Procrastinate now |

Procrastinate now

Today or not today, that is the question. Will you finally fix the toilet your wife has been nagging you about, or will you man-up, offer up a flimsy excuse and live to plunge another day?

I hate to admit this men, but I’m not a procrastinator. The only time I delay is if it involves the dentist, dusting, wallpapering, water heaters or a new toilet. Other than that, I have the opposite problem.

If my wife says one morning that we’re gonna need a new refrigerator in the coming year, by supper time I’m plugging in our new side-by-side. I will have acted hastily and paid way too much for a worn out display-model of plastic and scrap iron and every day until that ugly sucker dies my wife will ask, “What kind of fool would buy such a thing?”

Years ago my wife and I decided over lunch that in the spring we would build a high fence to keep the deer out of her garden and to protect her from marauding mountain lions. Before the sun went down that night I had eight post holes dug. All in the wrong place, as it turned out.

I rush right in when faced with a problem before I have all the facts, or a plan of attack. That’s why I’d have never made it as a Marine.

A procrastinator friend of mine told me he was taught in the Marines, “Not to act hastily or make too many detailed plans in advance because leaving things to the last minute reduces the risk of wasting time on things that may ultimately prove not important at all.”

So there you are guys, the ultimate excuse for every occasion. Instead of swinging into action, just tell her you have to wax the Gooseneck or sort and dust your nuts and bolts. She wouldn’t want you to waste time on some unimportant matter would she, like buying a replacement for her 1942 wringer washer that seems to work just fine?

As a man of action, I find myself constantly having to defend myself. The reason I think I’m not a procrastinator is that I’ve been on at least one hard deadline every week for the last 43 years and for 20 of those years I had three deadlines per week. Believe me, you can’t get that kind of work done and be a procrastinator. I know guys … it’s a flimsy excuse and I feel so ashamed.

Women, I’m gonna let you in on one of man’s dirty little secrets. When you want something done, don’t nag. I repeat, DON’T NAG. I cannot stress this enough. Say, for example, you want a wall switch replaced.

Instead of telling your husband, “You better fix that switch before it burns the house down,” bite your tongue and say, “Honey, I notice flames coming out from behind that switch plate but I know you, with all your knowledge and big muscles, could fix it. Probably all you’ll need are some new tools from the hardware store.”

See how easy and fun this can be? And another word to the wise: NEVER compile a “honey do” list. It’s organized nagging and makes your husband think he’s a “kept man.” Instead, use reverse psychology. If you want the house painted you have to go through the back door, so to speak. Try this: “Honey, my mother said she really loves the faded color of the peeling paint on our house and she hopes we’ll leave it that way forever.

By noon tomorrow you’ll hear the clanking sound of a ladder, compressor and spray gun. (Real men don’t paint with a wimpy brush, roller or anything else that doesn’t involve a motor.)

This is not to suggest, ladies, there aren’t times when you’ll have to switch to skulduggery. Let’s say you need a new water heater but your husband, a former Marine, doesn’t want to act too hastily. The next time he’s in the shower and all lathered up, you and the kids should simultaneously turn on the dishwasher, washing machine and every hot water faucet in your home, thus accidentally depriving him of any hot water. First you’ll hear an ear-piercing scream followed shortly by the sound of tires peeling out for Home Depot.❖