The Norman Transcript

April 18, 2013

As-is and with all flaws


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — In a couple of months the wedding season will be upon us. But even as the loving couples say their vows, we have to wonder if they see the loved one clearly, as-is and with all flaws.

You would think going into a marriage with open eyes would make the road ahead smoother. Don’t bet on it.

Marriage is not only a mystery — why do people choose the partners they agree to marry? Marriage also is rewarding and hard work. When you join two unrelated persons in holy matrimony (or a destination wedding), each comes with some or lots of personal baggage. Did you really expect them to go skipping happily down the highway of life without a bit of effort?

Aside from love, communication and a sense of humor, each of the parties needs the gift of understanding. This gift is one they will treasure because it will keep the home fires burning at a steady burn, rather than flaring up and down with each bump in the road. Be realistic, flare ups take too much energy and will never change annoying character traits each clutches protectively to his or her bosom.

For example, women can be stubborn.

This is a fact. How do I know? It takes one to know one. And I am a woman. To make matters even worse, I am a Hungarian woman.

There are many words which mean the same thing as stubborn — obstinate, mulish, willful and inflexible, just to name a few. However, the Hungarian word, makacs, packs a real punch. Nothing can translate the combination of facial expression, body language and tone of voice which accompanies the pronouncement of that word by a husband.

Granted, husbands can be dogged, bull-headed and immovable, but to say a man is makacs would not work because it has feminine nuances.

This Hungarian word elevates the recipient of the label to untold heights of power. A woman who is makacs has usually stood her ground and bested someone, quite often her husband, and is therefore, hopeless in his eyes.

Hopeless means he knows he will never win once she draws the line in the sand when it comes to something she believes in or wants. A makacs woman will not back down. So the best option is to love her and forget about winning.

My wonderful and spunky mother was most definitely a makacs woman. An incontrovertible fact my father lamented whenever he did not get his way, which by the way was a rare occurrence. You see, my beloved father, whom I loved and admired, was the prototype for what we lovingly call a “Male Chauvinist Porker.”

In his defense, he could not help but run true to type because men of his generation were raised to believe they were the kings of their castles and acted the part superbly. This was particularly true of European men.

My mother often said she wished her daughters would marry American men because they made better and nicer husbands. But for her sons, she wished European wives because they made better wives.

Hate to disagree with the family matriarch, but if by better wives she meant that European women would be more subservient than the independent American women, then that is not a good thing or realistic.

Just as male chauvinism was inbred in the men, subservience was inbred in the women. The only problem was not all women appreciated having “doormat” stamped on their foreheads, and made sure everyone knew it.

As to American men being better husbands than European men, for the most part it is true. But again, it is a generational thing.

If a boy is raised by both parents to treat people with respect, and women in particular, he will grow up to be a terrific human being and husband. Thanks to his mom and dad, Hubby is the best husband my mamma could have wished for me.

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Check out her novel “The Dionysus Connection” on Amazon or ask your bookstore to order it for you. Visit her website, www.elizabethcowan.com.

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