Nagged to Death

Posted on May 17, 2014 under Storytelling with one comment





Surely it must be spring.   Our property straddles the town and county so we have the best of both worlds.  We don’t have to worry about the well going dry, yet we are so close to nature that we can see it and touch it.  So close, in fact, that a bear was seen at our next door neighbor’s garbage can a few years back.  Because we are in a quiet neighborhood and can’t hear any traffic, the sounds of nature are easily discernable … especially at 4:30 in the morning.

These days, the first sound we hear, even before our radio alarm goes off, is the chirping of dozens of birds.  Is there any sweeter sound known to mankind, besides the sound of your spouse’s voice?  If you listen carefully, there is a distinct pattern that repeats itself every day.  It never gets tiresome.

However, in the real world of humans, things are quite different.  Repeated sounds can sometimes get quite irritating and, according to a study out of Denmark, can be life threatening.

You see, researchers have discovered that men who are nagged incessantly by their spouses have a shorter life expectancy.  By ten years.  Men who are perpetually nagged are 2.5 times more likely to die than their un-nagged counterparts.  I haven’t yet delved into the research to see how they collected this empirical evidence.  I’m only guessing here, but they probably did a survey of some sort and then followed these men until they died.   For some it would have been a very short study.

I saw a documentary recently about researchers who followed 14,000 people in a retirement community in California for over thirty years.  A disproportionate number of these people are in their nineties and several are 100+.  How did they achieve longevity?  Besides good genetics, a healthy lifestyle and a glass of wine every day, many attributed their good health to companionship and, dare I say, intimacy.  Many of these folks were still “romantically inclined”.  It is quite obvious that nagging was not a part of the daily diet.  (Evidently somebody was being nagged!  – Editor)

I am here to state, unequivocally, that I am not amongst those poor men who suffer spousal indignation on a daily basis.  It is only occasionally that I am reminded of my shortcomings.

Of course, the study also questioned the naggers.  They were surprised and a bit miffed that their spouses had singled them out for their unending chastisements.  One lady, who requested anonymity, suggested that men need to be nagged “because they are defective”.  Well, that pretty well sums it up into one tidy package.

Ever since I read about the study, I am more conscious of the birds outside of our bedroom window.  I am tempted to contact a local ornithologist and ask about the habits of our feathered friends.  I am now starting to have my doubts that the sounds I am hearing are mating calls.

If humans can be nagged to death, is it possible that the animal kingdom is any different?  Could the constant din in the wee hours of the morning be a female bird scolding her mate?

I guess we’ll have to get a government grant and do a study.  It’s for the birds, if you ask me.



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