McKeithan Column|Guidelines to marital harmony

Published 1:20 am Friday, June 12, 2009

By By Ray McKeithan
Husbands need do (only) their part
I had turned in early one night this week, exhausted from a long day of napping and watching TV.
When my beautiful wife came to bed, she made a great deal of noise and slammed her book on the nightstand. Of course, it woke me from a deep sleep so I made a mental note to discuss it with her in the morning.
And, 12 hours later, the morning arrived:
“Honey, your clamor when retiring to our boudoir last night interrupted my beauty sleep. I must tell you I found it to be extremely rude.”
“Good! I was MAD!” she said, madly.
“Oh, OK. Makes sense.” I concluded my part of the conversation, satisfied with her logic.
Five minutes passed and I pretended not to notice her staring at me, or her change in color from porcelain white to stop sign red.
“Well, don’t you want to know WHY I am mad at you?”
“Nope.” I said without emotion. “As long as YOU know.”
Knowing your role
I’ll admit I’m a bit old-fashioned. It is an endearing quality to my beautiful wife, and a great excuse for me.
I believe a successful marriage is when the couple accepts, and then conforms to their traditional roles. Let’s examine this a bit closer.
There are seven universal duties whose responsibility falls solely on the husband: toting things, putting the seat down, grilling, not burping the alphabet, feeding the dog, mowing the grass and finally — complaining about mowing the grass.
The wife, then, has just one responsibility — everything else.
Seven responsibilities assigned to the husband — one to the wife. Sounds fair.
The Five K’s
Of course, within her ONE assignment are very minor categorical subsets — I call them “The Five K’s:” Kitchen, Kids, Klothes, Kleaning and Kenmore (appliances).
I am quick to cite one of these sub classifications as an excuse to get out of work. They each function as an immunity idol that I present unceremoniously to my beautiful wife as needed. For illustrative purposes — when one is invoked in this column — it can be found in all caps. (For Carolina graduates, it would look LIKE THIS.)
Four Examples (a tutorial for husbands)
Example One: To avoid having to pack the cooler:
“Honey, I hate to impose, but after your nap, will you please pack the cooler for the boat?”
“No, my beautiful wife … drinks and ice are clearly part of the KITCHEN subset. Transporting the cooler, of course, falls under ‘toting.’ I accept that responsibility.”
Example Two: To avoid calling a repairman:
“Hey, my hunky-chunky husband: The washing machine is broken … after you’ve finished your banana split, would you please call the repairman?”
“Ahhhhh,” I reply while shaking my head, “I’m sorry dearest, but that is forbidden by two of the subsections: KLOTHES and KENMORE. Of course, if the grill were broken, that call would be my responsibility. I just want you to know I’m willing to do my part. Like I said last week, we’re all in it together.”
Example Three: To avoid transporting the kids:
“Handsome Hubby, could you please take the children to school today? They’re going to be tardy and I’m busy kleaning.”
“Gosh, Lovely … you know that involves driving the KIDS in the KAR (actually, there are Six K’s) … ain’t gonna happen.”
Example Four: To avoid assigned work by using a loophole:
“My dearest Ray, the grass needs mowing — I know you’re in only the fifth hour of the Green Acres marathon — but might you…?”
“Honey, you know I’d get on it right away; but I’d have to walk through the KITCHEN…”
Stay strong
Your success depends on unwavering resolve and close adherence to these guidelines. However, you must be willing to abort when your wife threatens to leave you because she is “sick of your krap.”
Ray McKeithan is associate publisher of the WDN. Your negative comments about him or his column may be sent directly to his email: