Wives and Lovers?

Ring on your finger

I was in junior high school, once.

Don’t laugh.

I studied homemaking (how to make fluffy biscuits, sew a blouse, decorate an interior, and manage a budget), all things many women now wish they knew how to do. The goal was to be able to provide the support system for a man. The man, it was hoped, would earn the money two people would need to survive.

In those days, the official position was that girls would marry and become women (the goal, there, being finally, to grow up.) However, the position of many boys and not a few girls was that, even though unmarried, we could taste the fun of marriage without the responsibilities. We girls found ourselves in a sub-culture that dropped heavy, heavy hints about fun, while our parents constantly voiced empty gripes about the sub-culture.

Grab all the gusto you can get.

One of the bi-products of that clash between our openly displayed foolishness and their concealed wisdom was an entire class of songs about marriage, written by young poets who perhaps had little or no expertise.

And one of those songs was “Wives and Lovers“.

I won’t quote the entire thing; it’s not great poetry. However it contains some amazing wisdom, and I will sample it here:

Hey, little girl, comb your hair, fix your makeup
Soon he will open the door.
Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger,
You needn’t try anymore.
For wives must be lovers, too.
Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you.
He’s almost there . . . .

Aside from obvious cultural differences—even cultural goofs—

Wow. It’s timeless.

Actually, eternal.

 

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