Letter # 1 written by Ron:
Truth about women
MEN must remember that as women get older, it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as when they were younger. When you notice this, try not to shout at them. Some are oversensitive.
My name is Ron. Let me relate how I handled the situation with my wife Julie. When I took early retirement last year, it became necessary for Julie to get a full time job, both for extra income and for the health benefits that we needed. Shortly after she started working, I noticed she was beginning to show her age.
I get home from the golf course about the same time she gets in from work. Although she knows how hungry I am, she always says she has to rest for half-an-hour before she starts dinner.
I don't shout at her, instead I tell her to take her time and just wake me when it's on the table. I generally have lunch at the club, so I'm ready for some home-cooked grub by evening.
She used to do the dishes as soon as we'd finished eating, but now it's not unusual for them to be left on the table for hours. I do what I can by diplomatically reminding her several times each evening that they won't clean themselves. I know she really appreciates this.
Another symptom for ageing is complaining. For example, she will say it is difficult for her to find time to pay monthly bills during her lunch hour - so I just offer encouragement.
I tell her to stretch it out over two or three days. That way, she won't have to rush about so much. I also remind her that missing lunch completely now and then wouldn't hurt her (if you know what I mean).
When doing simple jobs, she seems to think she needs more rest periods. Last week, she had to take a break when she had only half finished mowing the lawn. I just told her to make herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and sit down for a while - and as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well pour me one too.
I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support Julie. I'm not saying that showing this much consideration is easy. Many men will find it difficult. Nobody knows better than I do how frustrating women can be as they get older.
However, just use a little tact and less criticism of your ageing wife and all will be well. After all, we are put on this earth to help each other.
A few days later, this letter showed up in the “letters to the editor” in response:
Letter # 2 from Julie (Ron’s wife):
Warning to men
THIS is in response to Ron (GDN, April 29). Men must remember that their charity towards their wives or lack thereof will not be forgotten. By charity, I do not mean understanding how difficult it is for a woman to unnaturally yield to a life of slavery to her husband. The result is cruelty and neglect and I will accept neither.
Is this normal among "ageing women"? Yes. My name is Julie. If you read my husband Ron's letter you would realise how Ron is selfish and domineering towards me, his wife.
Let me remind all young men with a similar attitude that this will lead you to your own ruin, no matter how long it may take. Women are very strong and will hold out to make things right. "Roninitis," as my friends mischievously call him, will soon be as fils-less as he once was.
Not one example will do better than mine. As he mentioned, I spend long hours paying our monthly bills and keeping our family's financial accounts in order, on top of his other egotistic demands. I did get a job to keep our income stable after his early retirement. But because of his great self-absorption, he has failed to notice that I really work part-time.
What do I do with my remaining hours?
For years I have been skilfully funnelling funds off of his savings and retirement funds into my own personal account. Ron has never been the financial genius of this family. He has less than ten per cent of his initial savings left. He is preoccupied with his own immediate pleasure and has been oblivious of this plan since I started it ten years ago. This fortune will not be Ron's.
Real men have nothing to worry about, and neither do I. I know he will not read this letter because he is currently outside Bahrain enjoying more elaborate golf courses. Additionally, several of his dearest friends have fallen under my influence and have been aiding my cover-up for the last three years.
Had Ron been moderately respectful of me, I may have forgiven him.
Alas, he will soon regret his so-called "encouragement," "support" and "tact." Despite his self-proclaimed sympathy, I know he has plans to divorce me. And after he does, he will woefully discover the consequences of his own selfishness, and his dinarless bank account
I would love to make a pithy comment, but I have to stop laughing first.