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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Drano, Tylenol, Men and Instructions...

"Don't you read instructions?" my wife asked exasperated by my questioning her for having poured the entire content of the Drano (or Liquid Plumr) into the shower drain last week (Hey, how was I supposed to know? Some bottles require that you only pour half the bottle and then the other half, as needed).

Without missing a beat, I picked up the bottle from the bathroom counter, flipped it around and pointed to the pictures in the back and sarcastically said, “These are my instructions. I don’t have to read them.”

“That explains a lot!” she shot back.

It definitely does.

Several weeks before, I had poured half a bottle of Drano (or Liquid Plumr) into our toilet (remember my clogged toilet fiasco?). Afterwards, my wife tells me, “You know, you’re not supposed to use the Drano in the toilet. It says so on the instructions.” (Woops… I eventually had to call a flesh and bones plumber to fix it)

Ok, I’m not good at reading and following instructions. I think it is a default of many men; I guess you can trace it back to when God created Adam and told him to stay away from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If you recall, Eve was conned by a charming snake (sound familiar?). However, Adam was given specific instructions not to eat from the tree, and he did (it wouldn’t have mattered if God had written it down).

You would think I would have learned my lesson. I remember when my oldest daughter was sick and about 18-months-old, my wife traveled to one of her best friend's bachelorette party in New York City for the weekend (am I an understanding husband or what?). She left me very specific instructions on the amount of medicine to give her (which were on the label of the Infant Tylenol bottle!).

Since my daughter was sick, I put her to sleep with me so I could monitor if she got a fever. During the middle of the night, she woke up crying with a fever. I went to give her the Tylenol. However, in my disoriention and exhaustion, I totally forgot the right dosage to administer. To top it off, in my just-awoken-blurriness, I couldn’t read the instructions on the bottle (have you seen the size of those infant Tylenol bottles? You need Superhero vision to be able to read the tiny print in the middle of the night).

Instead of giving her the 1.6 milligrams as my wife told me, I think I gave her twice that much (it could have been dangerous). My daughter fell asleep right away (Any wonder? She was overdosed!). She slept peacefully the rest of the night. I didn’t notice I had surpassed the dosage recommended for her age and weight until morning and when I was finally able to read the label.

By the Grace of God, and despite me, nothing happened to my daughter and she awoke rested and happy.

So, following instructions has never been one of my strengths. Then again, I can always blame Adam, who by the way, got another instruction from God which he apparently fumbled; dominion over all living things, including his wife, Eve.

As we all know, that didn't go over too well for him and for most married men since.

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