In his wildly popular blockbuster novel soon to be a movie in a theater near you ?On the Origin of Species,? Charles Darwin explains that the male gender of any species is much more likely to survive if he has a wife, because she will make sure he stays alive.
Actually, I made that up. I have no idea what Darwin said because during that unit of high school biology I was curled up in the back corner of the classroom frantically reading Genesis 1.
I do believe, however, that there is a lot of truth in the idea that having a wife to keep track of a man greatly increases that man?s chances of making it past his next household project. It could be called ?survival of the committest.?
But it probably shouldn?t.
The other week I had what I suppose could be called some field research in this area of study, when wife Hanna took a week-long trip with her folks to visit some family out of state. It was during these few days that I began to understand the value of having someone standing behind you who, despite loving you unconditionally, is consistently rolling her eyes.
Two particular scenarios from this week come to mind.
Case study one: A wife will prevent a man from committing inexperienced handyman infractions.
Since we first moved into our home last fall, Hanna and I have had grand schemes to do some?I?m about to admit to watching way too much HGTV?interior design in the master bed. But very little actually happened after the scheming.
While Hanna was gone, I thought it would be a nice surprise to do a little more work on the room, which began with hanging a very large, very heavy mirror by myself. I knew this would require first finding the studs behind the drywall so that the nails would be firmly anchored.
This is where man?s intuition really comes into play. We don?t need specialized tools and gadgets for such projects. Just knock along the wall until the sound changes, and there?s your stud.
Then the next day you visit the store to purchase some spackle and an electronic stud finder.
Case study two: A wife makes sure a man picks up after himself and eats right.
The beauty of being left alone for a week is that a guy can eat pretty much anything he wants whenever he wants without having to ignore the raised eyebrow his wife has been pointing in his direction for the past 20 minutes.
In my case, this is frozen pizza, and not even the good kind, but the cheap kind with the crust that has the same taste and structural dexterity as corrugated cardboard. But I like it.
My plan was quite beautiful: If I ate only frozen pizza for the entire week, I could reuse the same pan and cutter and never have to do the dishes. When my parents stopped by for a couple hours one evening, all I had to do before their arrival was hide the pan and cutter in the oven and no one was the wiser.
This is a brilliant man technique that works great until the man goes to preheat the oven for his next pizza and the house becomes filled with the unmistakable stench of actively melting plastic.
Which is why the next day you visit the store to purchase some Febreze and a new pizza cutter.
I can say without hesitation that I am very happy to have Hanna home again. Wives are important for many reasons, but without them, us men would continue to act like complete dodos.
And, as I?m sure Darwin would be quick to point out, we all know how that turned out.