It is at this most festive time of the rolling year that I find portion control at the dining room table most challenging. This morning Camera Girl is making apple, pumpkin and coconut custard pies for the Thanksgiving Day feast. And so, I find myself standing over her shoulder watching the process with the sense of ownership and the pride that entails. I asked her if she’d ever heard the term trad-wife and she responded with a scowl that I could almost feel in my own face. She shook her head and told me to get the hell out of the kitchen until the pies were out of the oven. I think she feared that my comments would have an unhealthy effect on the flavor of her desserts. Not wishing to cause her undue stress at this very delicate point in the holiday preparations I forbore to grant her somewhat rude request and left with incredible dignity and obvious grace. Noblesse oblige you know.
It’s interesting to note that the rapid degeneration of female culture now forces the invention of a new label for what used to be the normal skill set of an adult married woman. Well, maybe rapid is just my perspective as an old guy. What I think of as normal has been under attack since the 1960’s. And now their granddaughters wouldn’t know a rolling pin from a road flare. And so, we’ve reached a stage where a “trad-wife” has become a commodity so valuable that to quote the Bible:
King James Version
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”
To be fair, I’ve never seen her producing any tapestries or linen. And I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even know what a distaff is. But she did sew the seam on the change pocket in my jeans last week so maybe that’s close to rubies or at least emeralds, I think. And she does get up really early to walk the dogs. As far as sitting with the elders, I was hanging out with the duffers at the Grange during the election meeting and some of them recognized me so I’ll give her that. But I definitely don’t think that part about, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness” is way off. I think the law of sarcasm is closer to the actual situation.
But she has transferred some of these skills like cooking and household economy to her daughters so that’s very praiseworthy but honestly, I don’t think either I or my daughters have used the term “blessed” for Camera Girl. Annoying is the term that trips off my tongue because she accompanies all her accomplishments with a decidedly critical eye for comparison with my own efforts.
And in this she is obviously very unfair. I may not cook the feast but I often carry the grocery bags from the car to the kitchen. Surely the Bible has something good to say for the husband who does stuff. So, what am I wood? Maybe rubies aren’t the correct and gender specific analogy of my value. How about austenitic stainless steel or even Hastelloy 276 or some other corrosion resistant metal. Maybe even platinum! That’s even better than boring rubies. You’d think God being a man would have given us a few choice proverbs of our own to put these women in their place. Am I wrong? But I digress.
So, despite the annoyingness of the traditional wife, it is undeniable that she is the foundation of the family and of all functional human existence. Without a doubt the destruction of our society has been programmed with the elimination of good women and their replacement by career women defined by their barrenness, lack of domestic instincts and their proclivity for collecting cats. Without a doubt the males of this generation also bear a heavy responsibility for the current degeneracy of our culture. But I’ll save that for a different rant.
Today I’ll just end with praise for Camera Girl. Well done Camera Girl. And save that little extra portion of coconut custard pie for the two o’clock coffee bread today. I feel I need it.