#185 In which our hero unloads on that guy. You know -- THAT guy.
Okay -- here we go.
When I first started this NaBloPoMo thing, I jotted down some ideas for posts, in case I got stuck for a topic. (Which I have, but instead of consulting the list, I’ve just whined about it and posted garbage, pretty much defeating the purpose of the list. Anyway.) Here’s the list:
- Terrible taste in music (include list of all CDs in car right now)
- Work recycling program
- Crush on comic strip women
- Crush on stock image girl
- Talk about “that guy” -- ie., discuss that “I hate my wife” bullshit.
I’ve been putting off writing about this topic because it’s such a hot button with me, and I knew I’d have to put some time to it to really develop the rant. But today’s the day.
First, you know who I’m talking about, right? You’ve run into that guy countless times at parties, bars and in the workplace. This is the guy who, in the middle of a conversation, casually says things like, “Well, my wife -- now there’s a real bitch” or “the wife is so stupid” or something like that.
Holy shit, but do I hate that.
Years ago I worked at a newspaper. At most newspapers, the staff falls neatly into one of two categories: young people who either need a job right now and/or are looking to gain some experience before moving on to a better job; and old-timers who have been there forever and are comfortably awaiting their retirement. I tended to hang out with the latter group.
Every morning I would join my boss and a group of 3-4 other old-timers and walk to the back of the plant where the presses are. There we’d be joined by 2-3 printers and hang out, drinking coffee and bullshitting the first hour or two of the morning away. It was a pleasant enough way to start the day, except for one thing: each and every one of those guys was that guy.
“My wife is such a bitch,” one would start. “I make all the money and she goes out and spends it all.”
“Tell me about it,” another would intone. “My fucking wife just bought three new pairs of shoes for no reason!”
And so on.
I distinctly remember my boss bitching about the lack of sex in her marriage one day. Now, to fully understand his outburst, you have to know that he and his wife had TEN children. The oldest was 13 and the youngest was something like 14 months.
“I haven’t got laid in months!” he said. “The other night I told my wife that I’m sick of waking up in the middle of the night with a boner and nowhere to stick it!”
Never mind the nauseating idea that he considers his wife simply a receptacle for his hard-on, but Jesus! Ten kids! At least three still in diapers! I’m sure at the end of the day she was too tired to contemplate pleasing herself let alone him. I mean, if you’re going to commit to having that many kids, then you might want to consider the ramifications to your sex life. The Scientist and I only have two kids and it’s had an affect. But 10?
This is the kind of guy I’ve encountered any number of times, and it pisses me off each and every time. The Scientist and I have a great relationship, and a great marriage. She is my best friend. But even so, there have been times when she pissed me off or did something I thought was dumb… but I would never start a conversation with such an example. Matter of fact, I’m unlikely to relate anything even passingly negative about my wife to relative strangers. I respect her greatly, and I wouldn’t put up with anyone talking shit about her -- myself included.
Here’s the thing: if you really hate your wife, then it’s okay, I guess. I mean, if it’s that bad then maybe you should reconsider the entire relationship, but bitch about it if you must. But it’s not like divorce is taboo in our country. Look at The Scientist: she was in a marriage that started out okay, but rapidly declined into something that outright sucked. So what did she do? She said enough, and got out of it. She didn’t stand around lamenting her terrible fate, she did something about it.
But I digress.
What pisses me off the most is men who whip out the “my wife’s a bitch” card just to be funny. I used to work with a guy who lived with his girlfriend, then proposed marriage to her. Even though he was asking her to be his wife forever, he continued with the “yeah, she’s stupid” routine at work (i.e., when she wasn’t around). One day I got fed up and said “If that’s really how you feel -- don’t get married.” He didn’t have a real response to that, he just laughed it off.
And now, I work with a guy who’s probably five years younger than me, and his wife is pregnant. The other day we were shooting the breeze in my office when, out of the blue, he says this: “Well, I don’t know about your wife, but my wife’s a bitch.”
Pal, I don’t know you that well, and I don’t know your wife at all. Do you really want that to be my first impression of her? I had to reply, “That’s too bad. My wife’s great.”
Maybe I should just shut up and count my blessings that I don’t hate my wife. But this lack of respect, this antitheses of what a marriage should be… it drives me nuts. And I find it very difficult to remain silent about it.
Now I’ve revved myself up into a good lather.
Maybe I should have stuck with my crush on the stock image girl.