Imagine a perfect late summer, early fall day in upstate New York. Birds are singing, the sky is blue, there's no humidity; nature’s wondrous bounty is on full display. Some possible activities for such a glorious day include but are not limited to walking, gardening, hiking, bicycle riding, and just about anything that you can do outdoors.
I used to tell my kids, when a day like this comes along, make sure you go outside (that is, get off the computer, phone, and video games). After all, we live in upstate New York; these days are few and far between, and you better take advantage of them when you can.
So imagine my cognitive dissonance when recently, on such a picture perfect day, I found myself in, of all places, a casino for the first time. No I'm not making this up and, yes, it was as strange as it sounds.
Here's what happened: There was a car show in the parking lot of a local casino, and just for attending the car show you got a free $10 casino voucher. So, just to use the free cash, I found myself inside a casino in the middle of a bright sunny day. Cognitive dissonance, indeed.
In my wild, misspent youth I'd occasionally wind up in a kind of bar after closing time, a place known colloquially as an “after-hours club.” What's amazing about this is when you finally leave at, say, 9 a.m. after an entire night of partying, you join fresh-faced people on the street who just woke up and are going to church.
This is kind of what it was like in the casino, a cavernous and dark space lit by the glowing neon of row after row of garish, blinking slot machines. In a place like this, you quickly lose all sense of time, which is probably what the owners want in the hopes of keeping you there as long as possible — which may not be that long if your money runs out.
The car show had been well attended but the casino was absolutely mobbed. We had to wait in line almost a half-hour to exchange our vouchers for machine-readable slips that we could gamble with.
I had no idea so many people, on a positively gorgeous Saturday, would be crowding into a dark casino like this in the early afternoon. By far, the crowd seemed to be retirees, and in fact there were all kinds of buses in the parking lot. So now we know what many of our older relatives and neighbors do for fun, apparently.
Once we got our slips, the next task was to find the “right” slot machine. If I tell you there were hundreds to choose from I'm probably being conservative. Picture aisle after aisle of blinking, noisy mechanical marvels all trying to catch your attention with crazy graphics, strobe-type lights, etc. The term “sensory overload” comes to mind.
The machines seemed to be organized by the bets they take, like penny, nickel, and dollar. The machines we wanted to play, the nickel machines, turned out to be the hardest to find. Once we did find one, if it didn't look right — and don't ask me what the criteria is for knowing if a slot machine is right or not — we had to keep searching.
When we finally found the right slot machine, it was time to play. This machine had a minimum bet of a nickel, but it was explained to me that, unless you select “max bet,” which in this case was $2.25, the payoffs when you win are too small.
So we put in two free $10 slips, started hitting “max bet,” and watched the rows and rows of digital limes, lemons, and stars not line up. I kid you not, in about two minutes we lost everything save for 10 cents.
We hit print and gave the 10-cent voucher to the security guard on the way out. My lovely wife thought the whole thing was ridiculous, and I have to say she’s not so far off as usual, but my father liked the place just fine (he would have liked it a lot more if we had won).
Now don't think I'm an absolute rube when it comes to gambling. Back in the day, I was really into horse racing. I'd buy the Racing Form, study all the trainers, research all the tracks, the whole bit. I never won a lot but I won on occasion.
At least with horse racing, because of all the data that was available, you felt that you could apply some intellectual skill to it. In fact, I knew a guy who, using computers, lots of strategy, and betting very diligently, made his living just playing horses.
But with these slot machines the only strategy I could discern was changing the size of the bet. Other than that, it's just hit the button and watch the light show. Not very satisfying if you ask me.
The entire time I was in the casino, where they make it seem like it's night in the middle of the day, I was thinking I should be out on a picnic or on a hike or on a boat or anywhere but there. I guess you could say it's good that so many retirees are getting out of the house but, if it were me, I'd save my money and do something else.
Even if you should win, there are other ways to enrich yourself besides with money. There's the library, there's church, there's volunteering, and so much more. I guess, for some, that's not as exciting as the potential of winning a jackpot while trying not to lose all your Social Security. To each his own, as they say.
They have all kinds of ways to draw you into the casino. There's the free vouchers like we got, the very cheap lunch and dinner buffets, the pretty girls with the free drinks, and other special days and special deals.
The good things about casinos are they provide a lot of jobs, add to the tax base, and get people out, but the bad thing is it's gambling after all and it's just so easy to lose a lot of money (like $20 in two minutes). I'm glad I can finally say I went at least once, but if I never go again that's just fine.
Did you ever notice how gamblers justify their hobby by telling you about their big scores? No doubt they really did hit it big on occasion, but they always fail to tell you about the countless bets they lost, and surely over time they are in the red.
I used to buy the $100 per year Lotto play because that got you some free tickets, but after a while I realized that I'd be much better off just putting that money in the bank. Hey, believe it or not, banks used to pay interest so it made a lot of sense (cents?).
I know, I know: “You gotta be in it to win it,” and I still buy a ticket now and then, especially at work. Nobody wants to be the last guy left in the office when everyone else hits it big.
The next time I go to a car show and they hand me a free $10 casino voucher, I'm pretty sure I'll just give it away (or ask if they'll let me use it for the lunch buffet).
When you're young, there are many fun and special days to look forward to throughout the year, like birthdays (parties and gifts!), vacations (travel or just veg out), and holidays (so what if no one knows when Christ was born, why let one little detail spoil all the fun).
These are the days when memories that will last a lifetime are made. When you're older, like me, you still look forward to these days, but there is one day, at least for me, that stands head and shoulders above all. That glorious day is Hazardous Waste Day. When you get to middle age like me Hazardous Waste Day is it.
Think about it: No expensive gifts to buy, no stressful dinners to prepare or attend, no travel arrangements to fuss over. Just the wonderful thought of getting rid of some nasty chemicals in a (mostly) environmentally safe way (I mean, they still wind up in the environment, just not ours). Hazardous Waste Day is truly a great day.
For me, it starts off with a visit to the Guilderland Town Hall. I don't know what it is about the town hall, but for some reason the lovely ladies that work there always seem happy to see me. No matter if I'm there for a permit, a sticker, or, in this case, the Hazardous Waste Day form, I'm always greeted with a cheerful smile and competent and efficient service. Way to go, Guilderland Town Hall.
Then it's time for assembling the actual Hazardous Waste. I don't know about you but, if you work on cars, motorcycles, and do lots of household chores like I do, it’s so easy to wind up with all kinds of leftover nasty stuff.
Quite frankly I find it shocking to think that as a homeowner I have to deal with so much of it: leftover paint, driveway sealer, kerosene, solvents of all kinds, used antifreeze and brake fluid, and more. I try to use gloves and all when I use this stuff but still just being around it as much as I am can't be that good for me. What can you do when you need to get the job done?
On Hazardous Waste Day, I load up my truck with all this toxic junk and head over to the town highway department. This is where the town workers and the hazardous waste day crew are waiting to help you.
They must be doing something right, because this year the line of backed-up cars and pickups waiting to get in stretched all the way out to Route 146. It’s a good feeling to know that my neighbors are so environmentally conscious.
What always amazes me is there are so many young people helping out. They make sure everything gets unloaded correctly and put in the right bins or whatever. How great is that, giving up a Saturday morning to help the community like this. I think that's just super. I don’t know if they’re volunteers or what but it’s civic duty like this that makes a community a community. We need more of it. I can think of many other kinds of community days that could really make a difference — mow some senior’s lawn, clean up a park, etc. — and I’m sure you can too.
When I leave the landfill, I'm always really happy, as I've taken care of a big mess that would otherwise be cluttering up my garage or basement. Since I would never throw this stuff in the trash, Hazardous Waste Day is good in that it forces me to get rid of some really nasty junk. Gotta love that.
The only thing I worry about is where it all eventually winds up. I hope at least some of it gets recycled but you have to wonder.
There was a segment on “60 Minutes” showing a beach somewhere in Asia with mountains of used computer parts. Little kids would scrounge around picking off parts that had any value at all. Of course the runoff made the water toxic, which is why I never buy fresh fish from any Asian country.
So you really have to wonder what happens to all our toxic waste in general. It's good that we take care of it, but if other people are having their environment and themselves poisoned that's not good.
I'm a big fan of recycling in principle; I'm the guy in my house who always makes sure the bin goes out in time. In fact, I've been known to pore through our garbage pails, pulling out stuff (straws, drink lids, shampoo bottles, etc.) that really should go in the recycling.
I love buying things made from recycled parts as well. I'm still waiting for sandals made from recycled steel-belted radial tires. These seem like a no-brainier to me. Anything we can do to keep junk out of the landfill is good.
I read somewhere that by 2050 the weight of plastic in the world’s oceans will be more than the weight of fish, so this is a really serious topic that needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later.
The other attraction of Hazardous Waste day is, let's face it, it just sounds cool. When you work at a desk in a cubicle all day like I do, the only hazardous thing you face is deciding what to eat for lunch (and some of the fast-food choices available are truly scary if not outright hazardous).
So for one or two days a year, to become Hazardous Waste Guy is quite fun. Just imagine me in a bright red spandex suit with a yellow cape and big white circle with a red skull and crossbones on the chest as I deliver my toxic load to the landfill. Very exciting, for a boring old guy like me.
Hazardous Waste Day is a great way to clean up some very dangerous household clutter and admire some very helpful town employees and assistants. I commend all the towns that do it. Thanks for doing something that is really helpful for all of us and for the environment (at least for our environment) as well.
One of the earliest memories I have from watching TV as a child was a show called “Divorce Court.” I didn't know much about divorce at the time, but I remember thinking there was something really wrong with seeing this program.
The other shows I watched — cartoons and comedies mostly — were funny and made you laugh. “Divorce Court” on the other hand was sad and featured people who were either very angry or ready to cry. I don't know if “Divorce Court” is on anymore; certainly there are enough other tawdry so-called “reality” shows to take it's place.
No matter if it is or isn't, divorce is a very sad thing. I never liked it as a child and I still don't today.
For as along as I can remember, I've been told the divorce rate in this country is around 50 percent. That is a staggering number, when you consider how big the wedding industry is.
Think about it like this: Fully one-half of all weddings and receptions you go to will wind up with that couple splitting up at some point. So all that money for clothes, flowers, caterers, bands, and of course the bridal showers and honeymoons was really for nothing. That's just amazing.
Then again, maybe if the half that get divorced get married again they can spend more money on the same stuff and keep the economy going. I suppose that's the one good thing about divorce.
It's one thing when you divorce where it's only the two of you, but when there are kids involved it's really tough. Kids might think it's their fault you are getting divorced. How sad is that? No one wants a kid to feel that way.
Of course you could argue that staying in a bad marriage for the kids’ sake is not good either. That's where you have to balance out the pluses and minuses of staying together, I suppose. I don't know about other guys, but if a woman took the trouble to have my kids, then unless she becomes one of the “three Cs” — a cheater, a crook, or a crack addict — I'd stick with her, and that's that. “Man up,” as they say in the 'hood.
When a divorce happens right away — after a few months or a few years — you could argue that the couple were just a bad fit. Maybe they got married in some kind of an infatuation haze or something. You can mostly forgive them for that. Stuff happens and we don't always make the best decisions all the time.
What kills me is when you see a couple divorcing after being married for decades. I mean, you lasted that long, and now you want to just become another divorce statistic? I don't know but it seems to me if you had decades together there should be enough there to keep it going.
What happens when people change, you say? Well, if they change for the better, then that’s a good thing. I've been married for a long time and I'm always learning new things about my wife.
What a boring time it would be if we always stayed the same. Face it, the world is ever changing, and we are ever changing. In fact, the only constant is change. At least that's how I look at it.
The thing is: Marriage takes work. But when you say it that way it doesn't sound good I know. Work is something you do that is so unpleasant that someone pays you good money to do it (not really unpleasant maybe but unlikeable enough so that you wouldn't do it if you weren’t getting paid).
If work is something you need to get paid to do, then how can a marriage that you have to work at be any good? What it comes down to, I think, is that over time you wind up taking the other person for granted, and that's where the problems start. I consciously try to avoid doing this, I really do, and yet it still happens from time to time. What a bummer.
Let's take just two examples. You come home from work and sit down to eat the dinner that your wife prepared for you. You didn't even notice that the floor was spotlessly clean, did you? Well, how do you think it got that way? It sure didn't mop itself!
Now let's go the other direction. You get in your car to drive to your hairdresser. You just turn the key, it starts right up, and you're off. That car, with the fully-charged battery, the fresh oil and filter, and the tires that have been properly inflated and rotated, is ready for you to drive because your husband (at least that's how it is in my family) made sure it was ready and safe for you. Cars need constant attention (just like marriages, how ironic).
I work hard to support my family, I don't drink to excess, I don't gamble, I keep myself clean, and I try to learn something new every day. I thought I was an OK guy, and yet a very good male friend of mine once said: “I don't know how anybody could ever be married to you.”
He was kind of kidding when he said it, at least I think he was, but there is always some truth in humor so let's think about it for a minute.
I can be loud at times (the word obnoxious comes to mind); my brain sometimes works so fast I can cut you off when you're trying to talk (not easy to stop though I try hard to, believe it or not); I tend to control the TV at home and the radio in the car; I have a very sarcastic, biting sense of humor at times (hey, I'm from Brooklyn, hahaha); and I'm sure my lovely wife can tell you many more annoying things about me.
Like everyone else, I am not perfect, but I do try to do the right thing most of the time, I really do. Still, my apologizing skills get a lot of practice, unfortunately.
Consider this: When my wife and I go to a restaurant, even if it's one we've never been to before, I can look at the menu and in one minute know what I want. She, however, takes a long time to peruse it quite thoroughly in the hopes of making the best choice.
Then, when the food comes, I wolf it down so fast I'm basically done before she's even had a few bites. This is just one of my many traits where my apologizing skills get put to good use on an unfortunately all-too-regular basis. Oh well, I always tip really well so the waitresses tend to like me a whole lot. At least there's that.
Just so you know, I’m not the only one who does annoying things. My better half has this thing where she is constantly adjusting our home windows and shades based on time, temperature, and humidity to maximize comfort while minimizing utility expense. It’s a noble task for sure, but sometimes it’s like opening and closing windows all day becomes an aerobic exercise (if it became an Olympic event, she’d medal for sure). It drives me nuts but it’s for a good cause so what can you do?
I watch a lot of stand-up comedy routines, and I think just about every comedian has a bunch of marriage jokes in his act. Marriage is such an easy target to make fun of. Even the most ideally matched couples can drive each other crazy at times, so there's just so much material there. The good thing is when you can laugh at yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously (at least for the 50 percent of us who choose not to add to the divorce statistics).
Comedians sure make marriage out to be some kind of loopy proposition, but marriage can literally be a lifesaver. I was always aware that I snored, but, because my wife insisted I get checked out, I found out I have sleep apnea. This is where you stop breathing during sleep and then snort and wake up over and over all night long. This, of course, makes you tired the next day, but it's the lack of oxygen to your brain that can really mess you up in the long run (potentially causing high blood pressure and worse).
I wound up getting a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine to sleep with, and, while I hate using it, there is no denying I'm better off because of it (and my wife can sleep better as well without having to listen to my snoring all night). This is just one example of how being married to someone who really cares about you can be a lifesaver.
My lovely wife, Charlotte, and I will soon be married 30 years. It hasn't always been easy — heck, as my friend joked, you have to wonder how she could stick with me for so long being the way I am and all — but it has always been amazing to be married to a really intelligent and caring person with such a dynamic personality (and I sure hope she says the same about me!).
I'm already looking forward to the next 30 years. Knowing that we have each other’s backs all the time is a real good feeling.
One time I went to a genealogy meeting. Genealogy is where you look up your ancestors and hope to find somebody rich, hahaha. At the meeting, I met a guy who had been married for something like 60 years. I asked him what was the secret to being married that long.
“Well,” he said, in a wistful voice, “after a while, I realized it was just as well to do whatever she says. She's right most of the time anyway, and it just makes it so much easier.”
So there you go, right from the horse’s mouth, as they say.
I didn't like the show “Divorce Court” as a kid, I don't like divorce as an adult, and I'm doing my best to make sure the “50 percent of all marriages wind up in divorce” statistic doesn't get any worse. It's not always easy but I try. Remember, guys — happy wife, happy life!
Something I've been dreading for a long time finally happened: I'm now one of the legions of folks who need to wear eyeglasses at least some of the time. Welcome to middle age.
It started out with having more and more trouble reading the morning newspaper. I could still do it without eyeglasses, but it was getting difficult seeing the smaller print (like the clue in the Jumble puzzle picture).
This condition is called presbyopia. What happens is your lenses lose elasticity as you age, so you can't focus up close like you used to. When this happens, whether you like it or not, eyeglasses become a part of your life.
I know I shouldn't complain. I went over 56 years before having to deal with this hassle. I remember having a friend when I was a kid who had eyeglasses with lenses so thick they looked like the proverbial bottom of a coke bottle.
So I've been very fortunate all these years. Even now, when I renew my driver's license, I can pass the eye test with no problem. Still, I'm a voracious reader, so eyeglasses are now one more thing I have to deal with.
Getting eyeglasses is one thing. Getting the right eyeglasses is another thing entirely. I've actually had several pairs of eyeglasses over the years. I'm slightly near-sighted, so I'd use these when going to a movie, a football game, or any event where the action was far away. Not that I couldn't see without them; they just made everything a little bit sharper. They came in handy that way but I could easily do without them and often did.
So now, being that I need eyeglasses to read, why not try to get one pair to do everything? Even I know about bifocals, so that's what I had made.
The problem with them is now you have a compromise. They work OK for distance, as long as they don't slide down your nose too much. But for reading you have to look through the bottom part of the lens, which affects where you place your book, newspaper, or whatever.
Having to look down while keeping your head straight gets old fast. An even bigger problem is they were useless for using a computer — that middle distance was just blurry no matter what I did. So much for compromise.
I wound up having another pair made for reading and using a computer. If I combine this pair with my distance pair I'm pretty much covered (though having a magnifying glass available, especially when working on cars or whatever, still comes in handy quite often).
So now the problem becomes the one I've always had with eyeglasses: Where do you carry them? Where does a man find a spot on his person for two pair of eyeglasses that will be convenient anytime — in a suit at work or in a T-shirt and shorts on the weekend.
I haven't figured it out, and I'm pretty sure I don't want to start carrying a purse around. Sigh. It's always something.
I basically just leave the reading and computer glasses at work, and keep the distance glasses in whatever jacket pocket I'm wearing at the time. Then I have some older glasses for reading — the kind you can buy off the rack at the drugstore — strategically placed around the house.
So I hope with all that going on I can find a pair of eyeglasses when I need them. Not an ideal situation but I haven't yet figured out anything better.
I know a guy who keeps his eyeglasses on a cord that goes around his neck, so they are hanging on him at all times. Very convenient, but I just can't handle that "look," pardon the pun.
Believe me, I'm not a vain person — if you've seen my goofy ties and T-shirts you know I don't give a flip about dressing stylishly. But going to the hanging eyeglasses is just too close to having a cane or walker for me, so I'll pass on that for now at least.
Funny story when I tried to pick out a frame. I looked at the various display pictures at the vision center, and found one of a really handsome guy in a nice and relaxing summertime pose. It was a great picture. So I asked to try on those frames.
The people in the store basically laughed them off my face because the glasses looked so bad on me (they claimed). I have no sense of style to speak of, I know that, but if they looked so good on the guy in the picture, how could they possibly have looked all that bad on me? I can't figure it out.
Then again, my wife and daughter always point out that I often wear my jeans "crooked." I don't even know what this means, so I guess I should just let someone else pick out my frames.
I've heard it said that wearing eyeglasses makes one look more intelligent. Huh? To me someone wearing eyeglasses looks like someone that needs vision correction. How that look ever got matched up with intelligence is beyond me.
It's to the point that some folks actually get eyeglasses made with clear lenses just so they can have that so-called intelligent look. Man, I just don't get that at all. That is something I would never, ever do.
Then there's the way eyeglasses seem to slowly creep down your nose; how they steam up when you drink coffee; how they force you to look in certain spots of the lens; how they distort if you look in the wrong spot; how they constantly need to be cleaned, no matter how careful you are with them; how you always have to watch out lest you drop, sit on, or lose them; how they leave red spots on the bridge of your nose when you wear them for a long time; and the worst part, that you have one or two more things to carry around and be responsible for.
I always thought getting older would be easier simply because you'd have less to do, but with health issues, the greater responsibilities, and the overall craziness of the world these days I can see why the liquor business is always so good.
When you see me, please tell me how nice my new eyeglasses look.
I used to tell people I was only on Facebook to keep track of my kids. While that's still true to some extent — with so many other social media sites, I wouldn't even have time to try to keep up if I wanted to – there is still every now and then something on Facebook that makes you appreciate it despite its overall basically soulless and trivial nature.
What brings this up is a post someone made recently that said, roughly: “My husband may not be the handsomest or funniest or make the most money, but I always wake up with a clean sink and that's good enough for me.”
Let me tell you my lovely wife could have written that because it fits me to a T.
When I was small, my dear departed mom did most of the cooking, until my father discovered his inner “Molto Mario” and took over. Regardless of who was cooking, they both knew the same two things: one, if you clean while you cook you have a lot less to do later, and two, you never go to bed with a dirty sink.
They say kids rarely listen to what you say but always watch what you do and it must have rubbed off on me because I turned out the same way.
I only had a bachelor pad for a little while, and, while I had one, I did all the things bachelors like to do and then some; I learned pretty quickly that, while a hangover was bad, a hangover plus a dirty sink was exponentially worse. I get a headache just thinking about it.
Not that I was then or even now am that great of a cook, but I can follow a recipe, and it's just so much easier to clean as you go like my parents showed me. Combine that with cleaning the sink before bed and waking up to a fresh, clean kitchen and you’re good to go for sure.
I can't say a clean sink makes every day a good day, but I know waking up with a sink full of dirty dishes with stuck, crusted on food is never how I want to start my day.
Truly I never saw dirty sinks until I got out into the world — it was shocking in many ways. When you grow up in a clean house and then see what a dirty place looks like, it's a really rude awakening. I'm so glad I never had to live like that.
Whenever I'd stay over with friends, I'd always do the sink for them. Cleaning up others’ messes was not my idea of fun — I guess that's why I never stayed over with anyone all that often — but I just couldn't stand a dirty sink. What a bummer. How can you relax and have a good time with that kind of a mess around?
My wife and I played landlord for a number of years. While it's a great move financially, there are too many negative aspects for us to ever want to do it again.
Often I'd have to pay a visit to a tenant to fix one thing or another, and way more often than not I'd find myself in a kitchen with a full stack of crusted-on dirty dishes and an open, overflowing garbage pail. When I saw that, I couldn't wait to get out of there, because I'm not used to living like that and I never want to be.
The dirty sink was bad enough, but the overflowing garbage pail always killed me. How hard is it to go to a store and find a nice kitchen garbage pail with some kind of a lid? Why would you choose one without a lid, or choose not to use the lid?
I may be missing something but to be staring at empty Chinese food containers, chicken bones, watermelon rinds, and who knows what else all day — I just can't imagine it. Don't think I'm a germ-phobe or even a neat freak, because I'm surely not.
I have my stacks of unread reading material, all kinds of junk in my garage and basement, and my over-stuffed drawers and whatnot need to be seriously gone through, to put it mildly. I simply draw the line at dirty sinks, open garbage pails, and real filth like that. There's messy and then there's gross and that's just the way it is.
When I cook a nice meal, I like to get it such that, when we finally sit down to eat, all that's left to clean are the dishes, glasses, and utensils we are using to eat with. That's not always easy to do.
Roasting pans stay hot for a while and, depending on the number of dishes you serve, there may be a lot of things to clean. Still, I'm often able to accomplish this if I'm left alone and “get in the zone” when I cook. This means ignoring phone calls and other distractions and just keeping to the task at hand.
I even refuse help in the kitchen when I'm really going to town, because another body just gets in the way. So I'll let my wife do the entertaining while I finish up the meal, for example. Works for me.
On special occasions, like anniversaries and birthdays, I might take my wife to a fancy restaurant. What should be a very nice experience dampens quickly when you spend lots of money getting wined and dined and then come home to a sink full of dirty dishes that the kids left.
So, while the stripe on the credit card is still warm, I'm at the sink cleaning up a mess I had nothing to do with (well I did have the kids, haha). That's always a bummer. Wait until they have their own sinks to clean.
I say I'm not germ-phobic yet I must admit I rate restaurants on the cleanliness of their bathrooms. The thing is, you have to give them some leeway, because all it takes is one gross inconsiderate slob to ruin a bathroom; we all know that. Still, if a bathroom is nice and tidy, you figure the kitchen is too and that's a good thing.
I know one thing — when I go to a restaurant where there's a tropical fish tank in the waiting area, if the water is so dark you can barely see the fish, I turn right around and walk out. I mean, if you let your fish tank go what else do you let go, jeez.
I may not be the perfect husband — I'm far from it, in fact —but at least my sink is always clean, and that's something.