Do women really live longer than men?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I don’t think so.

Round numbers, American women have an average life expectancy of 80 years, while my gender – I’m a guy. – is expected to average only 75 years. That’s a 5 year spread in my wife’s favor. The question I have is, are women that much stronger, that much more durable than men, or do they just get more sleep than we do? Let me explain.

Keep in mind that I’m basing my analysis on a scientifically selected sample of two, my wife and me, which means my conclusions will be accurate to within a margin of error of plus or minus 100%. Put another way, in language my wife might use, I have no idea what I’m talking about. Now try to keep up.

My wife – the love of my life and woman of my dreams – sleeps an average of 8 hours a day. I, on the other hand, sleep an average of only 6 hours. This 2 hour difference can be explained by any number of factors, none of which I care to talk about in mixed company.

This is where my wife and I sleep. That’s her on the left.
(Notice that I’m missing.)

We were married when we were 22, the summer we graduated from college. When I’m 76, we will have been married 54 years. Let’s do the math:

54 years x 365 days/year = 19,710 days that we will have been married. (I’ll confirm this by counting the lines – 4 vertical, 1 diagonal – that I’ve scratched into the brick of our fireplace.)

19,710 days x 2 hours/day that I’m awake, but my wife isn’t = 39,420 hours extra awake time I will have had during the life of our marriage.

My wife’s awake 16 hours a day. Okay, 39,420 hours / 16 hours/day = 2,464 “wife days” that I will have been awake more than she has. (I had no idea this was going to be so easy to prove.)

2,464 “wife days” / 365 days/year = 6.75 more “wife years” that I have been awake than she has. In terms of “wife years,” when I die at 76, I’ll really be 82.75 “wife years” old. My wife, on the other hand, will only live to be 80.

So there! I rest my case. (Speaking of rest, I think I need a nap.)


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