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Dinner at Old Age Central

Division of Labor

On Tuesday, November 30, 1999, The Boston Globe published a personal essay under the headline “Wife’s Ailment Brings Out A New Side of Husband.” In it, the author told how the division of labor in her marriage worked well until she was on crutches. Then she found out that her husband had no idea how to do the laundry so she had to stand at the top of the basement stairs and yell down step-by-step instructions for the washing machine. He couldn’t load the dishwasher efficiently either.

The wife went on to say that she’d better learn how to start the lawn mower, and un-jam the garbage disposal to be prepared if he should “step off the curb the wrong way some day”.

That article was written by me.

Nineteen years later, Peter “stepped off the curb the wrong way” and broke his leg. It’s my turn to take on his chores, and although I wish he hadn’t fallen, it’s my pleasure to return the favor.


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