Posted by: coloradokiwi | January 28, 2008

Audit this, you lippy bitch

We are all of course familiar with the popular conceit, perpetuated in quality programs such as Everybody Loves Raymond and King of Queens and so forth, of the huge numbers of (white, middle class) married couples across America in which the power dynamics of each person are oriented in this way:

Step 1:  Slovenly manchild with self-esteem issues tries to accomplish a relatively straightforward task, but fails miserably because he’s in over his head (how he got to live in a fucking castle, not be buried in work, and have a hot wife despite having personality disorders and no apparent skills or education is never explained).

Step 2:  Smarter, sexier, more put together wife swoops down and after delivering a few emasculating remarks, proceeds to “fix” things.

This is of course an excrutiatingly popular fixture of our pop culture, and while the whole slob with hot wife aspect is largely a figment of sitcom writers’ imaginations (at least, if the world is decent after all), one thing about the basic scenario seems to hold true in most relationships:  essentially, the lady wears the pants, as they say.  She runs the show, and she is not afraid to flaunt this aspect, particularly when her man runs into what would be described in TV Guide as “hijinks” if one’s life were taped in front of a live studio audience.  This is so in my own house, and it is so among every couple I personally know.

However, the part they never seem to adequately cover is how, depending on the situation, when the wife swoops in to make her emasculating comments this very well could start a very serious fight indeed, because there is nothing that women do better than push men’s buttons.  And when certain buttons are pushed, white hot rage is pretty much a guarantee, and we have on our hands what some people would describe as “a domestic.”

What sparks all this for me is the recent spate of H&R Block commercials in which the husband is trying to do their taxes via some cheap tax software.  He is failing miserably and has clearly hit a wall.  This is where the wife comes in and rather helpfully mocks him, rubs his nose in it, and then one presumes calls H&R Block, which means she doesn’t solve it herself, but actually goes outside their relationship to allow “professionals” to profit from her husband’s new lack of self-respect (leaving aside that by mocking him for buying crappy software, she is actually blaming him for their crappy product).  I can tell you, as a married man this commercial doesn’t make me want to avoid this sort of thing by going to H&R Block first.  Rather, it makes me yearn for that poor sap to stand up for himself and let her know in no uncertain terms that it is extremely unwise for her to treat him that way.  And I don’t think I’m alone in this.

Now, I would just as soon avoid any encouragement of domestic abuse or some white man’s syndrome victimhood rooted in misogyny.  But God damn, I would love to see what would really happen if that smarmy harpie acted that way after her man has spent God knows how many hours messing around on that fucking thing.  To watch her cower when he goes into full he-rage mode, where she is suddenly fearful of her otherwise quiet and considerate man, because although he’s never once raised his hand to her in anger, she’s never seen that vein in his face before.  Yeah, you should have thought of the consequences first, sweetie.

So ladies, if you’re watching these commercials:  if you think you can talk to your man like that and he doesn’t respond with violent (or seemingly violent) wrath, then you are clearly living with a eunuch.  In which case you have bigger issues than losing a day or two on your tax return because of crappy tax software.



  1. OMFG right on, man!

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