Over the weekend, Jeff and I were honored to attend our friend, Pam's, wedding. We're very happy for her and her new love, Sean, but I was a little shocked at part of the vows.
It went really heavy on the "the husband is the head of the house and you will submit to his leadership," stuff.
Now I'm not judging. If Pam wanted that verbiage (and she wasn't visibly or audibly traumatized by the words as Jeff claims I was) and it makes her happy, then I'm all for it.
For her, mind you. Pam is an adult. An attorney. She's smart and strong enough to have withstood a lot in her life. But truly, if she's OK with it, then I'm OK with it for her.
On the other hand, I don't really want stuff like that to spread, so I when I reported on the wedding to Alison, I gently broached the subject of the vows.
She said, "Well you know, Mom. Everyone doesn't have to take the same exact vows."
"Right you are!" I said, so proud of my little, open-minded child.
And so then I told her how Jeff and I like to think of our marriage as a partnership rather than having one person in charge and bossing the other one around all the time. She thought about that a while and then brought our conversation back to a dispute she was having with her father over her Jelly Belly supply.
Aunt Margaret had recently blessed Alison with a gi-normous box of Jelly Belly jelly beans. It was huge, and Alison had re-arranged the little compartments into a rainbow color spectrum, light to dark. Problem was, she'd sampled along the way and now feels she's light on some colors. When she and her father were at CVS getting some medicine for her cough, she spied a bag of Jelly Bellies and asked if he'd get them for her.
"Don't you think you have enough?" he asked.
She went into great detail about her deep need for certain colors and even offered to reimburse him. He declined.
"So after he didn't listen to my reasons, then I started jumping up and down and saying, "please! please!"in between the bounces. I did that for about five minutes," she said.
"How'd that strategy work for you?"
"Well. It annoyed him."
Right. It also solidified his answer, which he had later relayed to me. As did she. I told her that I knew he'd said no already. She'd reminded me that he'd said no already. So my answer was going to have to be no. And here's where my fight for women's rights and independence came back to bite me in the ass.
"But Mom. Didn't you say you didn't take that vow to let him boss us all around?" she asked.
I bit my lip. Hard. And then I said, "Well yes, but remember that we have a partnership? And if he already said no, then I need to back him up."
"Huh," she said. "Well, I could always just walk the two miles to the CVS and buy my own candy. Or I could ride my bike."
I bit down a little bit more.
"Hey, Mom. How do I get to CVS from the Monon Trail?"
I laughed. I couldn't help it. "I don't think I'm going to tell you that," I said.
"Well. I AM going to Miss Amy's soon. Maybe I'll just get them then," she said.
We are in so much trouble...