Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nag, nag, nag --- A humorous essay!

by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.
    
An attorney arrived home late, after a very tough day trying to get a stay of execution.

His last minute plea for clemency to the governor had failed and he was feeling worn out and depressed.  As soon as he walked through the door at home, his wife started on him about,

'What time of night to be getting home is this? Where have you been? Dinner is cold and I'm not reheating it . . . . And on and on and on . . .
    
Too shattered to play his usual role in this familiar ritual, he poured himself a shot of whiskey and headed off for a long hot soak in the bathtub, pursued by the predictable sarcastic remarks as he dragged himself up the stairs.
    
While he was in the bath, the phone rang. The wife answered and was told that her husband's client, James Wright, had been granted a stay of execution after all. Wright would not be hanged tonight .
    
Finally realizing what a terrible day he must have had, she decided to go up stairs and give him the good news..
    
As she opened the bathroom door, she was greeted by the sight of her husband, bent over naked, drying his legs and feet.  “They're not hanging Wright tonight,” she said.
    
He whirled around and screamed, “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WOMAN, DON'T YOU EVER STOP?”
    
It’s always a bit intriguing (for me!) to discover how I came upon a topic.  That is, what even sparked an essay called “Nag, nag, nag . . . ?”  In this case, the etymology is simple.  I was exercising downstairs in our house before jogging.  It was 4:30 a.m., and suddenly for the first time ever (I have bee exercising for well over 30 years!), my wife appeared in the stairwell to say that it was only 10-degrees outside, and the chill factor was -10.  One of the things she said was, “Frostbite only takes 5 minutes.”  She added, too, “Even your eyeballs can be frostbitten.”  She knows that I am cautious; she knows that I will come back in if weather or road conditions are bad; she knows that I bundle-up well to protect myself from frostbite.  Yes, in the back of my mind, an alarm went off: “Nag, nag, nag” I thought to myself.
    
An old hillbilly farmer had a wife who nagged him unmercifully. From morning til night (and sometimes later), she was always complaining about something. The only time he got any relief was when he was out plowing with his old mule. He tried to plow a lot.
    
One day, when he was out plowing, his wife brought him lunch in the field. He drove the old mule into the shade, sat down on a stump, and began to eat his lunch. Immediately, his wife began haranguing him again. Complain, nag, nag; it just went on and on.
    
All of a sudden, the old mule lashed out with both hind feet; caught her smack in the back of the head. Killed her dead on the spot.
    
At the funeral several days later, the minister noticed something rather odd. When a woman mourner would approach the old farmer, he would listen for a minute, then nod his head in agreement; but when a man mourner approached him, he would listen for a minute, then shake his head in disagreement.
    
This was so consistent, the minister decided to ask the old farmer about it. So after the funeral, the minister spoke to the old farmer, and asked him why he nodded his head and agreed with the women, but always shook his head and disagreed with all the men.
    
The old farmer said, "Well, the women would come up and say something about how nice my wife looked, or how pretty her dress was, so I'd nod my head in agreement."
    
"And what about the men?" the minister asked.
    
"They wanted to know if the mule was for sale."
    
Soon after I was married, I developed a philosophy that resolved the cognitive dissonance I had regarding the “nag, nag, nag” dilemma.  It’s a dilemma simply because you can let it disturb you, or you can deal with it positively.  My philosophy is: “Two heads are better than one.”  I know, I know, it’s not a new philosophy, and it is certainly an old cliche.  But whether you label it “nag, nag, nag,” which underscores its negative perception, or call it “help, help, help,” which is more positive, it does make a difference in your perception.  
    
Ever since we were married, my wife and I have traveled a great deal.  She is the map reader, and I am the driver.  Whether it is alerting me to a forthcoming turn, warning me of an oncoming vehicle, or making certain I stop in time to prevent hitting a car stopped in front of us, I have used the “two heads are better than one” philosophy to assist, aid, support, guide, and comfort me when I drive.  It’s just a whole different way of looking at the situation.  (By the way, her contributions have always been far more positive (and preventative) than negative (and annoying).)
    
While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for
lunch.   After finishing their meal, they left the restaurant, and resumed
their trip.
    
When leaving, the elderly woman unknowingly left her glasses on the table,
and she didn't miss them until they had been driving for about forty
minutes.
    
By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to travel quite a distance
before they could find a place to turn around, in order to return to the
restaurant to retrieve her glasses.

All  the way back, the elderly husband became the classic grouchy man.   He
fussed and complained, and scolded his wife relentlessly  during the entire
return drive.
    
The more he chided her, the more agitated he became.  He just wouldn't let
up for a single minute.
    
To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant.  As  the woman got
out of the car, and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the old  geezer
yelled to her,"While you're in there, you might as well get my hat and the credit card."
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At the VillageMatchmaker, the essay, “The Person You Love, the Habits You Hate,” includes a special section labeled, “Nagging,” where specific consideration of this “bad habit” is discussed and ways to address the problem.  The last paragraph of the essay is as follows: “However you choose to resolve the pesky issue of bad habits, try to remember, even when your partner is driving you crazy with their unwashed dishes, strange taste in music or endless sea of silly knick-knacks; that you chose them for so much more than their bad habits and that it is sometimes the differences we see in another individual, that allows us to be so enamored of, so amazed and so in love with them.”

At the web site Godlike Productions , the very sexist question, “Why do married women nag so much?” was answered with the following comment.  I print it here for I (with my over 45 years of marriage) support the explanation in its entirety: “Men marry a woman hoping she won't change over time (get older, fatter, less sexy )  A woman marries a man, hoping he WILL change.  There are a lot of women out there, who think their mission in life is to ‘improve’ their husband.”  That is all that is available at this web site, but I thought it was worthwhile enough to reprint it here.  No source was given for the quotation.
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Copyright October, 2012, by And Then Some Publishing L.L.C.




   

1 comment:

  1. Maximillion Ryan IIIOctober 11, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    Nagging isn't such a bad thing - it is all in how you look at it!

    ReplyDelete

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