A magazine called Forum, which I've never seen, has sent me a publicity announcement about 15 ways we can improve our "love life" in the coming year.
This list was compiled for the magazine by someone named Judith Bennett, who is identified as a "therapist."
I've heard a lot of interesting suggestions on ways to improve one's love life. But never from a magazine therapist. I usually hear them in a bar where I occasionally stop on the way home. So I stuffed the magazine list in my pocket and took it there with me to hear how some of the regulars would react.
"I have a list of 15 ways to improve your love lives," I said. "A magazine has sent it to me."
Cicero Charlie looked up from his beer and said: "Is there anything in there about where to find a good divorce lawyer cheap? No? Then it can't help me."
I began reading the list.
ITEM ONE: Sleep on satin sheets.
"I tried that once," said Bernie, a city worker. "They're slippery and I kept sliding off the bed. The noise woke up the guy downstairs and he told me that if I kept it up, he'd punch me out. I don't see how getting punched out is going to help my love life."
ITEM TWO: Tell your lover what you love about him or her every day.
After a few moments of thought, Little George said:
"Assuming that means my wife, since I don't have a lover, what I love about her is that she does a good job shoveling the snow. I have a bad back, see. But even if I didn't have a bad back, she'd do it anyway because she's strong as a bull. But I can't tell her that every day because it doesn't snow every day."
ITEM THREE: Arrange to meet your lover in a singles bar and pick each other up.
Chester the car selesman said: "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. If I went to a singles bar, what would I want to pick my wife up for? In fact, why would anyone want to pick my wife up?"
Bernie the city worker said: "But if you went to a singles bar, who would pick you up?"
Chester thought about that and said: "Yeah. So we might as well stay home and order out for a pizza."
ITEM FOUR: Brush and wash each other's hair.
"Not me," said Little George. "I read about a guy who let his wife wash his hair. One day she got his whole head down in the water, and she didn't ever let him up. She said she just wanted to be sure it was well rinsed, and she beat the rap."
Cicero Charlie said: "My wife won't trust me that close to her with a blunt instrument like a brush in my hand. Not if she's smart, she won't."
Chester the car salesman said: "I'll be honest, we do something like that now. I got two hair pieces, and sometimes she drops one of them off to be cleaned. But it's not something that turns us on. She won't even touch it. I have to put it in a plastic bag first. She says it reminds her of a rat."
ITEM FIVE: Make love blindfolded.
Warren the bartender said: "That's the most dangerous idea I ever heard. You start chasing each other around the bedroom blindfolded and you could fall out the window without your pants on. And if youdidn't break your neck, the neighbors would think you're a weirdo."
ITEM SIX: Describe your favorite sexual fantasy in explicit detail.
That brought a response from Norbert the Norwegian, who had been listening quietly, as Norwegians often do.
"Believe it or not, I once did that with my wife. I described this favorite fantasy I had right down to the last bead of sweat."
"Was it a turn-on?" asked Chester the car salesman.
"No," said Norbert. "Just the opposite. She didn't talk to me for a month. The fantasy was about three of her girl friends."
ITEM SEVEN: Wear erotic underwear.
"I'll start wearing erotic underwear," said Cicero Charlie, "when Sears, Roebuck starts making long winter underwear that is erotic."
Little Ernie said: "You could always buy their regular long underwear and have it dyed black."
"What would be erotic about that?"
"Well, you'd look something like a Navy frogman. You could jump out of the bathtub at her."
ITEM EIGHT: Don't wear underwear at all.
"I think it's indecent not to wear underwear," said Chester.
"Even at home in bed?" asked Little Ernie.
"That's right," said Chester. "What if there was a fire and you didn't have time to get dressed? How would you feel running out of your house without any underwear on in front of the firemen? And would you want firemen seeing your wife that way?"
"No," said Little Ernie, "they'd probably go on strike."
"My mother always told me to wear clean underwear," said Norbert the Norwegian. "She said that in case of an accident, you don't want to be embarrassed at the hospital."
ITEM NINE: Give your lover a foot massage.
"Yeah, I wouldn't mind giving my wife a massage with my foot," said Cicero Charlie. "With both feet with my boots on."
ITEM 10: Send your lover love letters on perfumed stationery or leave notes in unexpected places.
"My wife leaves me notes on the kitchen table," said Chester. "They say things like: 'Take out the garbage,' or 'Drop off the cleaning.' But she doesn't put perfume on them. Maybe I'll leave her a perfumed note saying: 'Take out the garbage yourself.'"
We skipped the rest of the items because some of them were too lewd for a respectable bar.
"Who made up that list?" asked Cicero Charlie.
"A lady therapist."
"Yeah? That woman needs help."