For Father’s Day I gave Sam four white buckets and some blue cargo shorts. When I bought the buckets, a lady in the parking lot rolled her window down and hollered, “Those are fishing buckets! Wish I was fishing!”
We call ’em “gut buckets.” That’s what we use for hauling off fish parts and a million other things. We end up giving them away or using them for other jobs and, before you know it, we’re plum out of gut buckets. Sam liked the buckets, but about the blue shorts he said, “Those are bright.”
Later I read an article by Phil Callaway, author of “Tricks My Dog Taught Me.” He said after 32 years of marriage there were some things he learned about women. So it seemed the best thing I could share with men, something maybe they haven’t thought about, something better than gut buckets and bright blue shorts, would be the things Phil learned.
First, these are a few things it’s best not to say to the woman in your life:
Just enjoy these days; you’ll miss them.
You look tired.
Never start a sentence with, “My mother … ” or ask “So what did you do all day?”
Now, these are some great things to say to the woman in your life:
Are you kidding? That dress makes you look sleek and fabulous.
You don’t even need makeup.
Baseball can wait. Tell me about your day.
So you drove the car through the garage. Who cares? Are you alright?
It looks so great I didn’t even notice the price tag.
You’re absolutely right. Not that I’m surprised.
I don’t always understand you, but I love you.
You’ve been up all day; let me massage your feet.
I can’t believe you married me.
Let’s go buy you some shoes.
Those are some great ideas that may even bring a chuckle or two. Maybe some of those will never happen, but there’s one saying that Sam and I have found that works for us and that’s, “When tiredness goes up, kindness goes down.”
We find ourselves saying that a lot around here, and it’s mostly about me. Sam is retired now; I am not. I have less endurance than Sam, even on my best day. In this new season of our lives we’ve been learning more about ourselves.
Seems I have some control issues and think I’m the only one that can buy groceries, pay bills, wash clothes or make calls to service providers, because I’m the one that has always done it. I’m learning to turn some things over to Sam, and it’s gone a long way in reducing tiredness and increasing kindness.
Sam’s learning to be patient and wait as he spends hours in line or gets put on hold on the telephone. Just last week he made three trips to our Internet service provider. He says he relaxes and tells himself, “I’m retired now, and I have no place to be … except fishing.”
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.