I stopped by to see Rick this morning. Rick was our neighbor for many years, but after Edie passed away a few years ago, he moved to a senior living community.
Rick is 74 and still gets around pretty well, so it is not surprising that he gets a lot of attention from the ladies. He takes it all in stride, always appreciative of their kindnesses, but with no interest in a serious relationship.
Rick knows a lot about how to handle women. As we visited over coffee this morning, our conversation drifted to this topic and I was reminded again of a piece of advice Rick gave me one evening about five years ago. We were sitting on the back step at his house one evening, sipping a cold drink as we watched the sun slowly sink below the trees and hay field beyond our backyards. I had said something to Rick about not understanding women. I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I remember Rick’s response. He slowly sat his drink down, looked me square in the eye, and in a calm even voice he said, “George, women are not to be understood, they are to be loved.”
At that moment I felt like I was sitting at the feet of a great guru. Rick had just given me the answer to one of the riddles of the ages. Neither of us spoke for a long minute, then I asked, “Rick, how did you come by such extraordinary wisdom.”
“I don’t know,” he said, “One day I was driving home from work thinking about Edie and it just came to me.”
I’ve added this simple truth to the short list of principles by which I try to live my life and I can tell you, it has kept me out of trouble with Yvonne more times than I can count.
Many a man has gotten into serious trouble trying to understand women, and this includes all women, not just your wife. They should have a high school course for guys, or maybe even in grade school, to teach us basic relationship principles like this one. It is all about acceptance, accepting who you are and who she is, and knowing you will never be able to figure her out.
It’s all about love. I’ll guarantee, if you quit trying to understand her and just love her, she will be butter in your hands. It’s about saying the right thing at the right time. It will require some practice but you can do it. Here are five of my best tips to try. Don’t worry, when she looks at you like you’re up to something, just smile and say, “Honey, I sure do love you.” So here are the tips.
“Honey, this is delicious. You’re the world’s best cook.”
“Here, you take the remote. I don’t really care about watching the ball game. I just enjoy being with you.”
“You look beautiful in that dress. Have you lost weight?”
“I’m not sure where we are either. Let’s pull in here and ask for directions.”
“I think it is really important that we talk about our relationship. I love you so much.”
George Brown is the executive director of Clermont Senior Services.