‘Stuff’ is something we guys just have to have

While I was sitting at my desk the other day, obviously just staring into space, LifeMate asked: “What are you doing?”


“Thinking about what?”


“STUFF! What kind of stuff?”

“You know. Stuff. Like what kind of stuff I might want to write about. Stuff I want to be sure I pack for the move (we may be moved by the time you read this, we’re downsizing). Just stuff. Sometimes, I like to think about a lot of different stuff.”

“Hmmph! If that’s all you have to do is think about stuff, then you can help me pack.”

“Yeah, but what if I don’t come up with enough ‘stuff’ to write some columns about and, you know, that’s how I earn a living... writing about ‘stuff’.”

“You’re supposed to be an educated man, a writer. You mean to tell me you can’t think of a better description of what’s running through your mind than ‘stuff!”

I decided not to try to explain any further about stuff to Life- Mate. Only guys understand stuff. Guys have to have stuff. We NEED stuff.

Having STUFF consumes us.

I had to be sure the new place had a storage shed (outbuilding) before I signed the papers because I knew I couldn’t keep my stuff in the house. Stuff guys desire, need for various functions and MUST hang onto, just won’t fit in a house. Oh, stuff would fit maybe but no self-respecting woman would live with stuff in her house.

Oh, LifeMate insists we keep a few screwdrivers, a pair of pliers and a small hammer in the house, along with a yardstick, but no conglomeration of tools that just MIGHT wind up being spread on HER granite countertops. Really, she’s pretty good with tool STUFF but don’t tell her I said that. Can’t have her wearing a tool belt and spittin’.

Actually, fixin’ stuff is not my thing. Psychiatrists and psychologists will tell you that we sensitive, creative types aren’t prone to tools, machines and such. I agree up to a point. I mean I understand my tools — a computer, camera, copier, printing press. You know, the usual stuff it takes to publish the printed word. Just don’t ask me to fix one of those devices. When I said mechanical, I told you all I know about the workings of such stuff.

However, LifeMate can be both creative and mechanical. The mechanical came from her mother. She could fix just about anything. I wouldn’t have bet against her doing a car motor overhaul. She certainly had all the necessary tools.

Now, don’t ask me f rom whence LifeMate’s creative juices f low. I don’t know. I’m just glad they flow. When I met her, she was in advertising sales. A fish out of water. I moved her to accounting and somehow she eased into the news side and, as the saying goes, a star was born. Took to writing like a duck to water. The Right Stuff.

Then, we got married.

She says one of these days she’s going to get back to writing and do a children’s book. I hope so. It’ll be very good.

LifeMate is also my biggest fan AND critic. And, that’s a good thing.

She helps me with writing a column for a couple of dozen newspapers. “Isn’t it time to mail your columns?!” That gets this old mind in a creative mode.

Now, I can sit down and see if I can crank out five columns for August.

Ah, I feel the juices stirring down inside me. Let’s see if I can make one more column to flow onto the page.

And, by the way, I’ve enjoyed our little talk and visit. You’ve been a tremendous help and provided The Right Stuff.

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2012-08-02 digital edition

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