With all of the so-called ‘self help’books on the market today, it’s amazing to me that there isn’t one out there to teach young men what to expect after they first get married. I’m not suggesting a title such as ”The Idiots Guide to Marriage’but some type of guide book for first time males to use as a primer on some simple differences between men and women.

Obviously I won’t have time to cover a large number of these but let’s give it a try and discuss a few that come to me right off the top of my head.

Let’s start with bananas. Men like bananas. I’m not certain that holds true with women, but I can’t think of a single man I’ve ever met who didn’t like a banana. Men like to eat them when they have black spots on the outside since they know that the sugar content has built up inside and they are better tasting. Women hate bananas with dark spots. They will throw these away. Young man, if you’re about to be married and you want to save your bananas, then I’d suggest you hide them somewhere safe, like in your sock drawer until you want to eat one. If you leave these sitting on a counter in the kitchen they’ll be in the trash before you know it. Trust me.

Oddly enough, women are not adverse to overripe apples. I can’t stand semi rotten or mushy apples but they don’t seem to bother my wife. To each his own I always say.

Another point you might want to consider’is getting some type of binding agreement before you enter into matrimonial bless. One that should be covered is the communal use of a razor. The razor blade companies in this country go to extraordinary lengths to increase the number of blades on each razor. My grandfather used a straight razor; I started with a single edge blade, now we are up to a five blade razor. I wonder when the madness will stop. I can’t really tell any difference from the ones I used ten or fifteen years ago than the ones we use today.

Except when my wife uses my razor to shave her legs. The hair on men’s faces is soft in comparison to the hair on the legs of most women. I have no real scientific evidence to prove that women’s leg hair is actually very similar in chemical construction to copper wire, but my gut tells me it’s very close. I can put a brand new blade in my razor and use it once, then try it the next morning and it feels as if I’m shaving my face with a brick. A polite inquiry will reveal that my darling spouse has used my razor ”just that once’and didn’t think I would notice. If you don’t believe me, look at that stuff they use for dissolving the hair on their legs, they should label that stuff as toxic waste, you can use it as a pint stripper. Never put this stuff on your face.

Be especially careful with things you might consider to be old or sentimental. I knew a friend who had an old collection of baseballs signed by famous players. His wife washed them all because .. ‘they looked dirty’. So much for Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. Another friend had taken forever to break in a favorite pipe, it got washed as well. One of my sons had a coffee mug he used in the Navy. For some reason it was thought (at least on his vessel) to be bad luck to wash the mugs so after four years it was pretty nasty, but he treasured it. His girl friend managed to fix that and was very proud she had done such a great job of … ‘cleaning it up.’

Perhaps this self help book of mine should have some sample contracts to assist in the negotiations which should be established prior to anyone’s wedding. Control of the television remote is a given, goes to the man. Power to operate the dishwasher and clothes washer and dryer, no argument there. Not my job. Rights to choose the color of drapes and blinds in the house’Clearly the women need to take control of this. Power to choose what kind of couch goes to the men. Women can pick the wine, men can choose the beer.

Young men, if you want a happy married life, I’d suggest you get with several of your married friends and go over these points. I’m certain they can assist you in making a list so that you can avoid any future need for lengthy negotiations or litigation. You don’t want to get into any of those with your new bride. You’ll lose, trust me.