Tips for the Temporary Bachelor
By: Garland Davis
My wife will soon be making her annual trip to Japan to visit her family. I would love to go with her but we have a dog who cannot be left alone for any appreciable time. During the thirty-three days she will be away I will be forced to fend for myself. She has left me alone with the dogs a number of times over the years. I have developed the ability to survive in her absence. The following tips are the result of my experiences living as a geographical bachelor during her trips over the past few years. I am posting them in the hopes that other men can benefit from my experiences.
Underwear and Doing Laundry:
When your underwear drawer is empty, you may be tempted to load the washer and do the laundry. Before taking this drastic step, remember, Walmart is open 24/7 and skivvies are pretty cheap. The same goes for T-Shirts. You will probably need socks also. I used to go without socks until I found out that gays have adopted the practice. Always wear denim shorts or trousers. Denim always looks dirty, even after washing. No one will know the difference.
NOTE: An observation on shopping for underwear. Did you ever go to the mall and marvel at the number of women’s (I guess gay dudes and crossdressers shop there also) lingerie stores? You are tempted to go in and browse, but figure that someone will think you are a pervert (probably your wife). Did you ever see a store exclusively for men’s skivvies? No, because men and women shop differently. When a woman’s underwear becomes unfashionable or stained, she throws it out and replaces it. A man discards his underwear when the waistband loses its elasticity. What difference does a few stains or a few holes make if the waist is still snug.
The only type of store that outnumbers the lingerie stores in malls is the women’s shoe store. As a woman approaches a shoe store she stops and looks at the shoes offered. This is another area where men and women differ. As a man approaches a shoe store, he looks at his feet. If there are shoes on them, he knows that there is no reason to stop. END NOTE
When you do find it necessary to do laundry, you will probably have a very large load what with all your old and new underwear to be washed. Just keep in mind that the washer will work fine if you can close the lid. It has a large load setting. You can jam as many clothes in there as it will hold. I have never seen any sense in all this separating clothes into different piles. It is just a waste of time and water. The same goes for the dryer; it will just take a little longer to dry. By the way, did you know that a dryer has a lint filter that needs to be cleaned? A nice fireman told me about it while he was reloading his equipment on the truck.
When you go to the local market to replenish your stock of snacks, remember to always take a cart upon entering the market. If you don’t, Bud Light will be on sale and you will have to make a trip back to the store entrance to get one. Buy lots of potato chips. This forces the bagger to use a lot of those plastic bags. You need plastic bags to pick up dog crap with. Besides a meal of potato chips and Bud Light is pretty easy to prepare.
WARNING: Do not go into the produce department! Turn left toward the beer cooler upon entering the store. There is something about the sight of fresh vegetables that makes you think that you CAN eat healthy, starting tomorrow. This feeling lasts until you pop the top on the first Bud Light. If you should be overcome with the desire to eat salads, it is only temporary. Just remember to clean all those rotten vegetables out of the refrigerator and throw them in the garbage before your wife returns. END WARNING
Keep in mind, the workers at McDonalds, Jack in the Box, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, and Taco Bell are much better cooks than you. (Don’t forget to throw all the bags boxes and packages away before the wife gets home.) As far as breakfast is concerned, it usually takes care of itself, there is always some pizza or French fries left over from the previous night. Remember “waste not, want not.”
Paper plates and plastic ware will save you from this odorous task. I say odorous because after a few days in the sink dirty dishes grow green stuff and smell very different from the food that was eaten from them. If you are forced to use plates and things, putting the dirty items in the refrigerator will prevent the greenies and the strong odors. If you must use a plate, just use the same one for everything.
WARNING: Do not drink Bud Light and watch the cooking channel. You begin to think that you are a Chef and may end up with every pan, spoon, spatula, and whisk dirty. You will end up with the absolute worst spaghetti you ever ate, except for that time on the gun line. This could cause you to have to wash dishes unless you have a large refrigerator or you throw away all that salad crap you bought when you were planning to eat healthy. END WARNING
Choose a single room in the house or the garage and spend as much time there as possible. This way the house will have little chance to get dirty. That is why the smart man equips his garage with a stereo, TV, refrigerator or cooler, and a folding chaise. The only reason to enter the house is to use the toilet or sometimes take a shower. Sleep/pass out in the folding chaise. She will be astounded at your bed making skills. You will have to dust before the wife gets home. This will leave the house almost as clean as when she left. She will be impressed. The drawback to a clean house is that she may be so impressed with your housekeeping skills that she will expect you to continue to help clean and make the bed. That is why you don’t clean the bathroom. She will be so grossed out that she will exile you to the garage. Speaking of the garage, don’t forget to put all the Bud Light boxes, pizza boxes, MacDonald’s bags, etc., into your neighbor’s trash can about an hour before you leave for the airport to pick her up.
Warning: You may be tempted to hire a maid to do laundry and clean the house before your wife returns. DO NOT do this. If you watched Star Wars, you know that a Jedi can sense the force if another Jedi has been in the area. Women have this same ability to sense the presence of another woman in her house. Now if you bring a loose woman in her house, you may as well install a neon sign announcing it. She will sense it as she gets off the plane. END WARNING
Take a shower every now and then. The criteria I use is when I smell so bad that the dog growls at me, it is time to take a shower. Brush your teeth every now and then. Remember to move the toothbrush and toothpaste back into the house from the garage before she gets home. Otherwise, your wife will get pissed that you have been using the garage utility sink. Grow a beard while she is away. She will be so focused on getting you to shave it off that she may miss many small things you overlooked. I doubt it but it’s worth a try. It’s like leaving a small discrepancy to sidetrack an inspecting officer from finding a much larger one.
Don’t forget to move the weight set and the dumbbells out of the cabinet and leave them strewn around the garage and wipe all the dust off the treadmill. This way you leave her with the impression that you have been working out.
Living alone can be a real challenge, but with a good plan, you can get through it.
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A native of North Carolina, Garland Davis has lived in Hawaii since 1987. He always had a penchant for writing but did not seriously pursue it until recently. He is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University, where he majored in Business Management. Garland is a thirty-year Navy retiree and service-connected Disabled Veteran.
One thought on “Tips for the Temporary Bachelor”
Garland, my shipmate LDO LCDR Paul Reuter, USN turned me on to this page. Like you, I too am a 30 year Navy vet–HMCM(SW) 1969 – 1999–the last 9 years of career at the Naval Hospital, Okinawa. Met my Filipina wife while stationed at Subic for 4 years–going on 34 years with her. Smiled at the bachelor tips–she was gone for 3 weeks in PI recently–had the luxury of bringing laundry to my daughter when I visited her in St Pete FL. Keep up the good writing. Mike Carr