankato Free Press in late April to return to Worthington and the sports editor position at the Daily Globe, Sandy stayed back in Mankato to work until we could find a place to live here. We were fortunate enough to sell our North Mankato home quickly, but it took a bit longer to find a Worthington home that suited our tastes for the right price.
Happily, we finally found one that we absolutely adore. But we can’t close on it until late this month. In the meantime, I’ve been living with my daughter and her family in Lakefield. I sleep on a blow-up mattress and try to eat right, but without my wife it’s difficult. I eat out too much, I’ve gotten to rely too much on Fruit Loops for my morning breakfast, and the family dog —something called a “puggle” —well … let’s just say Zola and I are not getting along all that swimmingly.
Sandy and I get together on weekends whenever possible, but this has been the longest the two of us have been apart.
It’s times like this that make me realize how much I have relied on her. It’s not that I can’t take care of myself, because I’m perfectly able to order Kentucky Fried Chicken for myself, and my friend Linda, at the local Perkins Restaurant, now looks upon me as something like a regular. They take care of me very well over there.
But sometimes, alas, I take the easy way out and get a large bag of French fries at McDonald’s, with a hot fudge sundae.
Fries and a sundae. What, no burger? No chicken nuggets?
No, just the fries. And just the sundae. This is the way I feed myself when the wife’s away.
It reminds me of my college days at Mankato State University (that’s what it was called before Minnesota State University, as it is now) and me and my pals would take late-night drives to the Ember’s Restaurant. They would all order good food, and the combinations made perfect nutritional sense. Sometimes they’d have salad.
Salad? I’d sooner eat dirt.
Anyway … Whenever I’d go to Embers with them, I’d order my three favorite things: Pancakes, onion rings and a chocolate milk.
The waitress was always friendly enough. She’d smile knowingly and write down my order. My friends, however, often expressed their embarrassment by rolling their eyes, shaking their heads, or offering commentary to the waitress.
As in: “Don’t mind him. He’s a freshman.”
I wasn’t.
Or: “He’s not with us. I never saw him before in my life.”
So I guess I haven’t changed all that much from my college days. Today, my daughter Laura does her best to make sure I eat right. She makes me healthy sandwiches to take with me to work and reminds me to pick up an apple to take with me, too. Sometimes she places carrots in a baggie to make sure I get my vegetables.
Alas, sometimes I forget. Sometimes I leave the lunch in the fridge, only to be reminded about the importance of remembering —and the importance of good nutrition —when I see her the next day.
Still, I suspect there are other guys like me. Guys who don’t take care of themselves. Guys who’ve never grown up. Guys who need women in their lives to make sure they don’t do too much harm to themselves.
And so, finally, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to Sandy, and thank you to Laura, too.
Sandy, I promise I’ll try a little salad once we move in again together. And, Laura, I promise I’ll try again to make peace with Zola. I might even give her one of your sandwiches.

1 Response

  1. Norma Ahrenstorff

    Hi Doug; Shocked to hear you moved back to Worthington. You have to go where you are happy. Im still in Sioux Falls. Say hi to Sandy and enjoy your job and your new home. Come to Sioux Falls , would love to see you both. Norma

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