Men Stuff

Why My Husband Really Needs Me

Since this blog is about my husband and may possibly contain some information that he finds less than flattering, I should start by pointing out that I am very lucky to have a great partner who shares responsibilities around the house and in our lives.


Here are a few things Ray does really, really well:

He cooks … excellently. He makes a great Bolognese sauce, a killer bouillabaisse, and to-die-for crab cakes, for example.  He even cooks day-to-day meals.  I can’t cook and don’t like to cook, so this is a really important thing in our lives. (Actually, he began cooking out of self-defense. See my blog about this subject.)

Here’s one of Ray’s weekday meals: pork loin with veggies

Here’s one of Ray’s weekday meals: pork loin with veggies

He drives 99% of the time when we are together, whether around town or on a road trip. He refers to himself as my chauffeur and I shamelessly take advantage of him.  Although I think I’m a good driver, I drive 5 mph slower than he does and I don’t like to parallel park – which means we arrive somewhere later than he wants or I spend too much time looking for easy parking options.

He takes care of our beautiful gardens.  I hate snakes, moles, hot weather, cold weather, thorns on our rose bushes, bugs (especially caterpillars), rubber gloves and just about everything there is to hate about gardening.

He also likes to run errands, take our clothes to the dry cleaners, stop at the grocery store and mail packages.  Lucky me!

Of course, I do a lot of things for us too. I manage all of our bills, order things that we need online, take care of the house, make our travel arrangements, and orchestrate our social calendar, for example.


We’ve never really had to “decide” who does what, either.  It just kind of happened over the years.  Things get done. We both do what we do. We have a pretty equitable and easy arrangement.

But there are a few things that he REALLY needs me for …

1.)  He swears he can’t run the dishwasher. We’ve been together 26 years. We’ve had three homes and several short term and long term rental homes and apartments. Not once in all that time can I remember him running the dishwasher.  We have been in our current home for five years and nothing has changed.

Here’s our Bosch dishwasher panel. Relatively simple, yes?

Here’s our Bosch dishwasher panel. Relatively simple, yes?

2.)  Ditto #1 for the washer and dryer. Again, he says he just can’t figure out either of the machines. Too many options. Too many buttons. Too many decisions.

3.)  He can’t remember the number 9. Every time he answers the phone to buzz someone into our gated community he asks me what number to push on the phone. It’s #9 and has been #9 since we moved here five years ago.

4.)  He can’t spell.  I am a former English teacher and a writer. Let’s just say he found the right person to marry. Even with spell-check he doesn’t get close enough to the spelling of words for the auto correct function to do much good. I really don’t mind helping him out, but I do get a little annoyed when he gives me a word like hydrangea, bouillabaisse or hors d’oeuvres and thinks I should be able to rattle the spelling off quickly.  I’m also not too happy when I attempt to spell one of those difficult words for him and he then tells me that his spell-check corrected it.


I like being needed, but I have learned over the years that I should never give him unsolicited advice. His sarcastic response is that he really doesn’t know how he ever survived before he met me.

On the subject of survival, if I leave this world before he does, I wonder if he’ll be able to run the dishwasher and the washer/dryer and if he’ll be able to remember the number 9.

I suspect the answer to all of these is yes.

But spelling? He would definitely miss me!

Cathy Green

Putting on my face…

As I was applying makeup last evening to go out to dinner, I thought of the old expression “putting on my face“.

I remember as a little girl watching my mom putting on her face on the rare occasions when she was going to a party. It was magical! A little mascara, some red lipstick, face powder … and voila! She was transformed into an exciting, elegant woman instead of just mom!


So, I have now been putting on my face – in many different ways and with many different products … for over 50 years. But I realized as I was getting ready to go out last night that I have developed “degrees” of make-up application. Let me explain.

On a scale of 1 (I’m in hospice and don’t need makeup) to 10 (I’m getting ready to meet Pierce Brosnan for cocktails), I decided I was on my way to about a “7” last night. We were meeting good friends at a local restaurant – nothing too fancy. If they were new friends, if one of them was a younger female, and if we were going to a new hot spot in town, I might have tried a little harder and shot for an “8”.

In my 20’s and 30’s, I wouldn’t have settled for anything less than a “9” at ANY restaurant with ANY friends. In my 40’s and early 50’s, that might have slipped to an 8.5.

But once I hit my late 50’s and now into my 60’s, I’ll work like hell to achieve a “9” for a black tie holiday or New Year’s Eve party. Other than that, I’ll live with a “7” for a nice evening out. The women at the local CVS are likely to see me as a “3” and Ray, poor guy, get’s a “1” in the morning at breakfast and about a “5” when we go out to lunch.

Putting on a face to any degree over a “3”, of course, takes time and involves a wide array of makeup products and application instruments.


Here’s what I used last night just to accomplish my “7”:

  • Cleanser
  • Moisturizer
  • Eye lid foundation
  • 2 shades of eye shadow
  • Brow shaping pencil (and powder)
  • Eye liner
  • Mascara
  • Eyelash curler
  • Facial primer
  • Facial foundation
  • Bronzing powder
  • Blush
  • Lipstick
  • Lip Gloss

Exhausting! And, this doesn’t even take into account all of the products and instruments used to style my hair around my face – hairdryers, hair gel, styling spray, curling irons and more!

And men wonder what we could possibly be doing for so long in the bathroom!

Speaking of men, if I would ask my husband to rate his “above the neck” effort before leaving the house on a 1-10 point scale, he’d look at me like I was crazy. It isn’t a concept he “gets”. He only needs a few items to get ready to go ANYWHERE, and many of these are optional …

  • Soap (optional)
  • Shaving cream
  • Razor
  • After shave (optional)
  • Hairdryer (optional)
  • Hair Brush (sometimes optional)


What is even more irritating is that I’m sure that he looks in the mirror after five minutes of preparation and says to himself… “Lookin’ good! I think I’ll have a drink while I wait for Cathy!”

Note: I made the mistake of showing Ray this blog before posting it. Now, he has decided to ask me whenever we’re going out to let him know what number I’m shooting for. He thinks it’s funny. Me? Not so much.

Cathy Green

Why Are Some Men Still Such Ass*****?

Scene: Traveling through Dallas we decided to grab a bite at the Admiral’s Club before we caught our next flight. Walked in, Bill went off to get something and I needed a chair — most tables were full but there was an empty one with one chair.


Sitting next to the table with one chair were three middle-aged men loudly talking sports/business with beers. They had one empty chair — and of course their phones. I walked over and said—“Hey, guys, can I take this chair?”


Action: Three men looking at their phones — no eye contact. All three say glumly: “no, it’s for our friend”.


Reaction: Are these men from the cave? What complete ass*****!


On second thought I start to analyze: Maybe it was a sexist thing — older woman doesn’t even get a glance much less support or kindness. If I were hot and young they may have not just looked up but MOVED the chair and told their friend to get his own chair. Maybe it was me – I can be very direct – maybe I should have spoken more sweetly or in a more respectful way. Maybe the whole culture is going to hell because people are constantly focused on their phone (ie, themselves) and so naturally they are rude — I was interrupting them so they mistreated or rather ignored me. Maybe they were tired and hungry — in a HALT mode (direct from my therapist of old: hungry, angry, lonely or tired – when in HALT, interact with people with extreme caution). Maybe if I were more of a Christian woman I would be sending them vibes of love and forgiveness — or at the least feeling a “Namaste moment” with my divine recognizing their divine. Maybe my parents made me too sensitive to slights that are not even real slights? And so on — fill in your own random self analyzing thoughts.


Decision on the situation: No, they are just ass*****. Or to put it another way—they are just grown men forgetting manners rather than taking a moment to look up and say politely – “Sorry—our friend is joining us”.


Question for discussion: Why do even the most fabulous of women, the most accomplished, sophisticated and even perhaps the most sincere, polite and careful among us with modulated voices and nothing but goodwill toward all have to be analyzing what we did when we did nothing but live or ask a simple question?


Feedback: If you have the answer, please submit it to me at I am longing to stay above and detached from all nonsense. I need some fresh solutions to this eternal self-criticism. This would be extremely helpful and likely save me money on future therapy.


Encourage a man to get a facial? Beware!

I love facials. I find them relaxing, refreshing and, above all, moisturizing. I didn’t begin getting them on a regular basis until I was in my 50’s, but now I enjoy one every six to eight weeks, along with an eyebrow waxing. What luxury! The fact that a foot and hand massage usually accompanies them is a bonus.

I recently began going to a new day spa one block from my condo. Ashley did a great job and my total walking commute was 10 minutes. What could be better?

Over the years, I’ve occasionally mentioned to my husband how much I’ve enjoyed facials. His usual response has been a grunt. I’ve subtly suggested several times that his dry skin … tortured by daily shaving … could probably benefit from a “Men’s facial”. Louder grunt.

So, imagine my shock when I told him about Ashley … “right around the corner” … who does many, many, many men’s facials (well, she does some)… and his response was “I think I’ll try it out”.

I didn’t want to ask why he changed his mind. Instead, I made him an appointment early the next morning. I was happy. I knew he would love it. I envisioned his and her appointments in the future. I pictured his soon to be moisturized, glowing skin. I anticipated his smile as he returned from the experience.

“Walk over with me”, he said the next morning. That was fine since I could make sure he actually showed up for the appointment.

“How much is this going to cost?” he asked as we walked toward the spa.

“$79 for a men’s facial” I responded warily.

He was quiet for a minute.

“$79?…. How often do you get one of these?”

I said something like “not very often” and changed the subject. I didn’t tell him that a woman’s facial costs at least $90.

Until that time, he hadn’t been curious about the cost of my small luxuries. Now I figured that he was wondering about my acrylic nails, my pedicures, my hair color and my occasional massages. Ka-ching!

When he got back from his appointment, I complimented his glowing skin and asked what he thought about his first facial.

“It was OK”, he said.

“Will you go again?” I asked, already knowing his answer.

“I don’t know, maybe.” That means no, of course.

So much for my fantasy about his and her spa appointments.

The bottom line? I encouraged him to get a facial, he still doesn’t like them, and he now knows what they cost.

Beware, fellow fabulous women!

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