September 1, 1999

Some of life's questions
drive husbands crazy

___Joanna made me an offer I could not accept. If you've seen "The Godfather," you know the other kind of offer. If Don Corleone invites you to his office, he makes you an offer you cannot refuse. You do, and it's the last offer you refuse.
___This was different, only the same.

___We were working in the yard. She had just finished edging and trimming the front yard and walked into the back yard, where I was cutting grass.
___I turned off the mower and asked, "Did you trim by the flower beds?"
___"Yes," my wife replied. "Do you want to go and check my work?"
___Any English teacher will tell you that is a question. Any husband will tell you it's a direct challenge.
___For some reason, I have this family reputation for being a perfectionist. I probably resemble the remark. Has something to do with how I like the edging and trimming, ironing, dish-washing, shoe-polishing and other chores done.
___But when Jo asked, "Do you want to go and check my work?" I knew her work was perfect. Husbands eventually learn these things.
___While I mowed, I pondered Jo's question, and it brought to mind other hard questions husbands are asked:
___As a public service to husbands everywhere, I'm presenting several of these questions, along with the appropriate response.
___bluebull "Does this blouse go with this skirt?" Unless a your name's Ralph Lauren or Bill Blass, don't answer. You'd think "Sure, Baby" would suffice, but if she later decides she doesn't like the ensemble, you're the fall guy.
___bluebull "You're not going to wear that old shirt, are you?" The appropriate response is: "Naw, of course not. I'm just trying out for the Olympic clothes-changing team." Then dash to the closet and put on the shirt she gave you for your birthday, no matter what time of year it is.
___bluebull "Do you notice something different?" This question usually has something to do with (a) her hair or (b) throw pillows in the living room, where nobody ever goes. Evasion is the only sure tactic. Say: "The Rangers (or Astros) won last night! Isn't that great?"
___bluebull "Where do you want to eat tonight?" This is a trick question. Do not, I repeat, do not answer this question. By the time she gets around to asking, she already knows where she wants to eat. And you can't guess if your next 39 meals depend on it. Say, "You know, Honey, I'll eat anything that doesn't eat me first." Then shut up.
___Of course, the average husband gets asked 23,478,329 questions in the course of his marriage. But these come up the most. Otherwise, you're on your own. OK, here's one more:
___"Shouldn't we start attending church Sunday night, going visiting and tithing?" The answer is, "Yes, Dear!"


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