Reasonably Satisfied

Every Sunday evening, at about 6.30 PM, my husband routinely sets out the garbage carts outside our home for the Monday morning pickup. As always, today too he first dragged the biggest one to the curb, the one with lawn trimmings and leaves and dirt. Then he wheeled out the bright blue one that held all the recyclables to our front door where I had already set out all the paper and plastic. Then he came by with the lean brown one into which he dumped the garbage from the kitchen that I’d got ready in a bag by the door. Next, he rolled the full carts down our driveway and set them out exactly at a two-foot distance of one another, wheels to the curb. I was thanking my stars for having married a man who went about most of his domestic chores without ever having to be reminded of them when my opinion of him underwent a pragmatic revision.

As I walked about my neighborhood this evening I realized that all men of every size, shape and race were doing exactly the same thing. An Indian gentleman, portly and not as easy on the eye as my graying partner, was readying the carts outside his home. Down the street from us, another balding man, a Caucasian, was walking down his driveway wheeling out a third cart. Across from him, a Chinese-American was fulfilling his duties as a good husband and citizen.

I concluded that while neighborhood watch was “a program of systematic local vigilance by residents of a neighborhood to discourage crime, especially burglary,” it was also another means for a thinking woman to revise her opinion of her husband from “Truly Elated” to “Reasonably Satisfied.”

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