Dear Ann Landers, I have been thinking about that letter from "Left-Brained in South Carolina." He complained that his wife and children were terribly absent-minded, constantly losing keys, glasses and wallets. They put empty peanut butter jars back in the cabinet and containers in the fridge without the tops screwed on. He once found his wife's purse in the freezer.
My wife has the same problem. She is not stupid, just forgetful. (I once found her handbag in the oven.) I have a few suggestions that could help families worldwide avoid domestic strife:
Keep a desk with a drawer that locks. Anything I don't want my wife to get her hands on goes into that drawer. If I leave it unlocked, it will be my fault if the glue, scissors, pens and stamps disappear.
Have several sets of extra keys. Every year, I take my wife's keys and have five copies made. We have a key rack next to the front door that holds five sets. A sixth set is in my locked desk drawer. When my wife loses the fourth set, I go back to the locksmith.
Figure out where you want the remote control to be, and make sure it stays there. Ours is on the table next to the couch. It is secured to the table with a long length of sturdy cord and duct tape. She can drop the remote anywhere in the room, and I can always find it.
Buy the cheapest pens you can find, and get 20 at a time. I put ours in a can next to the telephone. Every three weeks, I go out and buy new ones. I don't know what my wife does with the pens, and I don't ask because I don't care.
Buy duplicates of whatever item keeps disappearing. In our house, it was a corkscrew. I just kept buying a new one every time I went to the grocery store. At the end of a year, some drawers had four corkscrews, and some had none, but I could usually find one when I needed it.
I hope these suggestions will help others. I love my wife, and my flexibility has made a big difference in our relationship. -- Ted in California
Dear Ted, Flexibility? I'd say you are a candidate for sainthood. Your wife is one lucky lady.
Gem of the Day: You know you are a senior citizen when you don't care where your wife goes as long as you don't have to go with her.