Al Campbell, Field Editor

November 3rd, 2003

Bachelor States
By Al Campbell

As I write this, I'm a bachelor for a week while my wife is away at Christian women's retreat. In an effort to keep me thinking of her, she left a list of things I needed to get done before her return. So much for my fishing plans.

That revived a thought I have on occasion. If I get to "batch'" it for a week, then why don't I get to act like a bachelor for that week? I don't mean chasing wild women or anything like that, but maybe just the carefree pursuit of fish? What is it about doing the bachelor thing while the wife is away that is so different than it was when I was single?

I have come to the conclusion that there are different kinds of bachelorhood. While they all include spending time in a house without a wife by your side, they are all very different and have very different obligations attached to them. For convenience, and so you will know which type of bachelor I'm talking about, I have decided to name them.

First there's the Wife is Gone Far Away (WGFA) bachelor. That's what I am at this moment. The WGFA bachelor usually has a list of obligations he has to accomplish while living the temporary single life. That list usually includes doing laundry, washing dishes and at least one or two "honey-do" items. In my case it included all of the above plus creating a wainscot wall in the kitchen under the breakfast bar. We're not talking just any wainscot wall here either. The wall must be tongue in groove oak and stained Early American. It took an entire weekend to finish it.

It seems that the WGFA bachelor isn't really a bachelor at all, not even for a week, but is instead the one left behind to keep things in order. I think the term "batching it" was designed to give us a false sense of liberty while we stay home and do the household chores. I would comment more, but it seems I left my wife here for the same amount of time last month so I could attend a fish-in. However, I believe she did some tournament shopping while I was away. Thus the wainscot wall thing.

Then there is the Recently Got Divorced (RGD) bachelor. If I recall right, divorce is that state of being where your heart is wrenched out of your body by way of your wallet. I was a RGD bachelor for a couple of years about 16 years ago. I did a lot of fishing then, but I didn't have enough money to travel farther than a few miles to do it. For some reason splitting most of the belongings and selling the rest didn't improve my financial situation at all. However, a couple of lawyers got to take extended vacations, courtesy a former wife and me.

I remember having plenty of household obligations as a RGD bachelor. Maybe a few more than I have now, except the honey-do list thing. I also recall being pretty broke most of the time, so maybe that wasn't such a great time after all. Except for the freedom to go fishing with nobody to explain it to, that wasn't a very good time in my life I guess.

Then there is the Ain't Got Married Yet (AGMY) bachelor thing. I was one of those for about 20 years of my life. For the first 16 years of that time, I had to rely on others to take me fishing, so I didn't get out nearly as often as I would have preferred. I had mobility the last four years of that time; but summer jobs, part-time jobs, school and college bills kept my nose to the working grindstone. I didn't get to fish nearly as often as I would have like then either.

Now that I've pondered it for a while, maybe life isn't as tough now as I thought it was. No, I don't get to fish as often as I would like, but I seem to get some better quality fishing in when I do get to go. Those honey-do projects force me to buy tools I can use to create other things I might want to make (like fly tying benches and such). And, my wife packs a much nicer lunch than I do. She does it voluntarily even though I've told her she doesn't have to do that.


Remember that complaint I had a minute ago? Yep, the one about being a WGFA bachelor and having a honey-do list. Forget I ever mentioned it. Her cooking is a lot better than mine. She even knows about light colored things and dark colored things in the laundry. I never did do well in that area. I think I'll go and do the dishes now; and pull that honey-do list out of the garbage. ~ AC

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