When Johnson was younger, he sometimes ate some meals at a restaurant popular with women often called The Ladies Who Lunch. He went there because he liked the food and the atmosphere.
He once heard this conversation from a table behind him.
"That dullard of a husband of mine," said Ms. A. "I wanted to redo the living room, and you know what he wanted? He wanted to make it look like a hotel lobby."
"Only smaller and warmer, no doubt," said Ms. B.
"And I wanted something a little more domestic. I mean, it is my house too, after all. What's wrong w9ith a few ruffles here and there, and some dusters for the furniture? I asked him that, but he disagreed. We got into an argument about it and he slept on the couch that night. It's not the first time that happened, but it's the first time it's happened over something like redecorating the living room.;"
"I think he was just being himself."
"I think he was just being a man about it."
"Jack and I have kind of the same differences ... "
He heard their sighs but went back to his lunch because it was getting cold.
After he left the restaurant, he wondered how many times love had died in a marriage and how many times tolerance came from disgust, indifferent, or fatigue.
He also wondered how many women and their husbands own houses where the furnishings were more interesting that they are.
After he got older, the wife of a friend told him this wisdom: After a woman turns 45 years old, she often becomes less interested in how they look and more interested in how their homes look.