Sunday, March 27, 2016

Jack, The Husband Whisperer

Truth be told, we have been away. We took a sun break to escape the dreary, dank, dismal weather. We went to a resort that offered both beach time and lovely restaurants. We enjoyed relaxing days of sunshine and lovely nights of stars and lapping waves.We dined in each of the five restaurants. Each one was different and each one had an atmosphere which required, according to my Jack, more than flip-flops and cargo shorts.

During the day, we loved the beach places to grab something to eat. However in the evening, we dressed for dinner at the fancy restaurants. I wore simple dresses and Jack wore slacks and a nice shirt. No flip-flops. We were not fancy, but we did not look like we had just come from the beach. Can you tell where this is going?

The tables in each restaurant were set with lovely linens, china, silver and crystal. I love that after a day on the beach, sunning and swimming, we dressed up in the evening. We went to dinner on the early side and because of this, we had a ringside seat to observe other couples coming into the restaurant. It took no time at all for my husband to become a fashion critic and behavior analyst. 

As these couples came into the restaurant, Jack commented on their attire and mannerisms. He said countless times that the woman was dressed nicely and her companion was dressed to meet his bros at a sports bar. She was in low heels and he was in flip-flops. The husband often had his hands in his pockets, slouchy and looking bored beyond belief.

Each restaurant required couples to check in, stating their room number and name. The woman in nine out of ten couples did the talking while the man was two steps back, hands in pockets. How odd these couples looked! Wife all dressed up and beach boy following as they were escorted to their table. Every night it was the same story. Jack began to rate them by number. To receive his "ten" rating, the couple needed to match......... she in a nice dress, and he in slacks, no flip flops, and hands out of pocket. There were not many "tens". 

As couples filled in the empty tables. Jack then commented on appropriate dinner table etiquette. He said more than once, wives that use their cell phones at the dinner table should be taken to their room and have "the daylights" spanked out of their bottoms. 

By the third night, Jack had a plan. He wanted to take these poorly clad, laid back men to task and run a "fashion and manners camp". He could become the husband whisperer. These men needed teaching and Jack would take on the job. He wanted to teach them proper etiquette in attire and dinner table conversation. The men should be the ones speaking upon entering the restaurant, not the wives. When a "ten couple" walked by our table, Jack would nod and smile. There were not many opportunities to nod and smile. I began to enjoy these sessions as Jack continued to explain that male attire needs to compliment the attire of the women. Beach attire is for casual dining; flip-flops are for the beach, cell phones are not at the table and conversation is essential. 

So what is this all about? Jack wants the men to step up. He wants the men dressing their part and he thinks this dressing will honor their women. He wants these men to engage in conversation with their wives. He wants those cell phones put away. 

Now once home, Jack wanted to say a few things. He hasn't written in a long time, but he felt that for this post, he had something to say. 

Jack here...OK, guys.  This is a message for you.  It all boils down to three things: communication, respect and affection.  Regardless if TTWD for you is about behavior modification, role affirmation, or a precursor to intimacy, YOU need to take the lead.  

If you packed your duffel bag with rolled-up cargo pants, flip-flops and NASCAR logo T-shirts, then you and your lady are not communicating about where you're going and what the expectations will be.  T-shirts and flip-flops are great if you're taking her to the Subway sandwich shop or a beach bar, but not if you're going out to an upscale restaurant...even a resort restaurant.  Pack those slacks and collared shirts and decent shoes.  You know she'll dress in smart attire, after all, you had to tote her heavy bags with multiple pairs of shoes, dresses, and makeup.

Respect yourself and your partner; take the lead.  Open the doors, take her by the arm or hold her hand, and you do the talking to cab drivers, matradees, and waiters.  Stand up straight, pull the hands out of your pockets, and don't slouch with elbows on the table.  Set the tone at the cell phones.  Be the one in charge!

Did you show her affection, compliment her, smile and be proud that the two of you are out in public together.  Lead the conversation, be there for her as you expect her to be there for you.
Men need to do more than just their part, they need to take charge and then all of the TTWD work will pay off.  You just can't take her over your knee if you haven't set the tone, established expectations and led the way.  Jack



Thanks. L.


  1. Mere and jack,,this is wonderful. Mere you are a very good writer and Jack you haven't written on this blog very much but when you do ,,it is good.,,you both are great together.


  2. Wow. Sounds like a wonderful get away for you two. It is interesting to watch other couples together. Alot can be said about a relationship from an observation. Jack's observation and following comments were a powerful statement. I appreciate the way in which you both set a great example for others.

  3. Love this post! Thank you for sharing, Jack and Mere. Hey Jack, if I am ever lucky enough to find another man I want in my life and he doesn't quite measure up to a 10, I will be sure to send him along to you for training. ;)

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

  4. thank-you for sharing - loved reading both of your observations

  5. Wise words, Jack! Oops, I just did the speaking for us as we checked into a lovely hotel. But it's okay. My husband asked me to check in while he dealt with the valet. Thankfully, my wonderful man is always careful about how he dresses. I've seen him outdress interviewers many times. Love the pics. We are looking forward to these couple of days away in a sweet old fashioned Southern town on the coast.

  6. Loved reading this post from both of you Meredith and Jack. We are quite often shocked how people are attired whilst dining out. So I totally agree Jack men should dress appropriately.

    I love watching other couples interacting to see how well they seem to get along.
    Hugs Lindy

  7. Wise words from you both. I do love it when Sam takes my hand and leads. Last week on our way into a restaurant, someone called us the "newlyweds" in jest. I took it as a compliment. Love to dress for Sam, too.

    Please thank Jack for his contribution. We forget how nice it is to feel a male presence and point of view here in blogland.

    Ella Smiling

  8. This is an excellent post. Over the years whether away or at home we have seen countless displays of this lack of consideration for each other, I've always been glad that it wasn't us. I think the advice Jack gives is essential for ttwd to work well and I especially LOVE the last line of your post. It is so very true.
    Thanks for writing this Jack and thanks Meredith for posting it.

  9. Sounds like you had a great trip, Meredith and Jack! :) I found your post very thought provoking.

    Vanilla or Not, manners are everything! Good manners will take you places too! they can mean the difference between landing a job and not, and many more things. That is what you are talking about here. Sadly, it is what I have come to notice is missing more and more in today's society.

    Toilet seats left in the up position, people chewing with their mouths open, no thought about holding doors for elders, or women... or giving up a seat on crowded transportation for someone who needs it. Kinda sad really! In thinking of this, beyond ttwd, I hope that my kids teach their kids anyway. And on and on! Sorry about my tangent, but you are right on here! It got me going! LOL!

    We are all lucky here with ttwd! In our own ways, as our dynamics have evolved, we know that there is a way to love much more deeply... to pay attention to the other, value them. Part of that is doing all these things that you talk about. Most people don't have that kind of knowledge- don't really know that in every day living with their relationships, they perhaps have been too busy to notice that the one person who should come first, does not any more. We have learned about communicating better, listening better, and all of that stuff. And though we may not always get it right, we know what to strive for. LUCKY! That is what we are! You both noticed that as you sat at the dinner table! It made you see how far you have come, beyond the special, regular, everyday, love that you have built together! It's a HUGE blessing!

    I've rambled on enough! As Usual! LOL! Thanks for sharing and giving me a chance to exercise my brain this morning! Many hugs to you both,

    <3 Katie

  10. Glad you enjoyed your trip.

    Life today is sure different nowadays. Very few occasions to play 'dress up' or at least my version of 'dress up'. Now, anything goes.

    It's the table etiquette that bothers me more than the dress. Like Katie, talking with your mouth full, shoveling food into the mouth as if they're starving, head down, or God Forbid, even sniffing the food are all things that drive me bonkers. The dress - not so much.

  11. It all comes down to respect and good manners, doesn't it? I'd like to think that ttwd couples don't exhibit the kind of behaviour that you and Jack describe. We had a similar experience on holiday recently. There was a dress code in the hotel restaurant but it was not enforced, anything seemed to go. Harry and I dressed up, attracting attention but I think it was probably of the "Who do they think they are?" kind! It's very sad that manners have declined over the years. As my parents and Harry's drummed into us from an early age, "Good manners cost nothing."

  12. Nice post both of you. I agree with the principles here. Respect, attentiveness by making time for one another without phones etc. I am terrible regarding my phone. :(
    I really love when we can be more formal at times.
    I do believe that everyone's perception of manners can be different. My guy and I differ some. He was raised with cultural differences that put more emphasis on be quiet and eat, whereas my large family emphasized discourse and etiquette around the table. I've gotten into some trouble with my bossiness in this area. I'm not saying my husband is a mannerless guy just that he does things differently. However he always dresses for the occasion and loves when I do as well. He opens doors, and walks with me making sure I'm always okay, among many other things! Thanks you two!

  13. This actually made me teary. We are still struggling to find our way but he is trying so hard. It's not a "natural" thing for him to lead but when we are out in public we are most definitely in the present and with each other and I feel like the luckiest lady in the world. I do wish there were some class for a couple like us. Plz know your blog is a HUGE help. Glad you two had fun!

  14. Love, love, love. I love this post from both you and Jack. I had TBG read it to and he really agreed with Jack. I knew he would and was laughing as I read it. Manners and etiquette are so important!! And very important to teach your children!