A curious topic since I am considered my husband’s wife. My view on this word stems from all those wife jokes told ever since I can remember. Too many times wives are the butt of the punch line, or because they attempt to run a smoothly structured household, they might earn the title of being a shrew. But who turned them into these harsh bleating creatures?
From the time I was tiny, I was read stories about these women. You know, the ones where the wives are nurturing people, who take care of the home, cook all of the meals, give birth to the little babies and raise them accordingly. I was programmed to emulate them, like most little girls. I would grow up and become one eventually. From age three and one-half, I was taught to cook, make beds, sweep, do laundry, make good grocery lists. By age eleven, I started babysitting other people’s kids so the daddy could take the mommy out every now and then. At this point, I became bottle washer, monitor, referee and diaper changer. I was depended upon to set good examples for those kids. All through my formative years, I developed a balance of duties and judgmental expertise. By the time I graduated from high school, I was expected to wait for a young man to propose to me, whisk me off my feet and up to the altar. We would live happily ever after. It was deeply impressed upon me that my career would be as the wife of a husband. Yeah. I had other ideas as many of you know.
I vote no on the word wife, for too many reasons for me to share this afternoon. You may be assured that while I have remained married for twenty-eight years this October, that my idea of marriage falls somewhere in between the schooling I received from the women in my life, the nuns and teachers in school, to the other end of the spectrum of ridiculous fairy tale dreams I still cherish. Who wants to be a shrew, the butt of a joke or to be discounted as the little woman? Drag me off and toss me into your cave women, do not exist anymore. And what’s with the man caves I hear about on HGTV’s, “House Hunters”? We’ve moved on haven’t we? I ask you … what name can married women proudly adopt in place of the old-fashioned word wife?
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