Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weekly Confession #1

Forgive me, Blogger, for I have sinned. This is my first Confession.

I covet my wife's intelligence and worse, I am proud of it. FoxyJ is one of the most well-read and well-educated people I know, both in the sense of formal education and that of informal education, in the form of the wide array of facts she can recall from the thousands of books, newspapers, and websites she's read in her lifetime. When I need to know something about history, literature, politics, or whatever, I ask Foxy, my personal living Wikipedia (except with less web vandalism). I am truly grateful to live with such an intelligent person, not only for the education in trivia she provides regularly, but for the inspiration she gives me to learn more about the world. I have to admit, though, that I am not infrequently jealous of Foxy's intelligence. Why am I unable to recall every random fact I've ever come across? Why can't I glance at a page and process in an instant every word on it? Why don't I have the interest in the first place to read the New York Times on a daily basis and devour nonfiction books about war, food, and famous people? The downside of living with such an educated person is that I feel, in comparison, very uneducated.

The greater sin, I believe, is the pride I feel in regards to my wife's education. I brag about her master's degree every chance I get, find ways to work into conversations the fact that she passed the test to be included in Jeopardy's contestant pool. I am proud of my own high score on the GRE, but even prouder of her perfect score on the verbal section. This may all seem innocent enough, perhaps you're even thinking that it is forward-thinking and decidedly unsexist for a man to be so proud of his wife's intellect, but that's exactly the point. I flaunt my wife's education precisely because I believe it makes me look good. Ultimately, this is no better than the man who shows off his trophy wife, the perfectly pretty woman who exists solely as a symbol of his own social status.

As my penitence, Blogger, I vow to show my appreciation for Foxy's other positive qualities, whether such appreciation makes me look like the feminist-minded man I want to be or not. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit, for example, how much I appreciate the delicious food Foxy cooks every day, because I fear that puts me in the category of chauvinistic men who expect their wives to be barefoot in the kitchen, preparing nice meals for their husbands to enjoy upon returning home from work. The fact of the matter is, though, FoxyJ is a chef extraordinaire, and that is a talent she values in herself, so I should not be ashamed to admit that I do too.

I am sorry for these and for all--well, most--the sins of my past life.


Miss Hass said...

I'd brag, too, if I had a spouse that intelligent. And really, it does speak highly of you that you appreciate her attributes. So take that, confession!

J G-W said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J G-W said...

(Whoops, real weird typo in my last comment, so I deleted.)

Ego te absolvo.

I guess that's one advantage of being in a same-sex relationship. You don't have to worry that your public appreciation of your spouse's qualities will be interpreted as sexist! (Only evil.)

When I was at BYU, I used to tell my friends that I wanted to marry a woman more intelligent than me. The reaction I usually got from (male) friends was incredulity, and even warnings against doing such a thing. I didn't get it. Why wouldn't you want to marry someone as smart as possible?

Th. said...



Scot said...

Hey, that's normal. The very next day after I defended my dissertation Rob ordered new checks with the Dr. on them. Now he's booking everything as Dr. and Mr. _______. Personally, it feels great to be so "coveted" ;-). Besides, everyone knows it; no spouse gets a graduate degree that doesn't half belong to their better half.