Thursday, April 07, 2005

On a more silly note

There is this tendency, among conservative Christian women who oppose feminism, to go on about how important it is for husbands to have us wives gush about their muscles, their superior physical strength, etc.

This assumes, among other things, that:

1. Our husbands actually have muscles worth commenting on.
2. We can truthfully discern muscles under the layers of fat on our husbands.
3. Our husbands won't think we're being sarcastic because they know we are the ones who have to do all the hard physical work around the house.
4. Our husbands don't disdain "muscle-bound jocks" (i.e., anyone who isn't a nerdy couch potato)

Some husbands may be muscular or idiotic enough for their egos to be stroked by wifely compliments of their physique. Not all. There are some husbands whose wives would get in a big heap of trouble were they to caress hubby's arm and enthuse, "Oh, what muscles!" Either the husband would bark, "OK, I know I need to lose weight but get off my back, will ya?" or he would whine, "Do you always have to be so sarcastic? I can't help it than I'm no Arnold!" He might even grouse, "No, you're not going to con me into yard work, so don't even try!"

Once, as a silly newlywed, I tried to pass on a bit of my grandfather's philosophy to my husband. "Grandpa always said that if a man wanted a beautiful wife, he needed to tell her every day that she was beautiful---and she would grow more so."

My husband looked at me increduously. "Why should I lie?" he asked.

Twenty years later, I see a lot of wisdom and integrity in that question.

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