J. phoned. He enjoys forcing me to pretend that he hasn't wound me up.
J:- You're in trouble.
C:- I'm always in trouble.
J:- You're a bad feminist.
C:- No doubt.
J:- I just read. You're insulting women. Flashpoint isn't sexist.
C:- I'm sure I did. Even if I didn't.
J:- There's Flashpoint women who're strong women.
C:- Good for them!
J:- You're a bad man. You've insulted women.
C:- Oh ....
J:- Because Flashpoint's got strong role models.
C:- In Flashpoint? But ..
C:- (Tired and rising stupidly to the bait.) Right. So the overall bias of 'Flashpoint', the structural relations of the female characters to the male ones, and their representations in terms of the male and not the female gaze, is all utterly transformed for the good because Iris West is a war reporter?
J:- You've read it then?
C:- I've read 'Flashpoint'.
J:- Not Flashpoint. The evidence against you. The stuff that's been written?
C:- No. (Beat. Unconvincingly;) Of course not. I don't get upset by ...
J:- And that "Splendid Wife" stuff?
C:- Let me guess.
J:- Gill's not your wife. She's a person.
C:- Well, of course she is.
J:- It's up to her.
C:- What is?
J: - Whether she's splendid or not.
C:- Oh, come ...
|An Idiot Husband, The Splendid Wife & Alf The Wonder Dog (R.I.P.)|
So, for J., and at the end of the evening of Gill and I's Eighth Wedding Anniversary, which has been fine, can I just clarify? Gill isn't a bit player in my life, of course she's not. Rather, I am a supporting character in hers, and glad to be so too. If she's the Splendid Wife, it's because I'm the Idiot Husband. If our life was a comic book, she'd be the headline character, and I'd play the domestic support, the comic relief, the bumbling sidekick, and I'd feel privileged to contribute whatever I could too, just as I do out here in the real world. The Splendid Wife is splendid because she's smarter than I am, kinder than I am, stronger than I am, and endlessly more practical and creative.
If I'm sympathetic to the broad myths of matriarchy, perhaps it's in part because I'm a citizen of a profoundly beneficent matriarchy myself.
And so, after 2922 days or so of marriage, perhaps I might just salute the Splendid Wife, who not only saved my life, but made it worth the living too.
True story. Real life. Straight from the mouth of the Idiot Husband.