Matt and I had a conversation about rednecks last night and it eventually went something like this:
matt: We need to be careful what we say about rednecks because we live among a bunch of them.
me: I’m not saying anything bad because we have a bunch of them in our families.
me: But I don’t consider you a redneck.
matt: You don’t?
me: Why should I?
matt: I like to ride four-wheelers, and that’s something rednecks do.
me: Yeah. But you like to drink import beer.
matt: But I also like Budweiser. And that’s a redneck beer.
me: You don’t hunt.
me: You’re not a redneck.
me: You know, I have heard you call me “my old lady.” That’s rednecky. I wish you didn’t call me that.
matt: You don’t like that? I hear that all that time. That’s how guys refer to their wives.
me: They don’t just say “my wife”? Like “My wife wants me to come home?” instead of “My old lady wants me to come home?”
matt: Yes, but there is no bad meaning behind it. They don’t mean it with any disrespect.
me: I guess it’s more important what you say about “your old lady” than the fact that you call me ” my old lady.”
me: Like, “Hey, my old lady has taught me how to love again!”
matt: I have never said that.
me: Well, maybe you should.
matt: Could you write it down so I could say it correctly?
I so dislike it when I hear people talking badly about their spouses. I am surprised, actually, by how often I hear it happen. I overhear it in the elevator, standing in line in the cafeteria, as part of the chit-chat that takes place before a meeting starts. You know what I’m talking about: “My husband is driving me crazy. He never helps me with the kids. I have to do everything by myself. He’s awful.” Or “My wife is bitching me out about buying a new car. It’s always something with her. Buy this. Buy that. It never stops.” I have heard each of these statements more than once from people. And worse.
I had a co-worker once that used to call his wife the “fun Nazi”. I always used to think to myself that I would hate to be his wife and find out that he was using such a derogatory term to describe me. I would have to call foul.
Here’s some unsolicited advice. Speak nicely about your spouse — it only calls into question your judgment in marrying them when you don’t. Matt can call me his old lady all day long, but I know he doesn’t say anything bad about me when he does. And my old man is pretty special, too.