The phrase, "the wife," has been around for, uhm, too long. You've all heard it. It rolls out like a cigarette butt along a highway, as if it was nothing. "The," the first part of the phrase, the definite article, leaves nothing to interpretation. It's not "a" wife. It's "the" wife; the "one." But it might as well refer to "the boat motor," or "the two-four."
There is nothing more unpoetic than "The wife." Shakespeare used it not even once. There is nothing, even in his sonnets like:
"As rises Sol, so does my heart to you each day.
I feign to my tasks. Such an effort to forge a wheel,
Or be mindful of all when you draw my very breath and thought.
My heart to only you, the wife. Such pleasure in your company."
It just seems so sad. And the fact that those using the phrase are seldom fending off calls to pose for the great artists of the world, although in their minds, they may consider themselves a real prize. I know a marriage involves the attention of both parties. And I know people grow at different speeds, dealing with this and that, or discovering that they really don't like so many Elvis prints in the hallway. Perhaps they won't buy a new wolf t-shirt this summer.
And maybe, this year, they won't create that thanksgiving scene made out of "Pogo's".
But wouldn't it be lovely to be surprised? Wouldn't it be great to overhear a couple, maybe at "the bingo," talking to each other;
"Adreana, my love. As you are part of me, my soul, my all, I see on your card that you have missed, under the "I," 42. I am yours."
"I blush. I tremble and, Carl, my husband of time, though time is nothing. Time takes us through the days. But what are days? Yes, light and dark as the tedious sun gives and takes, but I have you in my heart always...and now..."I" 42."
Or at "the garage sale";
"Bob, I have found a "sad dog clock." The man wants a twoonie for it and, sadly I have none. And hoping on your fondness for me, as I am also for you...I see your eyes..."
"Yes, Tabitha, and I see your eyes and...and enough of the "sad dog clock." I must have you here, right now on this treadmill. Though your husband for 30 years, I am as if a newly wrought. I am, undoubtedly mad. You have made me so...I am in your care. ...just move that blender out of the way..."
Instead, we have "the wife." It's not poetry. But who am I to judge. Maybe it does work for some, and that's fine, I guess. Whatever turns "the crank."