Friday, September 27, 2013

Theory 19: All mothers need “sister wives.”


Let’s take it way on back folks. Way on back to the early 70’s in dusty, hot, cotton-dotted Seale, Alabama to the home of my uncle Trout, where whispers of Theory 19 first surfaced. The female grownups, Delicious, Big Booty J, and my aunt Terrific, sat and talked to the tune of cicadas. They chirped their own worries and woes of work, children, and domestic responsibilities into the Southern breeze for hours. All of a sudden, Terrific (career woman and mother to three) pronounced, “I need a wife.” Even though I was elementary-age, my little pink female brain’s synapses fired. I asked no questions and required no clarification. I innately understood.

Last week, my dear neighbor friend, “Fancy” called in a tizzy. She is a true character with somewhat unexplainable talents and unique attributes. She is also an esteemed professional, wife, and mother of three animated and busy boys. The conversation went something like this:

Bug (me): “Hey Fancy, what’s up?”

Fancy: “I hate to even ask you this. You can say no, but I am desperate. Oh, and I’ll pay you if you say yes. I will give you cash! And, I will return the favor whenever you need help with Sharky. And I won’t make you pay me. That’s how desperate I am.”

Bug: “What do you need?”

Fancy: “[Expletive], I need a sister wife, really. I need another woman to live with me and help me every day, [expletive].”

Bug: “What’s your pickle?”

Fancy: “Boy #1 has a soccer tournament in Nashville and I need to take him. Boy #3 is staying with my mother, but Boy #2 can’t miss his basketball game and my mother can’t handle two wild boys.”

Bug: “Where’s Husband #1?”

Fancy: “He’s going on a golf trip.”

Bug: “I’ll keep Boy #2, no problem. You don’t have to pay me, because I’ll surely need help from you soon.”

Fancy: “I really just need a sister wife. Thanks for being my sister wife!”

Bug: “Ha! I need one, too! But, that’s a little kinky and cult-like.”

Fancy: “Just think how convenient it would be. I need two sister wives, actually—one wife per child.”

Bug: “Man to man defense. True. Right now you are running a zone.  But really, three sister wives could handle twenty children better than one man can “babysit” his own 2!”

Fancy: “Yeah! Why do the men say “babysit”?”

Bug: “They just don’t have our natural talents for anticipating the needs of children.”

Fancy: “No kidding. You want to be my sister wife permanently?”

Bug: “I don’t want to see your husband naked, but I think we could work something out. Heck, I’ll give you an hour alone with Tall Child if you’ll get on the roof and clean out my gutters. Hmmmm…I think you are on to something, but I’m not sure I could live with a bunch of women. I think I’d rather have brother husbands. I could assign them domestic regions of responsibility and choose them according to skill! I’d marry one plumber, one electrician, one handyman, one pediatrician, one academic, one party boy, one financial expert, and one family man.”

Fancy: “What about [being intimate] with all those men? Dang!”

Bug: “Oh, all relationships, except maybe one, would be platonic on my compound.” 


Readers, do I really need all those men, or could just one woman (again, a platonic one) do the job?



Good news! Fancy’s husband chose, selflessly, to stay home! Fancy didn’t ask him to. She had the problem solved via her sister wife. But, her man, let’s call him “The Gentleman”, is a great father and got a good dose of woman-guilt. He sacrificed a fun golf trip to help his wife and children. It’s a male miracle of unselfishness, ya’ll! Or, maybe he’s changing into a woman.

Not long before my sister wife convo with Fancy, I spent one night in Nashville. One night. Room and board was free (stayed with Bop) but the trip ended up costing me two hundred dollars and two weekends of manual labor. Confused? So was I when I walked into my house after a long drive to find the Gnome’s black Sharpie ink work sketched down the hallway, through the den, and across doors, windows, one sofa, and molding.

Caution: Leave no child behind. With a marker and a man. During SEC football season.

The ink was everywhere. Ugh. First, I lowered the boom on Tall Child. Then, I calculated the cost (I like to complain with quantitative data) and lectured Tall Child, Gnome, and Sharky. Then, I started crying—because I was tired. I was tired. I was worn. Slap. Out.
"Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life"—Oscar Wilde (and Gnome)

Tall Child is a good husband and an exceptional father, too. The important thing is that Sharky and Gnome were safe and having fun with their sweet daddy who worships them. He works hard, coaches Sharky, and is a devoted brother, son, and friend. He is not neglectful. He is just busy. So am I. I make mistakes all the time. But, I am 100% sure that if the roles were reversed, the Gnome would not have caused so much damage. Why? Because I am woman! Hear me roar! Tall Child heard me roar. Was I a witch? A little bit.

Here’s the conundrum many women face: We need a task to be done. Not because we are lazy or incompetent, but because we are doing something else that needs to be done. Someone needs to call the insurance company. Someone needs to wait for the plumber. Someone needs to help with homework. Women don’t want to do it all, but we need to see these things happening. We need security. We need action! If we “over ask” our husbands with “honey-do lists” we feel like nags. If we don’t “over ask” the task doesn’t get done or we have to do it, in 5-minute increments because we are everyone at once, all the time.

Tall Child did indeed help me clean up the mess Gnome made. Once I found the color in my old notes, drove to Lowe’s on Saturday morning (children in tow), bought the paint, brushes, and painter’s tape, fed everyone lunch, lined up all the supplies and handed Tall Child a brush and an old plastic coffee can for his paint, he pitched in. One common synonym for “wife” is “helpmate.” I helped Tall Child help me paint. Then, one day, he went to his friend’s house to watch football and I finished the job, willingly. I was a wife and a helper and happy to spare him the work. But, where’s my heavy duty help? Sometimes I want to be nurtured, to point and delegate, to get in the “luge” position and watch Bravo. Well, one uterus seems to equal no dice. I need another uterus to help me. Or maybe uteri? Can I get an “amen” from the sisterhood?

I’ve tried to beat myself home before so I could welcome me to a clean house and supper on the stove, but even Big Red can’t drive that fast.

In my first post, Welcome to Theories:Size 12, I warned readers I may vent. But, sister-wives share, so, in that vein, I asked members of my coven, I mean, circle of friends, this question:


Wives and/ mamas, I want to know what you think before I write "Theory 19: All mothers need sister wives." This is your chance to let off some steam (anonymously, of course, so you can say to your husband, "Hey, look what that crazy [Bug] and her friends wrote. Can you believe them?") So, if you had a sister-wife, what would you have her do?

***To avoid slapping the label of “male-basher” on my buddies, all comments are quoted directly but sources are not revealed.


Here are their responses with mine mixed in; I’m not saying which are which from this witch:

How about a brother husband who could listen to loud, terrible music and talk about American League baseball so I don’t have to?

If I had a sister wife she would follow [husband and child] around picking up all the piles of junk they leave in their wake, make the beds, and remind/nag the men for me of all the stuff they need to do. There’s more I’d like her to do but I’m exhausted from all the above chores so my brain has shut down.

Mine would nag the kids to do their stuff, point out to hubby when he's wrong, mistaken, or being a jerk, check the kids' bags before they leave so they have what they need each day, watch football with him, and get up early and wake the kids up. Awesome.

I would send her to the grocery store.

I would gladly forfeit my shotgun seat so she could be the one who jumps in and out of the car to see “how long the wait is” at restaurants, get the mail, to wait in line at Bruster’s, and take the children into gas stations to tee-tee.

My sister wife would change every diaper – from babies to geriatric in-laws. She would also be in charge of the suppository depository activities.

Yeah... I always wanted one to look after the children, one to cook, one to decorate, one to clean the house and one to do my hair and nails. Of course I could have used one good gay guy for all of it.

If I had a sister wife, she would get my ignorant ex-husband out of my life, take care of his girls, get pregnant, and deal with his crazy first wife for ever and ever amen

She would clean and do laundry, but I am the ONLY one having a relationship with my hubby.

I would take sister wives but I am not sharing "that" part of my marriage.

She would do all male haircuts and maintenance to include ear hair, nose hair, and back hair.

If I had a sister wife she would: clean, do laundry, pull weeds, do the dishes, deal with all the headaches like making appointments & calling DirecTV, AT&T or anyone else that puts you on hold for a long period of time or has an automated system. She would also work a full time job and help pay the bills. I would do all the fun stuff.  And she better keep her hands off the kid!

My friend, who just ALSO moved here w her husband, onto the acreage right next to mine...has called me "sister wife" the whole time. She takes kids to school, I pick them up. So we have literally had this conversation!

If my sister wife would run the activity shuttle, unload the dishwasher, do laundry, pick up the house, and make all appointments, I would be perfectly happy to help with homework, have sex (yes, I said it) at least 5 times per week, put my babies to bed every night, make dinner, and cheer at games, ride in the golf cart, etc. I love the quality time activities, but detest the fact that all of the superfluous stuff leaves little time, energy, and patience for it.

I would want the sister-wife to take all the cooking and cleaning and she needs to have a job.   I'll take care of the kids and keeping the husband happy.

The thing with a sister wife is.......I don't think you would have to make them do anything.  We are woman, so we naturally do.  Best of both worlds----you can hang out with your home girls, and not have sex.

She would have to have full control over all sexual intimacy. And, nighttime responsibilities for all babies.

I’d want the sister wife to be the favorite wife.


Male readers, don’t dump me. I love you! We women love you! We just want to spend fun time with you and not be tied to vacuums, dishwashers, online textbooks, and mindless chores. Think Jerry McGuire: Help us help you! Help us help you, so we can show you the quan!

Ladies, have you ever felt like you were swept off your feet and then handed the broom? What are you supposed to do? Hand the broom back? No! He’s not going to sweep, at least, not when you want him to. Bless his heart. I say you either toss the broom or get on it and ride, sister, ride! I believe you can fly.  I believe you can touch the sky! I believe you can ride/fly all the way downtown and meet your sister wives around a cauldron of salsa with little mini-cauldrons of “Extra-Lovin Lemonade” for an old-fashioned girls’ night out, which we desperately need and deserve, which reminds me of Theory 20: Never call a woman fat, lazy, or selfish. Them’s fightin’ words.
Ready for take-off!

See you next post or at El Charro! Until then, think outside the barn.

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Also, visit Amazon.com or my website to read about my book, The Eye of Adoption, my short story, Field Day, and my collection of essays for parents and teachers, Parents, Stop and Think.

Author website: www.jodydyer.com

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Just thinking outside the barn...

Just thinking outside the barn...