Sunday, August 20, 2006

Today a colleague and friend of husband's is coming for lunch and swimming with his wife and four sons. I'm not really looking forward to this event, but I'll suck it up and deal.

They invited us to church with them, oh, hell, must have been about 10 years ago, or 11. They go to a non-denominational church that's a wee bit on the puritanical side. The women wear a doily over their heads during church service. They didn't inform us of that in advance though (good thing) so I wasn't sporting crochet that day. We didn't go back, either.

Anyway, the wife used to work with husband and her man, but when they started having children, she became a stay at home mom and now home schools their boys. I'm not critical of home schooling - I completely understand that impulse - but I think women with that many children who home school should get paid vacations and shit. I mean, how exhausting - to never get a break!

Recently their old work group gathered (they do this every 6 months or so) and I asked husband if the wife was there, and he said her husband said "oh, well, if she came, all the boys would come, and then lunch would cost me $60." Mind, he just got a new motorcycle, and that's not frivolous, but giving the wife a lunch break out with the old colleagues is too much of a splurge. I just wonder if she ever gets any time to herself? It seems like slave labor, the brood-mare thing, and this kind of stuff makes me think of that woman in Houston who killed her 5 kids. Pathetic.

A couple years ago she hosted a candle party - I hadn't seen her in about a decade - and I thought I'd be a good sport and go. At some point I was in a group (that included her) having a conversation about their sworn duty to submit to their husband and never question his decisions. I said that should be granted only to a man who has an acute degree of common sense and sensitivity, otherwise, fine, burn me at the stake, baby. Needless to say, they were gobsmacked that I would say something so incredibly-- what?-- sinful, I suppose.

I could not get out of there fast enough. Anyway, They are coming. Pray for me.


Kelly said...

Good luck Phlegm. The good news is, it will be over in just a few hours.

Tam said...

How can you resist trying to shock people like that?

I mean, it's almost an uncontrollable urge with me. I've got various branches of doily-wearers out in the limbs of my family tree, and that's what made it absolutely necessary to ride a motorcycle to familiy reunions.

LJ said...

Sparks coming out of my eyeballs. Sworn duty, my wayward ass! Oh man, hasn't the patriarchy died yet?

Much luck, Phelmy. Where your cowgirl boots and show cleavage.

SaxonWorldTravelers said...

I like your comments about home-schoolers. I've never understood the need for homeschooling except fear of other cultures, minorities, and some school districts 'liberal' view of sexuality. I have seen legitimate concerns about the quality of education but can parents really do better? Anyway, my wife and I always have a retort to those who wax on about the success of their home-schooling program for their kids. I explain "We tried home-schooling for our two kids but we immediately had a gang problem. I was spending all day removing graffiti from the hallways, repairing the condom dispenser in the bathroom, and engaged in a constant battle of truancy. We finally gave up". Needless to say, I've run out of home-schooler friends because I love that line and love saying it but apparently my audience doesn't share my love.

Great blog by the way!

FHB said...

You know, I also understand why people get the urge to home school, but I think if I'd been forced to stay at home all day with mom I might just have had to open a vein. I mean, I love my sainted mother to death, but Jesus.

And I think its our patriotic duty to piss off these kind of religious fanatics as often as we can. They should never be allowed to reach a nice happy comfort level if their idea of propriety is somewhere back in the middle ages. They've got a right to do whatever they want, but the rest of us don't have to respect it and quietly go along with it.

So in the spirit of all that, I say you walk out to the pool today in a thong, drinkin' a cocktail, and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Gee sis, so wish we could come over and scare them. I could even sing "All We Need Is A Few More Rednecks". A

Z said...

You are so right Phlegm. I home school and it can be tiring. Why shouldn't I get paid holiday once in a while.

Also, did you get my e-mail about my new blog. It is password protected, so let me know xxx

Dick said...

Good luck kiddo!
Wear a doily on your head in the pool.
Come on! It'll be for old times sake! Lmao!

Just Another Old Geezer said...

I think life would be so boring if my wife never questioned my decisions. I don't think I could have survived nearly a half century of marriage like that. My wife doesn't mind telling me I'm full of crap when I am. said...

Better watch out, they're probably a polygamist group looking for a third or fourth for kinking religious sex.

Might be fun for an evening, but don't get caught up in it!

Also, Turboslut, why do folks want to password protect their blogs? What are you hiding over there?

Tickersoid said...

I'm with fathairybastard.

Heather B said...

That poor woman ...

phlegmfatale said...

kelly - thanks, hon. I survived.
tam - I can understand the motorcycle urge. The doily thing will continue to mystify me, but as for the rest, I can understand that for someone wired differently than me, it must be very satisfying.
lj - Hee hee! No, the patriarchy will never be dead as long as feminists think sexual harrassment is ok for some politicians and not for others (that's a whole 'nother rant!) Survived it. Had a better time than I expected.

saxonworldtravelers - Thanks for stopping by my blog. That is a funny little rant - perhaps someone bright enough to teach their own children should be easy-going enough to take such a ribbing with a grain of salt, but I suppose they get a lot of criticism from everyone they meet, including ignorant bloggers like me who assume that all homeschool moms are over-burdened and over-stressed. As I said in my original post, I would homeschool children if I had them, and I'd be damned good at it, too. As for leaving education to the professionals, well, I've met practically illiterate school teachers who are "professionals" who have been in the employ of the Dallas ISD for more than a decade, so I am dubious about the quality of educator the school system turns out. I also hate the pack mentality of a large peer group environment - which is something the kids can learn in high school or college after their sense of self is properly cemented. Understand me, just because I would make another choice doesn't mean I think a good education is impossible in public schools, just less and less probable than it once was, especially in monstrously large school systems like we have here in the Dallas area.

fathairybastard - well, it DOES depend on the mother, I'll grant you that. Neurotic, high-strung types need not apply, I suppose. I don't think they're all religious fanatics. I'm not, and as I said, I would home school. Let's cut to the chase, you just like the thought of me sashaying around the pool in a thong. You dirty rasacal!

Sister - you should definitely come over. You could expose them to a bit of redneck culture. Maybe they could come to a family reunion and meet cousin Michelle's ignernt baboons. Ya think?

turboslut - tiring, but I expect it's rewarding and ultimately worthwhile. Yeah, got the email, and I'll sign in today. Fanksh! Glad you're back in the blog - I missed your quick wit!

big dick - Hmm, a doily on my head in the pool. Yeah, I'd hate to go skimpily clad into the pool - wouldn't want to disrespect the pool. So, that's naked with a doily is ok, right?

myron - you're a wise man. Who would want a mindless minion, anyway? I think marriage should be a partnership, not a dictatorship.

mushy - now there YOU go putting your own nasty angle on this. Don't get caught on tape or film? No problem.

tickersoid - y'all would probably really get along.

heather b - well, I realize now after talking to her for several hours that I parsed her in an unfair light in Sunday's post. She's not a victim, and I think she has exactly what she wants in life, which includes a husband whose rule is absolute. I think her sons are lively, normal boys who may be just slightly more well-behaved than most. I really like her husband, actually. He's whip-smart, very gregarious, and utterly unconflicted about his place in the world, but not a major asshole. He makes a lot of money, so if anyone can do the home-schooling thing and do it well with healthy, happy kids, I think they can.

In short, what I said about the doily thing is still true, and he definitely rules the roost, but I think in the main I was too harsh in what I said yesterday. I'm a jerk. There. I said it. Mark this day on your calendar, because me being a weenie doesn't happen often, and I actually admit it waaaay less often.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

There will be no praying coming from me - sounds like there was a little bit too much prayer going on with that family anyway.
But I will hope that it goes painlessly for you.

Becky said...

The part I object to with home-schooling is that the kids don't learn how to socialize, nor do they ever learn how to question ideas or get someone else's perspective.

Even with stay-at-home mothers that have kids that are too young for school, I can't tell you how many times, they are never "let out" and the husband is the one going out with friends and getting new toys. I feel sorry for them, until I realize that it was their choice to be in that position.

phlegmfatale said...

becky - I suspect the socialization varies dramatically, according to how active the parents are. I am opposed to the wife being treated as a personal slave/brood mare. She definitely deserves a break, at the very least.