I've Probably Been Studying English Too Long

So you can just go ahead and file this under "Steph is too weird about words," but I recently discovered a new phrase that I hate. I have many phrases that I hate. As well as many words. I can usually trace the hated thing back to a source, for example, I hate the word "potent" because I read a history book which talked alot about the "utilizing the uterus as a politically potent tool." That reminds me, I hate that whole phrase and just about every word in it.

Today's phrase. "She'll make a good wife." I don't know, but whenever I hear a guy say this I am tempted to ask him if he is sure he's talking about cookies or his future spouse. Women are not made into wives. Men are not made into husbands. Marriage does not instantly transform a woman from one "thing" to a another. It's not like cookies, which start out as dough and are later "made" into delicious and fatty goodness. I'm okay with the idea of developing into a good spouse, via mutual growth and negotiation, but I hate the idea of "making" a good wife. It makes the role of wife sound almost inanimate. I'm fine with someone using an active verb, i.e. "She'll BE a good wife," but "make" is a word for model cars, and, well, cookies.

The phrase also seems to imply that there are certain, universal, characteristics to being a good spouse. To continue the cookie metaphor, it's like saying that there are a few "ingredients," probably along the lines of domestic and scrapbooking skills that instantly render a woman a good candidate for marriage. If your spouse doesn't come with cinnamon, nutmeg, and three cups of flour, she won't bake well. She won't make a good wife.

If I'm completely honest, I can trace my hatred for this phrase back to an ex boyfriend, who told me he didn't think I'd make a good wife because I was a liberal Democrat. He thought that when he was made a Stake President, it would "look bad" to have made a Liberal wife. I have spent many years wishing to go back in time and saying something like "I wonder if President Faust makes/made a good Apostle? He's a Democrat too, you know." But oh well. We are now both happily married. Me to a wonderful man who loves me for me, not what I can be made into. And him? He's married too, ostensibly to someone perfectly suited to be made.

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

Steph, let me just say that I love you! I wish I could write like you...especially right now during finals :)