Home alone

He missed his wife

My maternal grandmother suffered a heart attack when she was in her seventies, so my mom went to be with her. My dad would have to fend for himself for one or two nights, which was somewhat of a problem since he:  a.) Would be lonely b.) Couldn’t boil water c.) Probably wouldn’t be able to sleep without my mother next to him.

At the time, I was married, in my twenties and lived in Manhattan. My parents lived in Queens, which was an hour train ride away. I knew what I had to do: Visit dad after work to prepare dinner for him and keep him company for an hour or two. Here I am, forty years later, and I can remember that evening like it was yesterday. I was doing a good deed for my mom, but it was crazy! She was guilty leaving him; he was a baby, and I was a dutiful daughter.  It would take Sigmund a lifetime to figure out what that was all about.

It doesn’t matter that it’s now 2010. Some men and women today are just like my mom and dad were decades ago.  I don’t know who is worse off, the man who can’t be without his mate, or the woman who worries that her man will fall apart if she leaves for a few days. Some women I know refuse to leave their husbands to enjoy time on their own.

Men can be such babies. But is it really necessary for us to pacify them so.

4 Responses to “Home alone”

  1. Heather says:

    I am sooo fortunate to be married to the perfect man. On the few occasions when I’ve had to abandon him in order to care for an ill family member, he has risen to the occasion and proven himself to be a better cook and keeper of the house than I am.
    We have raised 12 children between us (not all of them our own) and ‘Mr Perfect’ has always put his hand to just about every task without being asked to. When he sees that something needs doing, he takes care of it, be it doing the dishes or picking up ‘dog blessings’. He cooks, launders, irons, cleans, counsels, repairs, gardens, shops, and pretty much excels at just about every task that circumstances have required of him. And…he has always worked a full week for over 45 years. He has a great personality, is very smart, is good looking, charming, faithful, considerate, loving, kind, gentle, quietly spoken and generous.
    Oh…and he is no sissy. He volunteered and served his time in our armed forces in his youth.
    So…the only worry I’ve ever had when I’ve gone away and left him to fend for himself is that he might be kidnapped by predatory females or murdered by lesser males! And….my perfect man is from the ‘old school’ and is now almost 70 years old!
    I will be eternally grateful to my darling mother-in-law (dec) who trained her sons and daughters equally in all skills and responsibilities domestic. She certainly was a woman ahead of her time.
    As for me…..it’s difficult, but I like to be obliging….floating around in our pool on weekends and allowing my perfect man to serve me pink champers and rare wines, and sample his latest home cuisine certainly difficult to bear for a woman who was raised to be a perfect 5o’s housewife….but I’m somehow managing…….

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  2. Geri says:

    Hi Jessica,

    your comment is wonderful. It was sad, and a bit funny too. I guess we were all better off having men like your dad lead men into combat in Korea than be able to cook dinner for himself.

    Geri

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  3. Jessica Farrington says:

    Geri – You just described my parents relationship, before Mom went out of town she’d have to spend days organizing places for Dad to have dinner each night, thankfully there was always enough family and friends close by that we’d handle it (although Dad was under orders to just go to the diner or McDonald’s if he got hungry).

    The saddest part is that Dad was an engineer and former military officer, he could lead men into combat in Korea yet cooking dinner was beyond him.

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  4. Heather Chapple says:

    In a word NO….it is sooooooo nice for both partners to have time to themeselves. Like you say there is more to it then meets the eye!

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