Dear Annie: Here’s a topic I don’t remember ever seeing in your column. It’s what a husband should be able to do if his wife is incapable of doing common household tasks:
1. Grocery shopping: I have seen so many men following their wives around the stores like lost puppies. If you don’t know how to shop for your household, then pay attention to what your wife is doing. Learn to use coupons. Check eggs for breakage and fresh produce for spoilage. Make a list before going to the store and cross off items as you find them. Write down UPC codes for items that come in different flavors so you know what to get for next time.
2. Load the dishwasher, add detergent and start it. Don’t use it to wash plastic containers that might melt. (Don’t ask me how I know this.)
3. Cook a meal. The Web has an infinite supply of recipes. Choose one that calls for common ingredients and is easy to follow. Learn how to use the mixer and the oven. Figure out how to have all the separate foods ready to eat at the same time.
4. Use the washer and dryer so you know how to set the load size and temperature, how much detergent to use and how to clean the dryer filter.
5. Thread a needle and sew on a button.
6. Pay the utility bills, balance the checkbook and use a calendar to schedule doctor appointments, important meetings, family events, etc.
7. Change the sheets and pillow cases.
8. Operate the vacuum cleaner and replace the bag. – Jungle Jim in Indiana
Dear Jim: Thank you. You may have written this with men in mind, but every person, male or female, should be able to do the things you have listed. For every man who doesn’t know how to load the dishwasher, there is a woman who has never paid the household bills. And in all fairness, the younger generation generally knows these things already, since their marriages are more likely to be partnerships where duties are shared. As it should be.
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