A few mornings ago I compared my marriage to a two-headed monster. And, I did it for the sake of military spouses everywhere (well, kinda…).
Allow me to explain… (First of all, in my defense, the word “monster” only came into play because of the reference to two-heads since, frankly, there aren’t a lot of two-headed people just strolling around to normalize things. So, actually, I only compared my marriage to a person with two heads–I just chose be colloquial about it.) I was attending a little coffee/get-together for a handful of spouses and the conversation eventually meandered around to our husbands (shocking, right?). One woman, while describing how she convinced her husband to buy their current dog, made some cliched reference to men only thinking that they’re the head of the family. She then continued, “They may be the head, but the wife’s the neck, right?” The other ladies giggled and nodded with a little chorus of “yups” and “we show them which way to look,” etc. Now, of course she wasn’t saying that her husband is really the head of their family, but it still pushed my buttons to hear everyone joking about their various strategies for working around that type of structure.
With that in mind, what did I, in my infinite agreeableness, add to this conversation, you may wonder?
Me: Well, then I guess J and I might be more of a two-headed monster… Two heads and two necks on one body.
Them: oh…. (more smiles, but no giggles like I expected. Seriously, people, I meant to be funny…)
Me: (now babbling)… We can both turn our heads in any way we want, but then we walk in the same direction. I mean, it’s more fun with two heads, right? Because we can talk to each other or look both directions at the same time to cross the street or…
Them: uh huh… So, you say these waffles are gluten free? What’s in them?
So. Perhaps I am a bit too sensitive about this issue. I’m sure I would have found the head/neck comments more amusing if I didn’t live somewhere where I have to give the last four digits of J’s social security number whenever I need to make a doctor’s appointment or a vet appointment for Sadie or give his name and rank to reserve a spot on the airport shuttle for myself alone. It’s a slippery slope. I mean, seriously, ladies, our identities already dribble out bit by bit whenever we write “dependent” on a form or sign-in sheet. In this community, of all places, why would you willingly forfeit your head-ship (whether figurehead, or not) within your own home and family?
In all honesty, I also have difficulty imagining that the husbands of these women are truly the types to fancy themselves the kings of their castles. It angers me to think that there are spouses (and I really mean wives, here) who, by representing their households and themselves in a certain way, are helping to make the bed that I now have to lie in.
It’s enough to make heads spin (yes, both of them).