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‘The woman’ effect slowly civilizes the bachelor

January 15, 2012
Joshua S. Flesher ( , Tribune Chronicle |

An interesting conversation recently was pointed out by one co-worker as a good column topic. So, doing what any other good, responsible and creative-minded writer would do, I'm taking that suggestion and making it my own.


OK, it's nothing as evil or as sinister as all that, but you have to make your own fun, right?

Anyway, we were talking about what it was like being a single guy, a bachelor.

I wrote several columns last year in regards to what it means and is to be of the male species, and this falls perfectly in line with that, only months and months later.

It is interesting to think back about how my life was so drastically different before I got married, had kids and became an (Ahh!) adult.

The most glaring differences come in the way in which I live in my house.

First off, it's a house. Before marriage, I lived in a one-bedroom apartment that suited me just fine. I had a kitchen(ish), a bathroom, a living room and a bedroom with a gigantic closet.

A quick aside, I'm not kidding about the closet. My first dorm was about the same size.

Anywho, the apartment fit me. I had a couch, coffee table, television / DVD / PlayStation setup, a bed that was normally covered in clean(ish) clothes, a bookshelf and a dresser.

That's it.

No kitchen table, no rugs and no excess pillows that are not to be used for anything but to look at.

But as time went on, you could begin to see how, what I like to call ''the woman'' effect began to creep in.

First off, it became required that I use dishes when eating instead of the pan in which said food was made.

To her, it was gross. To me it was efficient and practical. Why dirty a bowl when I can easily eat my macaroni and cheese out of this pot, which has a handle?

These are the things that begin to change as you creep closer and closer to marriage, and long-term, she's-going-to-be-sharing-this-space-with-me commitments.

Now, living in a house with a wife, I'm expected to use dishes and napkins, sleep in a bed and not on the couch, and to wash the dishes when they are dirty, not when there are enough to finally fill the dishwasher.

I mean, she bought me a lamp because I didn't have one.

To be fair to myself, there were lights in the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. There just was not one in the living room, which lit up nicely enough when the television was on.

But that, gentlemen, is why we find someone to fall in love with. It's so that someone can come into our disgusting lives and give it a little class.

Living alone, I had my clothes on the bed. Why? Because I could see them.

Now? My clothes go in drawers or on hangers. Why? Because that's what people do.

It's neater, it's more civilized, but I still to this day lose articles of clothing for weeks on end because they are ''put away'' in a drawer.

But there is something really nice about having that ''woman's touch'' in the house. It smells better, that's for sure, and a sense of order is established. Our furniture matches and came from a store, and not secondhand from who-knows-where. There is a kitchen table where we eat meals, not on the couch from a pot.

And most noticeable, especially during the holidays, there is decor. If it wasn't for the women in our lives, guys, there would be no Christmas trees. There would be no wreaths or pictures on the wall.

I moved out of my apartment and had to fill zero holes in the walls because I hung nothing.

The only hole I had to patch in college was the hole in the wall that I punched during a contest to see who could punch a hole in the wall.

I won.

But those are the things that guys do, especially when they live together. Adding a woman to a living space is what makes it a home, and as much as I'd like eating out of the cookware, there's something pretty nice about sitting at the table and having dinner with your family.

Josh is a neanderthal who is slowly being domesticated. You can reach him at



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