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June 29, 2013

As Time Goes By: A rebuttal column, from management

The Daily Star

---- — In response to last month’s column, Henry Geerken has offered his column space for a rebuttal by his wife, Diane. Responses may be sent to

My husband is oh-so-clever, writing articles that sometimes involve me but I have no recourse but to grin-and-bear-it and/or put things in his soup that throws him for a loss. (Chili peppers and marbles that look like eyeballs being one option; he says he feels guilty with his soup watching him. Good!) If you are a man reading this “shame on you!”

I am a liberated woman who hasn’t burned her bra because I need it. Growing older for a woman is no picnic no less than a man.

One thing a man can’t begin to comprehend is called menopause or “the change of life.” I like my bedroom temperature at night to be around 60 to 65 degrees in the winter. My husband claims he is turning blue from cold. He exaggerates that frost is forming on his mustache. I tell him to put his mustache under the covers.

At times I have found him sleeping with a wool ski cap on his head and woolen gloves on his hands. Good for him! Deal with it.

Another thing is that Henry has no tolerance for pain. He has no concept of REAL PAIN having never given birth.

Birthing is no way close to the description of trying to push a piano through a transom window. It is far more than that. It is like pushing a piano through a transom window WHILE SOMEONE IS STILL PLAYING THE PIANO! A Duet! Standing up!

Now, Henry gets a “boo-boo” and immediately whimpers, “Dee I’m wounded.” He will cry and carry on until I get out all the bandages, gauze, tape and ointments.

Then the fun begins. I spend an hour trying to locate the source of this boo-boo that required my immediate attention. When we finally locate it, it is so small that the smallest bandage in the box covers it two times over. To top it off, I have to kiss the bandage to make sure it is “going to feel better.” Oey Vey!

When we had our charter boat business on the Hudson River I inherited two 258hp Detroit Diesel engines along with a 15kW Onan diesel generator and the battery banks to keep everything running when we were making way.

My husband is 6-foot, 4 inches, and didn’t bend very well anymore to get into the bilge so I ended up doing all the engine room work, such as like oil changes (22 quarts per engine) and water-pump impellors being replaced when they got worn or broken off.

Every now and then I would break a finger nail and come top-side showing a nail that was ripped off almost to the quick. “Look!” I would cry “I broke a nail.” My husband would laugh.

Now a broken nail to a man might not seem like much but to a woman it could mean the destruction of the symmetry of a hand. The beauty is marred! I felt disfigured.

Another thing about men is that they can run around all day smelling of old motor oil and covered with grease and dirt. After a trip into the bilge to work on those “Detroit Drippers,” I needed a good hot shower with a bottle of Dawn and better yet a glass of wine; the heck with the paying customers.

You have heard that old adage, “What makes a man want sex? Just show up?” Well ladies there will come a day when “you will show up,” but you will experience “nobody is home.”

This is a sad fact of life. Men are 90 percent bluster and 10 percent delivery. If you are lucky enough to find a good one, hang on to him because, they are a rare breed.

So ladies, if your husband is going to retire and he insists that he has a job description tell him, “Fine. Let’s sit down and write down all the jobs and the ramifications if they get done improperly or not at all.” “Let us determine who pays for the proper completion of the jobs.” “Finally, NO GOLF until all the jobs are done.”

The reason why I do not ask him to help around the house anymore is because I am sick and tired of doing the same job twice.

Henry likes to start a lot of projects but I end up doing all the work. Remember his famous tomato garden? Guess who ended up doing all the weeding? That’s right me. I weeded and watered, I staked them out and gave them plant food.

When we finally got one tomato guess who picked it and ran all over town showing off the wonderful tomato he grew?

If I wasn’t a woman who grew up in a Catholic household I would have just loved to tell him where he could put his wonderful tomato. But I didn’t.

As time goes by, ladies always remember that as management there is no need to get shafted because we have all the control.

Believe it men!

Diane Geerken is a retired professor of mathematics from SUNY Cobleskill. She is an outstanding seamstress and fills her “spare” time answering the cries of help from her husband Henry. Henry Geerken is a three-time NYSUT award-winner writing humorous articles addressing retiree and senior citizen concerns. Geerken also writes for Sail-World, World Cruising Newsletter, regarding his many humorous sailing episodes through the years. He can be reached by email at ‘Senior Scene’ columns can be found at