Exactly seven years ago, following an incident involving my husband and the whereabouts of fresh garbage bags in our kitchen, it occurred to me that if I should elope with a handsome construction guy, or suddenly disappear for any reason, my sweetie might be ill-equipped to deal with the ordinary requirements of daily living.

So, I wrote an essay entitled “If I Should Die Before You…”.  The essay included a list of helpful tips regarding need-to know items that keep life moving like a well-oiled machine.    Practical stuff like how to load the dishwasher, or, the location of the dog food lest the dog starve to death, or where to find a fresh tube of toothpaste or a new bar of soap.

I’m happy to say we have made some progress.  The other day I noticed a brand-new bar of soap in the shower that I did not place there!

At the time of writing the original essay, I explained that the list I had created was a work in progress and by no means exhaustive.  It was intended to be added to as more gaps in practical knowledge became apparent. I believe that time has arrived. So,

If I Should Die Before You,

Let Me Show You…

  • how to change the ink cartridges in your printer
  • how to operate the burners on the electric stove top
  • how to recover “lost” items that have magically disappeared inside your car
  • that the same light switch that turns on the light also turns it off
  • that cabinet doors can be shut as well as opened
  • where the garbage goes once the bag is full (assuming you remember where we keep the bags)
  • how to sort and toss the recyclables
  • how to load the dishwasher
  • how to turn on the dishwasher
  • where to place the detergent in the dishwasher
  • that we, in fact, own a dishwasher

To be perfectly honest, we haven’t yet conquered all the items on the original list. For example, we’re still working on how to sew a button back onto a shirt, and how to order stuff on Amazon.

And some things have proved entirely too difficult, like replacing the drawstring in a pair of sweatpants after you pulled too hard and yanked it out.  If this should happen after I’m gone, I’m afraid a new pair of sweats will be necessary.

I know this is not a happy topic, but there is a great deal of comfort in knowing that after I’m dead or starting a new life with my handsome construction guy, that my darling will be able to find and replace the toilet paper.  And perhaps remember to feed the dog!

Dear Readers:  Twelve years ago, when I started this blog to comment, and yes, complain about the irony and humor of everyday life, my goal was to consistently post new essays twice a month.  I have, with some exceptions, met this goal.  My readership has grown considerably over the years, and thanks to your positive comments, I’ve been encouraged to keep going.

But now, twelve birthdays later, I’ve decided not to quit, but to cut back.  Starting in April, I’m going on a once-a-month diet, instead of twice, posting a new essay on or about the middle of the month.  (This essay doesn’t count as the April essay because it was originally scheduled to be posted yesterday.  So, there will be one more this month, on some random date.) I plan to use the extra time to attempt a writing project longer than 750 words.  Please stick with me and wish me luck!

With love and appreciation,


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