Men, Marriage and the South
Yes, I am married to the perfect man. There's no getting around it. He's not faultless or flawless, but he is perfect in that way that good mates are supposed to be. Supportive? Check. Understanding? Check. Totally hot? Check.
Which leads me to pose two questions that have been bugging me for a long time.
1. Is it a Southern Thing to constantly run your man down in a group of women? When I was a kid that just wasn't done--at least done around me. But now that I'm grown, married and in the South it seems to be the done thing. 90% of the time when I'm with a group of women at work or at church or at a knitting thing the topic of conversation seems to be The Stupidity And Uselessness Of the Men We Married. I generally have little to add to those conversations, but that doesn't stop people. He works too much. He doesn't listen. He never helps out around the house.
We know a woman whose husband-bitching has escalated into full-on man-bashing. She once predictably joked to a room full of people that men were useless. At the very same time the men in the room were organising to help her out with something she needed done around the house while her husband was away for an extended period of time. I think that she is so immersed in the culture of husband-bashing that it didn't even occur to her as irony. So is this something that went on in the married women circles of yankee land or is it truly a Southern thing?
2. Why get married if you AREN'T best friends and you DON'T think highly of the other person? I swear I do not understand this. Obviously there are a lot of marriages that are made for the wrong reasons. I'm probably a bad feminist (for any list of reasons) because I don't think it's bad for women to need men. Men need women, women need men. That's how it works for a majority of people and I don't think admitting need is a sign of weakness. Whether the need is the concrete I-can't-haul-all-that-mulch way or the more ethereal need for a masculine outlook to temper the feminine, it's an honest thing.
But just because there is that core need is no reason to saddle yourself to a limp partner. When will women understand this? Life has a way of working out. If you need a man and don't have a husband there are other men (friends, coworkers, church members, guys in the drama troupe, etc.) who can meet any large number of your man-needs. For everything else there are dogs and batteries. For crying out loud, don't commit to a lifetime of forced togetherness with someone you can barely stand.