CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith & Life for the Years of Winter…
Like most women, Helen thinks things should work the way they are supposed to. This includes--but is certainly not limited to--garage door openers, garbage disposals, telephones, computers, and ladders.
Like most men, I think that things should work or not work in the way that is simplest for me to deal with. That includes--but is certainly not limited to--leaving the car outside if the garage door won’t open, sneaking garbage into the neighbor’s can if the disposal is broken, not calling people if the telephone won’t work, going to the library to use a computer rather than getting mine fixed, caring not a whit if the ladder is balanced because balancing takes too long.
This means Helen spends a lot of time reading manuals and talking to Ethel of Mumbai in customer non-service. I spend a certain amount of time in the emergency room. It is a small price to pay for not having to read manuals or talk to Ethel.
When you have been living together a long time, you have given up on trying to change your partner. As Helen mumbles imprecations at balky computers and coffee grinders that don’t grind right, and sometimes at Ethel, I just leave the room. When I don’t get the ladder balanced, she says, “Did you leave the car out of the garage so I can take you to the ER?”
Old age can be quite simple.