Guys, your wives and girlfriends may come to you with some new advice about "solving problems," but it’s a big lie! I found out about this in one of those women’s magazines that my doctor leaves lying around. I know I shouldn’t read that stuff, but an old guy with an oxygen tank had the only copy of "Road and Track," and I wasn’t about to sit there and watch another video about gall bladder disease. Anyway, I discovered that women’s magazines aren’t just full of stories about cats and casseroles. They also talk about "relationships," a dangerous word you may have heard before. Relationship stories scare me, but I was able to read a few paragraphs of one. That’s when I found the advice I’m warning you about. This woman was talking about improving her marriage, and she said her husband should "just listen to her problems, but not try to fix them." Well, that just makes no sense to me.
We’ve all accidentally watched Oprah while flipping channels, so most of us already know we’re supposed to listen more. But apparently that’s not enough. Now, we aren’t even allowed to fix the problems we just spent all that time listening to. Let’s say your wife’s covered in soap suds and she screams, "The washing machine exploded and I just swallowed a sock!" Now, that’s a danged good problem, if I’ve ever heard one! If I understand the new rules, you’re supposed to listen to her scream and yell, but you aren’t allowed to grab the plunger and come to her rescue. I didn’t read the whole article, but what else could, "Don’t fix my problem" mean?
So, if your wife yells, "A tree limb just crashed into the living room!" you have to make a choice. Do you follow this new advice and say, "I’m listening! And because I value our relationship, you can fix it yourself!" Or do you grab a saw and some shingles and get your rump up a ladder as fast as you can? If I were you, I’d be on that ladder. I’m not about to take advice from a magazine that recommends making Halloween costumes for your cat. If you do decide to tell your wife to fix the roof herself, call me if there are any good car magazines down at the courthouse. I have a feeling you’ll be visiting there a lot, at least until the divorce is final.
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org