Every woman wants to change her man and no man wants to be changed. Except Earl. It’s not that he wanted to be changed but he was flexible and he was in love.

Rosie was in love, too, but that didn’t mean Earl couldn’t be improved upon. She had ideas. Dear Earl needed help with choice of clothing, grooming and a few other areas of imperfection. She would be helpful.

Earl changed. His casual wear was trashed and his leisure clothes were now tailored, stylish and neat. He had accessories. The facial hair was gone.

But the external improvements were just the beginning.

“Earl dear,” Rosie would say. “You know that thing you do? You’re doing it right now. Would you please stop it? Forever?”

“Surely, my love,” Earl would answer. “Anything you wish. Anything to make you happy.”

This scenario was repeated 27 times. Each time, Earl changed as requested. He dispensed with whatever Rosie found objectionable. He added whatever Rosie considered to be essential. By the end of the first year of marriage, Earl was perfect.

He returned from work on the day of their anniversary. He wore a fine suit, designer tie, cool European shoes. He wiped his feet dutifully on the mat, shook the umbrella twice and entered, placing his umbrella carefully in the stand.

“I’m home, my love!” he announced cheerfully, brandishing a lovely bunch of expensive flowers, each stem painstaking selected by Earl with his newfound expertise in botany.

But Rosie did not answer.

It was at that moment he noticed that Rosie’s things were gone and an envelope was propped up on the table.

Earl opened it.

Thank you, Earl, for being so flexible and wonderful and sweet and smart and thoughtful. You are everything I’d hoped you’d become and more. Thanks you so much. My work is done here. And so I must move on.