A man with glasses smiling for the camera.


Jase Graves

If you read my last two columns, you know that I’m now milking this one-trick pony for all it’s worth – including some mixed metaphors. In my previous columns, I discussed things I haven’t done, and things I’ve done and wish I hadn’t – respectively (actually, there was quite of bit of disrespect involved, especially regarding Hooters.)

This time, I’ll share a few things I’m actually glad I did­ – for now.

1. First, this past year, I hired someone to mow my yard. Yes, I could save some cash if I did it myself, and yes, my dad (who is in his eighties) still mows his own yard – and probably doubts my parentage. But considering that I often pull muscles and pinch nerves if I breathe too heavily, I’ll probably save money on medical insurance copays. Besides, I now have more time to annoy my wife, three semi-grown daughters and pets.

2. Speaking of my daughters, I’m currently paying for a series of driving lessons for my youngest and quietest daughter. I still ride along while she practices, which almost always ends with apologies (from me) and a full wipe down of the front passenger window to remove claw marks and tear stains. But based on my eldest and middle daughters’ experiences with parent-taught driving lessons (and my inability to find a substitute teacher), I thought sending my youngest to a driving academy might be better for her self-esteem, my cardiovascular health and our liability insurance premiums.

3. If you’re still reading, you may want to stop now because next on the list is my switch several years ago to boxer briefs. I was raised in tighty-whities, which, on me, basically look like enormous diapers (I know I’ll be wearing those soon enough). Not only do I find boxer briefs more bracing and comfortable, they vaguely resemble shorts, which is useful when I forget to put on pants before going out to check the mail.

4. Moving on from men’s underwear to marital health (I’m convinced the two are closely related), for the past year, or so, I’ve been asking my wife out for a weekly date – and occasionally, she says, ‘Yes.’ When our three daughters were younger, my wife and I focused all of our time and energy on them, shaping and molding them into strong, intelligent young women who know exactly how to manipulate us out of our cash. Now that they are more independent (except for the cash part), I’m trying to dedicate more attention to my wife’s needs. So, when we go out on our dates, I let her know I value her and her opinions by allowing her to choose where we eat – as long as it’s my favorite Mexican food restaurant.

I could go on and on (not really – I’m pretty much out of ideas), but I’ll finish by saying that although I’ve done plenty of things I regret, and I haven’t done a lot things that others have, marrying an outstanding lady and having three wonderful girls have made up for life’s many shortcomings. Oh, and the boxer briefs help, too, especially when I go out to check the mail.

Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal, and The Kilgore News Herald. Contact Graves at

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