The Matron's higher degrees include minors in Feminist Studies. One of her favorite articles construed marriage as nothing more or less than the economic exchange of women between men, just like property or gold.
How much did the then Youngish Miss adore said theory and articles supporting? She felt compelled to reference that theory in her own wedding -- and not casually, on the side, during a conversation. Oh noo, she worked that whole 'historic economic exchange of women' (those words precisely) into the actual goddamn ceremony. Now that's writing talent. And nerve. And. . . you fill in the blank(s)!
So. . . in the wedding ceremony there were first the 60 seconds of silence for the gay and lesbian friends who were not allowed to marry, followed by the proclamation that historically, marriage may have been one raw deal for women, shuttled from father to husband. But the union ahead? The nuptials of Youngish Feminist Miss and her chosen?
Today, she sometimes stands stock still (with three backpacks over one shoulder, purse slung on the other, green basket from van full of bowls, grapes, half-eaten bagels, library books, homework assignments requiring parental signature and bag of groceries in another while Merrick inquires about the status of his after school snack?) in her own life and wonders: "How did this happen?"
That ceremony with the nod to gay/lesbian rights and the short but very sharply-done treatise on the history and significance of marriage with a Marxist-Feminist slant? Normally, one just hires a judge, any old judge. But the first THREE judges who read the Young Miss's Left Wing Love Song, turned down the job!
So she shopped that thing, just like a novel, and some lovely lefty judge said this: "That is the best ceremony I have ever read!"
On Wednesday, the Matron and her beloved celebrate 13 years of marriage, preceded by four years of living in sin (according to her mother-in-law and probably her own mother whose opinion on this matter she has yet to seek).
That would be 13 years of observing the strange and, yes, sometimes discouraging, divergence between philosophical/political conviction and actual life. As one of her dear friends reminded her just last week, throughout history, women do more domestic work than men. Give it up, girlfriend.
(and because she is lazy this way, the links above were just the first two google finds! There were many many more)
Yesterday's graduation party offered the Matron a cleaning, cooking, serving, socializing, cleaning marathon. She whipped on her best apron and damn near flew out of the gate!
This is the house in which the Matron entertains -- and cleans!
The back view allows for a fuller understanding that there are 2800 square feet and four floors -- to clean!
Yes, she knows she is lucky. She once lived in a low-income housing unit about half the size of her current first floor. THAT is not what she's complaining about.
Today, she tackled a thorough dusting of bookshelves (this family has hundreds - hundreds -- of books), mopping and dusting three children's bedrooms, cleaning the crud in the silverware drawer, sweeping and mopping the wrecked main areas from yesterday, vacuuming dog hair from appropriate places, sorting through summer clothes.
Five hours in, hobbling on bruised knees (from the mopping), she carried the mop, broom and bucket through the kitchen and past her husband and said this: "When I'm working full-time this fall, I think we should hire a housecleaner."
John was staring into his cell phone (it's sort of hypnotic that way): "Hmmm. Well, maybe that's something to think about, maybe."
Do you hear the sound of a woman snapping?
So when John turned and looked at his wife of 13 years and instantly absorbed the imminent combustion and potential certification and divorce, he said this, quickly: "YES! We will hire a cleaning service!"
Year 14, coming right up!