Sunday, June 10, 2012

The good wife: legs open, mouth shut

After all these years, I think I've figured it out: a “good” wife keeps her legs open and her mouth shut. She is placid, obedient, trots around willingly and cheerfully doing all the little tasks around the house, is grateful for her “position” and to have a roof over her head, and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS defers to “her man”, grateful that he’ll even have her, put up with her annoying little habits like getting a cold and having her period and talking to her mother on the phone.  But since her position is fragile and she could be turfed out at any whim, she tiptoes a lot, constantly walks on eggshells and placates, placates, placates. If she has feelings of her own, they are so deeply buried that she can’t even find them any more.

The ideal woman. The ideal woman doesn't have much to say because she's too busy serving. Serving up meals, serving up sex, serving up herself. The direction is all outward, except for that little inward thing she needs to do now and then to keep everything running placidly forward.

Some of it she plain does not like, but has learned to do it mechanically, not thinking, then washing her mouth out with Listerine afterwards, hoping no one can guess what her breath smells of.

Like an old-time vaudeville act, she is adept at spinning a lot of plates at one time. She isn't perfect at this, but she tries. Though she quietly but diligently takes care of little things like paying the mortgage on time because he always seems to forget, he really would like a woman who defers to him in every matter, including paying the mortgage, though the very suggestion that he would prefer her to be like this flips him into a rage, or at least a sense of indignation that she thinks he could be such a louse. But she knows he IS such a louse, and doesn't want to be reminded of it.

She knows a lot of things, secrets. Masses of them, but she never tells, because it is her only power. She knows who slept with him last year and knows she showed up at their twins' birthday party with her kid who has no Dad. She knows he has no Dad because the kid told her. But why doesn't she say anything?

When she came back from that little trip to Vegas, that one fling with her friends that resulted in exactly nothing except weight gain and money loss, she came home a little early. As she walked in the door, she heard voices.

His voice, then hers. Hers? Who was this? Then she recognized it. They were in the bedroom, probably in a state of undress. He laughed in a slightly drunken way.

She backed out the door, called a cab and went to stay in a hotel, pretending not to be home for a few more days.

So nothing happened, nothing was disturbed. She did catch hell from her friend, the one who thought maybe she should say something once in a while. But her friend was divorced. That was what came of "saying something". Her friend said, "For God's sake, that's YOUR bedroom in YOUR home! Why did YOU have to go stay in a hotel? You should've thrown the bastard out, along with that cheap slut he's sleeping with!"

"Maybe he's bored," she said. And it was true, she wondered if this placid bit was getting just a little bit boring for him. So maybe she should just make allowances and look the other way.

It was like an army drill, really, and if you practiced it often enough you got good at it, or at least didn't object to it any more, or (for that matter) notice it was happening at all. Legs open, mouth shut. And on command: reverse! For a woman should always be ready, willing and able to swallow whatever a man has to offer.


  1. Well, you've described the perfect wife (not my idea of one but it'll do for now). Now you must describe the perfect husband and then put these two perfect spouses in a little house made of ticky tacky all in a row with identical houses in the burb. Gack. And then...then we must answer the question, if perfection is an unattainable ideal, what the hell is marriage for? It used to be the nucleus of the tribe, then evolved a social division of the new faux tribes called neighborhoods. In this era of perpetual mobility, especially with both parents working out of the home, with the kids in daycare, what's the point? Are our expectations from an obsolete era? There are anthropologists who say maybe so. Maybe with the imminent collapse of a middle class-sustaining economy, we'll move back toward a more traditional division-of-domestic-labor reason for couples to live together at least while raising kids.

  2. I have to admit I got out a lot of venom with this one (which I've worked on some more since you first saw it: like the images?). I have had moments of blinding anger when I've thought: what you'd really like is a woman who is completely passive and obedient and just serves your every whim, does not rock the boat, and never argues with you. How many men secretly DO want this? Plus a blow job on the side.

  3. Margaret, I think most men - at least those I know - are more complicated than that. We want comfort and stimulation (not just sexual) certainly, and to feel safe with our wife, that she's got our back, that she'll stick with us thru thick and thin. I suspect women have similar expectations of their mate, or at least hopes. It's when disillusionment seeps in that the trouble starts. When expectations shrivel so does trust. I wonder if the greater the expectations the better the chance for disappointment. We see so much on TV as to how we should be, what we should - deserve - to expect, that the mystery is fleeting. Once the mystery's gone the whole thing can get stale. I wonder if the trick then is to avoid the natural resorting to blame? So often we're attracted as emotional children and then don't know how to cope when we eventually see ourselves as adults.

  4. This was meant to be over-the-top and, I'll admit it, provocative. I wanted to get people angry and provoke cries of protest. To be honest, I wondered if people might say, oh, poor soul, she should get out of that marriage right away. Every so often the blog takes its gloves off. A couple of times I've REALLY gotten people mad (probably too much so) and had to take a post down. I wondered about this one, but it stayed.

  5. Glad you cleared that up. I was about to fly up there and rescue you. BTW, I'm in another pissing contest on OS: Pissing contest

  6. I have problems with those, due to some physiological limitations.

  7. Amy must use a strap-on nozzle. She has a pretty fair stream.

  8. Ever see one-o-dem-dar garden hoses in full spurt? She'd right knock you over.

  9. Thanks, Margaret. Nightmares for me tonight.

  10. Just when I'd gotten that visual out of my subconscious...