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Of Wives and Words

Joe and me when we were {gag} fiancees {gag}.

I love words.


I hate the word "girlfriend". And oh how I despise the word "fiancee".

But "wife"...

"Wife" is a glorious word, don't you agree?

Although I was in no particular rush to get married, I did eagerly look forward to the day I would become some one's "wife".

When Joe and I were dating, I could just never bring myself to label him as my "boyfriend" or myself as his "girlfriend". I would often just introduce him as "Joe" and let people make their own assumptions.

Even when we became engaged, I found myself gagging a bit when I would introduce him as "Joe, my fiancee".

Commitment issues? you ask. No way. Honestly, I couldn't wait to make it all official and tie myself in every way to this wonderful man. I just had/have some deep-seated problem with those words and what they imply.

Think about it.

"Girlfriend" is so fleeting. Girlfriend is so silly. Girlfriend is soooo second grade.

What exactly makes you a "girlfriend"? He pulled your hair on the playground? You held hands? You kissed? Sure, one second you are a girlfriend, but who knows about next year, or next week, or heaven forbid, next class period. Things can change in a matter of seconds. Like if you laugh too loud in public places or you don't know how to play X-box or you chop off your hair. Not...that *I* would know anything about any of those

Even the term "fiancee"… Gag.

I don't speak French. How does a verbal commitment to enter into the bonds of matrimony suddenly qualify me to speak foreign languages? Do I at least get a free trip with my newly attained title? Or maybe a side of fries??

Now "wife"... Wife is solid. Wife is stable. Wife is forever. Wife becomes "wife" because of commitment, covenants, and continued work and devotion.

I love the word, "wife". I love being "wife".

Trust me. I was no pro when I became one. In fact, I failed miserably the first year. I entered into our marriage believing 100% that the only and right way to do anything was my mother's way.

(Did you just cringe a little bit?)

Ohh the late night arguments.
Ohhhh the tears shed.
Ohhhhhhh the cold-back-to-back-and-hugging-the-side-of-the-bed nights.

After almost eight years of marriage, even Joe still talks about the argument we had about how to chop onions "the right way" only weeks into our happily-ever-after. I'm just grateful he talks about it now with humor in his voice. It wasn't always so funny to either of us.

He told me the other day it will probably be one of the stories he tells our grandchildren.

Oh goodie.

Tell my grandchildren how bad at being a wife I was.

Not that I have it all figured out now. No way! But I'm getting better. I'm mellower. I'm less emotional. I'm less defensive. I finally figured out there is no one "right" way to do something. (Boy, I'd like to vinyl letter that little gem on the wall above our bed.)

If you asked Joe, he might say differently, but I think as the years go by I am tempering and polishing like a fine metal that one day will be marvelous to behold. Marvelous enough to deserve that honored word: "wife".

And then when Grandpa Joe gets going on his chopped onion story for the umpteenth time, the grandchildren won't believe a word he says, because of the perfectly amazing, wifely lady Grandma Evie is.

That or the candy jar crammed full of bribery.


Evelyn knows how to keep her mouth shut when watching her husband cut onions. She is wife to one and mother to four. People that is. Not onions. She shares her adventures in wife-ing and mothering on her personal blog, Hanging by a Silver Lining.

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