Grab a towel, pull back a stump

I was raised by a kind and loving set of parents and although we didn't have a lot, we were probably the embodiment of most middle class of the time. Our home, though, was functional and not fancy so I had to learn a lot in adult life.

Getting married was a definite learning experience for me and I soon found out that the wife came from a little different background and maybe marched to the sound of a different drummer. Most differences, however, were subtle upon first examination.

One thing you learn early on when living with a woman is that many of the gifts you received at the wedding are for admiring and not for use. I recall taking a shower early in that experience and using the towel marked “His.” Now to me, the name alone would indicate the male partner in the house, but I was wrong.

Apparently, I had committed the unpardonable sin. I learned through her high decibel screaming that the towel in question was reserved for guests who never stayed over. It was of the highest quality and weave, so plush and inviting to a body worn from the struggles of the day.

My towel, in contrast, was a threadbare postage stamp-sized older one that shed water like waxed paper, was so thin you could read through it and often smelled of Pledge.

Yesterday while cleaning the bathroom I noticed my good heavy blue towels stuck back in the cabinet where I could not find them. Hanging up was the same old brown towel I have been using ever since Trixie's handiwork became evident in the household.

This towel was my dog Cooper's towel up until that time but now I am using it with the regularity of an old man eating bran muffins.

Early in my single hood, my daughter had taken me to the store and picked out the nice blue towels. They complemented my bedspread so I was really in vogue. And I had enjoyed their pleasures for while I was “baching it.” Guests were relegated to whatever else was left in the cabinet and I never felt one twinge of guilt about them using even a hand towel as they got free room and board when staying with me.

If they wanted a nicer towel or one that didn't smell like Pledge they should have stayed at the local spa. The same for food. They all are adults and should know a single man has no food in the house.

Not having lots of food around also came in extremely handy as I explored bachelorhood. I soon found out that when going on a field trip with couples whether on ATV's or hiking or fishing, if I played my cards right I could count on someone bringing an extra sandwich along for me.

For those of you unaccustomed to the finer art of getting sympathy from married women folk, here is a quick rundown of the methods involved. On any trip with friends and family, be sure and take your own water and two apples for lunch. This ensures that should you be with hard calloused people, you still have enough to make it through the day.

But generally, when they see you have no solid food, they offer to share their bounty and from then on, poor Ol’ Dutch is “In like Flynn.” That saying comes from a very successful early days ladies’ man Errol Flynn so it means you are doing well.

So from then on you are in tall cotton and never have to worry again about having a sandwich, cookies and a cold drink. If you tend to feel like this is manipulation of the lowest sort, I would recommend you bring your own food and thereby leave the rest of us poor old bachelors in peace to enjoy the bounty the Lord provides.

The only way this is better is if there are several ladies of single persuasion with the group and then I could always count on lunch and a dinner after the event to boot. There were costs associated with that much graciousness and breaking free from the matrimonial minded old maids was hard to achieve but still it had its rewards.

Now since I have a steady girlfriend, I am relegated to buying my own supplies or Trixie picks them up. And she is of the sort that she also takes on a project and some other misfit man finds himself full thanks to her extra packing of food in the picnic basket.

So if you are in the mood for a good ATV ride or hiking or fishing adventure and don't have your own female partner to fix your lunch, be sure and schedule your trips with us or Trixie's mom. They always make sure there is enough and neither one of them exact the standard toll from you since they both have their own men to boss around. But, bring your own towel!