Of all the terms we have for our beloveds, wife is not sitting well with me.
Fiancee felt so glamorous. It implied limitless potential. It was redolent of endless rounds of chic parties, cocktail dresses, and Audrey Hepburn's effortless grace and style.
Wife brings all that glamorous potential down to the ground with a thud. Pot roasts. Vacuuming.
Don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled beyond belief to be Eric's spouse. His life partner. His companion. Even his muse or 'better half.' I just don't want to be a wife.
I brought this up at a party with some recently married friends.
Me: Is anyone else having trouble with the word wife?
Woman #1: Yeah, it's an ugly word. Like 'moist.'
Woman #1: Yeah grimaces ] moist, wife. Ugh. Those words don't role off the tongue. Not like husband.
Man #1: "Moist wife" - that's just how I like her to be. heh heh.
Woman #2: Wife might be ok. Just wait 'til you're a Mom.
I know that there's a move to 'reclaim' wife. Good. We should do that. In the meantime, I think I'd rather be a partner or a spouse.
Husband is awesome. During our reception, I was running around, inquiring of every guest: "Have you seen my HUSBAND?" So fun.
But 'wife', in my mind, is too much tied to confining, 1950s-style images, of the loss of idealism and creativity so brilliantly captured in Revolutionary Road. I feel like I might suddenly become invisible. Wife seems so tied up with essentialized images of 'how women are' and 'what women should be': endlessly caring, subverting their needs to those of their families, putting their dreams and goals on hold to nurture those of others.
Is anyone else having trouble with the term wife?
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