Ask Johanna:

Dear Johanna,

My husband never seems to remember what I have said to him.  For instance, if I tell him I want him to take the garbage out, he nods his head and smiles at me, as if he knows what I’m saying and is going to jump right up and do my bidding.  But then, hours go by and the garbage is still sitting there, lonely.  How do I know if he is hard of hearing or has Alzheimer’s?

Ignored in Ithaca

Dear Ignored,

If  he doesn’t remember you telling him that dinner is on the table, he may need to get his ears checked.  If he wanders around the neighborhood in his boxer shorts, it’s Alzheimer’s.  If  he hears you when you tell him the game is starting on t.v. but doesn’t hear you when you ask him to unstop the toilet, he’s a man who has been married more than five years.

Dear Johanna,

Lately I am eating all the time.  I pig out at meals.  I sneak out for ice cream in the afternoon at work.  And, worst of all, I suddenly find myself standing in front of the refrigerator in the middle of the night, a bagel with cream cheese in one hand and Oreos in the other!  My husband is starting to say that I am  a food addict.  What do I do?

Fat in Florida

Dear Fat,

You go to your doctor right away and tell him/her you are not sleeping well and need Ambien.  Then you tell your husband you’ve been taking Ambien for the past few months, and apparently it has caused you to exhibit strange behaviors around food.  Works like a charm! 

Dear Johanna,

I am afraid I no longer love my husband, but I’m too tired to make any changes in my life.  I already have a separate bedroom.  I’ve told him we can’t communicate, so there is no use even trying to talk any more.  The other day, he fell down, and I kicked him–and felt no guilt.  Is this normal at my age?  I’m 65.

Anxious in Anchorage

Dear Anxious,

Your reactions may be a little extreme, but I get where you’re coming from.  I hear that in some cultures, once women are past childbearing age, they all live together happily–and boot the husbands out.  I don’t think that idea would fly in America, but I hear you, sister!  But no more kicking!  Just make him a “man cave” where he can go watch TV and drink beer while you hang out with girlfriends.  You’re much less likely to end up in jail!

Johanna

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