Friday, July 5, 2013

Duct Tape to the Rescue

Survive Your Husband's Retirement
      The first time I realized that my husband’s retirement was going to prove challenging for me was the day he told me how to load the washing machine.

      He was a good husband, but over the forty plus years we had been married, it’s probably safe to guess that he hadn’t done more than forty––possibly fifty––loads of wash. This made me wonder what made him an expert on the proper way to load a pile of smelly clothes so the washing machine didn’t make funny noises in the spin cycle.

      At one point in his career he had served as the Director of Operations for a manufacturing company, but I didn’t think it qualified him to direct washing machine operations. Proper use of a home washing machine takes experience, and I had more of that than I cared to remember––my kids were allergic to disposal diapers.

      After wondering about “hubby’s” audacity in attempting to instruct me on the rudiments of daily clothes washing, I remembered the comment of a high school classmate. He told me that his retirement went  smoothly as long as he remembered to duct tape his mouth. Now I understood!

      When a husband retires, the opportunity to give instructions (or orders) to others goes the way of the paycheck, and he needs to find something to do with all the his acquired knowledge. Often he shares it with his wife, whether she wants it or not. I think my classmate offered the perfect solution if a husband’s desire to share his wisdom becomes oppressive. Surely, a dose or two of duct tape on a slightly bearded face would get the message across! Duct tape even comes in colors––pink, red, white, several blues, yellow...and can be special ordered with a college insignia.

      Since my husband retired, I’ve been studying the changes that occur in marriage when a husband retires. My purpose was first to understand why our relationship changed so dramatically in this stage of life. Then, having accumulated interesting information, I realized that my research might provide a life line to sanity for other women with retired husbands. Duct Tape is one of the more outlandish solutions I’ve come across, but take heart women with retired husbands, life will get better once he learns the ropes of retirement.

PS: When I googled to check color choices for this famous tape, I learned that you could make roses with duct tape.  If you’re looking for something to calm your nerves or for something to do around the house that he may not choose to supervise this could be an answer.

Guest Blogger: Nora Hall is a writer with a retired husband, and that’s why she wrote the book, Survive Your Husbands Retirement. The book will be published later this month. For more information see

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