Friday, August 15, 2008
OK,Â a reader wrote to me venting her frustrations about the new relationship category of â€œwifey.â€Â It seems as though we now have the categories of: Â single, married, divorced, and has-a-wifey.Â Itâ€™s a peculiar moniker indeed for oneâ€™s significant other.Â It actually sounds rather sweet.Â It seems to occupy the space between girlfriend and wife.Â But to me, it signifies exactly whatâ€™s wrong with relationships today.Â
*Iâ€™m not sure if this term has permeated the white community yet, but like everything else black folks do, its coming.
Now at first glance it would seem that calling someone your â€œwifeyâ€ is a compliment, an expression of their commitment to you, an elevation of you from girlfriend to something more. But upon further examination of what this term means and who exactly benefits from the designation, the â€œwifeyâ€ title is Â revealed to be a total and complete cop-out.Â
In a culture where committed relationships are rare and marriages even rarer, it seems that men and women are settling for a cheap imitation.Â Wifey is often described as â€œnot your only, but your favoriteâ€ or â€œwife material.â€Â I had a friend of mine who told me that he reserves expensive gifts for wifey and gives the other women cheap things.Â But unfortunately, the â€œwifeyâ€ designation is not a stepping stone to marriage, Â itâ€™s the final stop.Â The notion of commitment has morphed from being with only one person, to having one special person that you treat a little better than the others.Â And you know whats really scary:Â women are eating that shit up!
Its almost like we have accepted that committed relationships are impossible so if are going to be with someone, its considered a victory to attain wifey status.Â It reminds me of the African American woman author Audrey Chapman who years ago suggested that man-sharing was okay because of the lack of available black men.Â Get the fuck outta here.Â And its not that you accept the wifey title blindly.Â Everyone who has a man willing to use that term, also knows what it means.Â It basically means a life of looking the other way, as long as you are (in the immortal words of the infinitely wise Trina) his â€œbaddest bitch.â€
At some point I went to sleep and woke up in the Negro Twilight Zone.Â A culture who survived slavery, Jim Crow and segregation in part because of the strength and dogged perseverance of the family, has now come to this.Â Not only do we accept not being married, we accept not even being exclusive.Â What happened to the self-worth of women in the last decade where we just settle for any damn thing?
Women are actually proud to be â€œwifey.â€Â â€œIts alright because I know heâ€™s coming home to me!â€ RUFKM?Â Really?Â Â Since when did we start volunteering to be cheated on?Â This isnâ€™t about the men.Â You teach people how to treat you.Â This is your call.
Â Donâ€™t fool yourself ladies.Â This is nothing but an issue of low self-esteem.Â The need for a warm body in the bed at night.Â Someone to take to family cook-outs and events.Â In a nation of women who too often grow up without a fatherâ€™s love, sometime we need to tell ourselves that some man, any man, out there thinks weâ€™re special.Â Â Even if its not quite special enough.Â Sometimes thatâ€™s all you need.Â I can dig it.Â Â Â Iâ€™ve been there.Â Hell, Iâ€™m there right now.Â But I will go to every party,Â happy hour, island vacation, play, concert and movie by my damn self, before Iâ€™m someoneâ€™s wifey.Â Shit, IÂ got Tivo.
Have you ever stopped to think why you are only â€œwifeyâ€ and not â€œwifeâ€ or fiancÃ© ?Â Have you ever asked?Â Would you dare?Â Of course not.Â Because then he might leave.
Be strong ladies.