Long ago someone asked me why I said, “my wife,” as though she belonged to me. That someone was a man-hating feminist vegan lesbian artist. I gave her a ride home once. She seemed nice. I didn’t know she had a hate-on for men at the time. I was just offering a ride home. “Do you own her? Does she belong to you?” she asked. I jokingly said, “No, I think she owns me.” That didn’t go over well. No, “belong to” in my thinking doesn’t mean “ownership”. It means “membership”, as in “I belong to this group”. A member of a team. Without the team (read: community), I am incomplete. Without me, the team (again, the community) is incomplete. I should have started with that!
For no particular (good) reason, I switched to “the wife”. I use the article “the” a) as a sign of respect, b) she is the only one I have, have had, and will have (hence “the), and 3) none of your goddamn business what her name is. Afraid to say “my” wife? She was “the” one. No one else. Well, until there was someone else. That’s another story. In Asia, a husband and wife team (no, I’m not going to say “wife and husband” – buggar off – quit changing my language) is exactly that – a team. Perhaps it used to be here in Canada, too. Perhaps it still is, but things have gotten too strict and politically correct and demanding these days.
I say “the Old Man” to talk about my Father (“Dad”). Again, respect. The family – a group, meaning something. Not just people – things, groups, places, etc. The house – a place I belong. The car – a thing that never lets me down. “Man, the dogs are tired today.” “Dogs” is slang for “feet”. (Thanks, Andrew!) And a big one – the country. Meaningful. The. The one and only. And when I say “The Man“, I’m talking about The Lord Himself. Is there seriously any confusion about that? Am I dissing every other man, like 4-billion of them? No – I’m not dissing anyone – just paying respect to The One.
I think I ruffled someone’s feathers a bit ago when I said “the wife”. I think people have to take the time to know me, my intentions, my meaning before casting judgment.
Speaking of judgment, that’s the second time today I mentioned my ex-wife. Weird.