Why married men live longer

I’m only three days into the twelve days of Christmas, and it’s almost April. Maybe I should have set a hard-and-fast deadline for myself, rather than waiting for the Muse to simply arrive? The problem with this sort of writing is that before I’ve written about the last adventure, I start having the next one. Sometimes, I feel like a cat chasing her tail. “Wait, wait, I haven’t made it all the way around the circle yet!”

Eventually, I will write more about Portugal. I have New Year’s Eve stories about Carlos’ amazing multicultural gathering. I want to tell you about getting lost in the medieval alleys of Porto one night, with fog so thick you couldn’t see across the street. And about the towering aqueduct in Vouzela, and the “Janieros” (Christmas carols) … and the tour Nelson gave us of the third-oldest university in Europe, and the library with the bats, and the book we touched from the 16th century.

I don’t meant to tease my readers (both of you), but I’m not here to write about Portugal this time. This piece is to give you an update on the news ’round here.

Barry was doing some contract work, and it ended about a month ago. Suddenly, he’s retired again.

Two and a half weeks ago, he was on his way to an optometrist appointment on his new bike, and he had a accident. Something about not making the turn at the bottom of a steep hill. He got up, shook himself, and then rode another mile to the optometrist, favoring a sore shoulder.

About a half hour later, while he was picking out his glasses, he started bleeding on the desk. The folks at Pearle Vision freaked out. They went into optometry because they couldn’t stand the sight of blood.

About then, Barry called me for a ride home. He was having trouble using his arm.

No wonder. He broke his humerus. Along with one of his fingers. And he poked a big hole in his elbow, blacked his eye, bruised both legs, and made a general mess of his lovely (my opinion) body.

In the three weeks since then, I’ve had to dress him, bathe him, change his dressings, give him physical therapy, and drive him to one or two doctor’s appointments every single day. On top of this, I’ve had to do all the cooking, dishes, laundry, and shopping. I have to peel his oranges.

And I’ve had to take over those tasks that Barry traditionally does: Taking out the trash. Seasoning the cast-iron skillets. Charging up the batteries on the Squid Wagon.

This litany explains why married men live longer than single men. I can’t imagine what a single person in Barry’s predicament would have done. The alternatives to having a wife-nurse are expensive and not nearly as pleasant.

He’s healing now, and we’re getting into that risky period where he could easily overdo it and hurt himself again. Having given him all my attention for the last three weeks, I’m not going to repeat this ordeal. I told Barry that if he does, I’m going to toss him into a nursing home and go on vacation without him.

In the meantime, as long as he is careful, I’m taking him on vacation with me. We’re heading out tonight and going sailing in Florida and the Bahamas for the next couple of weeks.

I think we can handle all the broken bones and wound care while traveling. And we both deserve a reward. I deserve one for being the on-call 24-7 nurse. And Barry deserves one, too, for not killing himself in that bike accident.

3 thoughts on “Why married men live longer

  1. Delayed-reaction comment: Starting another adventure before finding time to write up the prior one is what happened to my “serious” writing. I just don’t have time. Maybe in retirement . . .

  2. Wow. I went down on my folding bike about the same time Barry did, but I didn’t hurt myself so much. Probably that’s because I was going pretty slowly. Good thing, too, because my wife, Loretta, is still recovering from shoulder surgery.

    Calvin of Calvin and Loretta

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