Three Fribbles That Touched One Fool [Fribble] February 25, 2000

Fribble Three Fribbles That Touched One Fool

February 25, 2000

Just completed reading Fribbles "Attempting an Equal Partnership," "Fool's Digest," and "A Different Kind of Fool" and found something of merit -- and something I could relate to -- in each.

For "Equal Partnership," my Mrs. and I have always been "partners" in our forty-some-year union. We have always found this to be the most advantageous path to follow. Any unilateral partnership is just another petty dictatorship. The operative word here is trust -- without it you might as well throw in the sponge.

Initially, I decided how much to contribute to my company's retirement plan because I always saw the check first. But I let my wife know I was saving a little each week and so we just acted like it was never there. She was really surprised at how compounding appreciated our account when I rolled it over into an IRA upon retirement. We review our finances together regularly. If she doesn't understand something, I patiently try to explain it to her. We decided mutually what investment posture we should currently assume. Any man who has an excellent partner and friend would be idiotic not to avail themselves of such experience and sound judgment.

For "Fool's Digest," if it works, Sail On! I've personally always enjoyed reading Shakespeare, also Robert Frost, and I admire a Fool who "takes the road less traveled and by that makes the difference!" Your analogy is a sound one and with that approach if I were to re-write Hamlet I suppose it would look something like this: "Danish Prince Killed by Friend's Sword Enemy Usurper Has Poisoned.... Entire Family Decimated." Old W.S. sometimes took the circuitous route to say what he had to. If the Fribble can accomplish their goals with the simple expedient of brevity, then all's well!

For "A Different Kind of Fool," I'm precisely that exact brand of Fool. Falling back on the partnership proposal I described above, we have always lived purposely within or below our means. With us, it was virtually mandatory that we mutually decide to live on one income -- mine. Being the superb brand of partner that she is, my wife opted to stay home and raise the kids. Neither she nor I have ever given that decision a second thought. Sometimes with medical bills, five youngsters, and one wage earner, we were living more like "on the extreme far-end of our means." But we never relented and it was all done with a profound regard and love for our progeny. The Bible says "What profiteth a man if he gain the world and loseth his soul?" We were never extravagant, but our children were always fed, clean, and clothed.

Doing without some of the frills, we feel made stronger young people out of
our children, and to our credit they have always supported themselves and were only "pains in the neck" when they grew into teen agers and immediately "knew everything!" To their credit they managed to keep their noses fairly clean in our "below our means" opinion, precisely because there was always someone there at home for them. That great partner of mine, my wife. Our partnership over the intervening years has proven remarkably resilient and our children and grandchildren
will one day share in the fruits of our efforts. Like the person you cited, this Bud's for them!