by Jay Johansen | Mar 16, 2010
My church passed out a survey seeking opinions about our music program. I was chatting with a woman sitting next to me as we were both filling it out. At the end it asked if we had any questions for the music director. I pointed this out to my friend and joked, "Yeah, I have a question for him. How did a homely old man like you get a beautiful wife like that?"
My friend was horrified. "You didn't really write that?!" she asked.
Well I didn't, but I was thinking: If you said to a man, "How did a homely old man like you get a beautiful wife like that?", I'll bet the vast majority would say something like "Yeah, pretty cool, eh?" or "Ha ha, jokes on her, she thought I was rich." I haven't done a scientific study, but I strongly suspect that few would be offended. Even if it was clear that this wasn't just a wisecrack but you really did think that his wife was much better-looking than him, I think few would feel insulted by it. I certainly wouldn't be.
But if you asked the average woman, "How did a homely old woman like you get a handsome husband like that?" ... !! Wow, if she never spoke to you again for the rest of your life, I think you'd be getting off easy. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of physical violence.
© 2010 by Jay Johansen