Monday, September 30, 2013

Married Men Live Longer

It is pretty well documented that married men live longer, on average, than their unmarried counterparts.

Many reasons are given.

One reason that resonates with me is that wives tend to cluck and fuss at us about health issues.  They keep us up to date on our vaccinations, they send us to the doctor more often than we would go if left to our own judgment.

Alternative explaination

There is another reason why married men live longer.  We have both the inherent nature and the day-to-day practice of following direction.  We are the pilots who pay attention to the signal man at the end of the carrier deck.

Marriage is a financially risky move.  It offers a tax disadvantage.  Some claim that benefits that were once almost exclusively a benefit of the nuptial bed are now more abundant "on the market" then inside the contract.  But getting married is the right thing to do.

And so is getting vaccinated, annual physicals, daily vitamins, losing a few pounds, stopping smoking, drinking in moderation, and seeing the doctor for chest rattles, sucking chest wounds and the proverbial sharp-stick-in-the-eye.  People who by nature, a natural inclination reinforced by continuous practice, "do the right thing" simply live longer. 

FW Owen

F.W. Owen was one of the giants of the GRAZE-L mail list.  He came from a rural Ohio school system that was serious about graduating competent high school graduates.  The quality, content and grammar of his first draft material far exceeded anything I can accomplish in three drafts.

He frequently posted off-the-cuff essays on the mail list.  He just sat down and typed them out between farming chores.

In one essay he discussed the abrasive nature of the dairy farming profession.  Farming constantly subjects the user to nicks, cuts, bruises, crushed phalanges and broken meta-tarsals and other body trauma.

His wife would give him an inch-by-inch inspections.  He knew it was an inch-by-inch inspection because she traced out his skin with her fingers as she looked.  The inspection was accompanied with a sound track of tsk-tsks and mild scolding.  He bore the inspections least in front of her.  As a master storyteller he had us hanging when he voiced his concern about his wife's apparent obsession with his salvage value.  Was she thinking of trading him in?  Was she worried about how much she would get for "trade-in"?


Mrs ERJ did not direct me to go to the doctor.  She shared her concerns about infections and noted that we only have two eyes compared to, say, ten fingers.  She observed that doctors have really good lights and magnifying glasses, dyes and so on.  She said she cared about me and worried on my behalf.  She asked me to consider going to the doctor.

I went to the doctor.

He completely understood about "the wife thing".  He has been in practice long enough that he has some patients that went to the doctor to see about those twinges in the chest.  And he had some patients that tried to tough it out.  The difference was often a wife who spoke up.

He prescribed an ointment that has an antibiotic and a steroid in it.  Applying it is a two person job.  The instructions do not specify tsk-tsks and mild scolding but I get some of that anyway.

I feel much loved.


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