Smith: Keys to marriage success
Among the most popular topics for daytime TV talk shows or magazines now are issues concerning marriages. You can find all sorts of lists of what to do or not to do to make marriages work. Normally these lists are, in my opinion, much the same. All seem to deal with serious problems, ranging from such social issues as gambling, pornography, abuse or infidelity to spending money, extravagant lifestyles, dealing with children or bringing work problems home.
Now don’t get me wrong: These are all serious problems and I would guess these difficulties may be a major contributor to our shockingly high divorce rate. They are serious moral and social issues that plague our society and need to be dealt with. But, on the other hand, if you have a successful marriage there are some small issues that are never discussed by magazines and, yes, tongue-in-cheek, need to be brought to light.
For example there are many couples who differ with the serious issue of hanging up clothes. Most women think that all shirts need to be placed on hangers. They must be properly placed on the rod in the closet, even if they are going to be worn again. The same is true of pants. Some spouses think trousers must be neatly placed on the hanger with crease properly dealt with and certainly there should be no wrinkles. While the above happens in some homes, I think more men would follow my clothes storage ideas.
In my case, doorknobs or the top of the door are a suitable receptacle for pants. I realize there can be a problem if you run out of doorknobs but I have a solution for that, too. Just neatly, or maybe semi-neatly, lay them on the bed.
Doorknobs are good for shirts, too, although the knobs and top of the door corners can become crowded. In that case, lay the shirts semi-neatly on the floor. The benefit to my system is simple: You don’t have to spend time looking for your clothes the next day. What happens when the pile gets too big? Well, that’s what dirty clothesbaskets and laundry rooms are for.
My wife does not agree, and many times I’m forced to go on clothes hanging duty.
Jean points out that I probably don’t have enough experience about hanging up clothes to write about the subject. I am going to make an early New Year’s resolution to try harder.
Another problem along the same line is that of selecting clothes. I know there are some men with great taste in clothing, but I am not one of them. I read about a famous football coach was notoriously bad at selecting his clothes. A few times when he did his daughters would lament in anguish, “Mom, he dressed himself again.” I gave up the task of selecting my clothes years ago. Jean loves to shop and does a wonderful job. There is no reason to miss watching a ball game to shop for clothes when someone who is an expert is willing to do it for you. I can’t remember the last time I bought a shirt other than a T-shirt supporting one of my favorite sports teams.
I’ll admit that I’m coddled when it comes to clothing and I enjoy it. If you combine the two issues you can easily guess that I am “clothing challenged.” Fortunately I married a woman who has good taste in clothing or I would probably look like a refugee from the circus.
Another problem that I face is that I am also “lost item challenged.” I don’t know why it is, but things hide from me. Let me point out that I don’t usually lose things outside of home. To be honest, I taught myself a lesson when I started putting my car keys in the same location. Since I started that habit I have yet to lose them. You don’t suppose that if I did that with my notebook, coat, cell phone, remote, etc. that I might not lose anything in the future. If I did that I would never be able to yell: “Jean, I can’t find my (you fill in the missing item).”
I guess it all comes back to organization and at work I was always very, very organized. I could remember every ad, every news story, however trying to find the scissors or stylus knife was a different matter. I can find my books and such information when I am ready to work. But when it comes to my shoes, they sneak off and hide on the shelf where they belong. I’m fortunate that I’m married to a woman who will put up with a little (or maybe a lot) of sloppiness.