Beauty and the Beast is a metaphor of marriage.
Somehow the walk down the aisle and the love of a good woman changes a guy from someone who stores motorcycle parts around the Living Room floor into a responsible adult.
However, this effect has an impact on a man's ability to independently cope with life.
I saw this when my wife went to work at a part-time job. She was doing news at a local radio station. Not every day, but on weekends I'd be left to forage on my own.
When your sweetie works radio news, she's called upon to talk on the air at the top and the bottom of the hour. When she's talking on the air, she can't talk to you. And before those times, she's worried about doing her job, not yacking with someone back home.
I can't find my favorite cereal.
I should check the time, but I pick up the phone without looking until after dialing. Oops, it's minutes before the hour.
I walk to the pantry with the cordless phone cradled in my neck when she answers.
"Do you know where the cereal is?"
She answers with a bit of irritation on the edge of her voice that she doesn't know. I should ring off ASAP so she can do her job.
I yank open the pantry door.
This door was cut to accommodate a carpet we replaced with linoleum, putting the bottom edge at the perfect height. As the door opens, it comes up over my big toe and catches on my toenail.
My power of description fail to give the exquisite pain fair representation.
I slam the door closed and hop on the one good foot.
The action unbalances me. I fall backwards. The phone goes flying. I land in the plastic wastebasket. The door bounces open again.
A bag of empty pop cans stacked atop not-yet-recycled newspapers tumbles out of the pantry. The pop cans land all over me.
My toe hurts too much to do anything but laugh.
I fish the phone out of the trash strewn across the kitchen floor and my long-suffering spouse is still on the line.
My toe is throbbing. I try to explain what happened.
My wife is neither amused nor sympathetic in the last moments before she has to go on the air.
She mumbles something like "that's nice" and rings off.
Every day, single males are capable of doing all sorts of stupid, dangerous and painful things without any help.
But it takes a wife to remind you that all this happened on your fortieth birthday.