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Why a Man Needs a Wife (Why This Man Does, at Any Rate)

I’m trying.

In addition to all the intimate and emotional needs a wife fills, a good wife is a counselor, a sounding board, an advisor, another brain and someone to stand on the other side of the bed so that making it up is easier.

A good wife will not necessarily pick up after her husband, but she will not allow him to adopt slovenly habits. “Hey, do you really want to leave those old shoes on my carpet?” That sort of thing.

Next week, my three local grandchildren, who are young adults in their own right, will be sleeping in my house while Neil and Julie participate in a church mission to Washington State. The girls will sleep in the king-bed in our guest room. So, today I went to the store and bought a new set of linens, and washed them, then put them on the bed. It’s not that there aren’t other sheets around here, but some are for twin beds, some for standard, some for queen and, presumably, some for king. I just couldn’t find the ones for the king bed. (Well, OK. I didn’t look real hard.)

The sheets and pillow cases I bought are wine-colored, sort of a royal purple or maroon. No one will ever wonder which ones fit the king.

I would not have had to do this if Margaret were still here. She would know exactly where everything is and would have that guest room ready in five minutes. With me, it’s a process. I imagine it’ll be easier next time.

I miss Margaret telling me what she thinks of a blog I’m working on. She would not hesitate to say, “That’s too long,” or, “Boring.” Or, “Why do you think anyone will want to read this?”

You can’t pay someone to do that for you. Only a life-partner of many years knows you well enough to know what she can get by with saying.

I miss having someone to say those socks do not work with that outfit, that tie with that shirt or that coat with those slacks.

So, if you see me looking mismatched, you’ll know why.

A wife seems to come into the world knowing about kitchens and menus and nutrition labels. I’m so ignorant of these things, it’s pitiful.

I bought a counter-top toaster oven the other day. In order to make space for it, I cleared off some of the things Margaret left there—the tea pot, the electric can opener, that sort of thing.

I’m trying.

Looking at the title of this piece, I wonder if anyone reading it thought I was going to announce either a search for a wife (a funny thought) or that I’d found a new one. Not hardly.

Even if I thought the Lord wanted that for me down the road, I’m  miles away from anything like that. As I told Randy earlier this week, I’m not crying every day now. Just every other day.

Some people leave a hole when they depart. A good wife leaves a crater.  

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Joe McKeever has been a preacher for nearly 60 years, a pastor for 42 years, and a cartoonist/writer for Christian publications all his adult life. He lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi.