Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Husband downsized

Some guy in Michigan has made a little PR stunt by going "on strike" to protest his wife co-sleeping with their two kids. (I would give you the link, but I don't want to give him any more Google money by driving his ranking up.) He set up a tent on the roof of his house and put up big signs. The national press picked it up, as a part of what Sandra Tsing Loh describes as the "wacky news" circuit: "Husband goes on strike to protest loss of love life."

My wife, and all her Attachment Parenting friends, are incensed. The only thing that keeps them from firing off angry letters and press releases is the knowledge that it would only fuel the attention the guy is getting and potentially move him from one day of "wacky news" to several days of "serious" news.

A few observations:

There are probably lots of husbands out there who aren't getting enough attention from their wives. None of them, however, look any stronger by making a public display of it. It's pretty pathetic, actually. "Oh, woe is me, I'm not getting any." Even if you're sympathetic, you can't respect the guy.

I have always been suspicious of whatever monstrous notion brings people onto national TV to spill their guts in front of a live studio audience and millions of other emotional voyeurs. I suspect that they really, really believe that they are right, and if only people knew the story they would agree, and then they could finally win the argument. And yet, somehow, it never works out that way. They are always, always diminished.

More importantly, the guy should know by now that the world does not revolve around him. His wife is more concerned about the kids than about him . . . and that's the way it should be. Even Dr. Laura, for all of her well-timed support for "the proper care and feeding of husbands", comes on the air by announcing, "I am my kid's mom" . . . not, "I am my husband's wife."

Nor will removing the kids from the bedroom make the kids' nighttime needs go away. It just moves the needs down the hall . . . and the wife will probably go with them.


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