Diary of a Soldier's Wife
I tend to hate the NYT's "Modern Love" column. It's usually infuriatingly stupid. I was not offended by last week's offering from a woman who suffered from "love addiction" because it was genuinely weird, not trying to be so, and because it differed from the usual "my husband and I are oh-so different, but love's funny, isn't it?" insipidness by which the column is usually categorized. But here we go again. Ew.
Sometimes when I gather the cool bullets in my palm, I stare at them and wonder: How did I, a Berkeley resident, a former peace activist, someone with a "Bread, not bombs" button, end up married to The Man?
I like to tell people we met because he pulled me over, and I avoided the ticket with my feminine wiles. It's not true, but our partnership is almost that unlikely. After all, I've been arrested several times in political protests and once for possession of marijuana. I've even trespassed onto a naval base to spray-paint protest messages over the sloganeering billboards.
My husband, on the other hand, subscribes to a magazine about wound ballistics, calls people he doesn't like "communists" and distrusts anyone with a beard.
Ah, how cute. Two total stereotypes in love. Ain't it sweet?
I wore a short skirt that showed off my long legs. When he arrived, I was charmed by his old-fashioned formality, how he called me "Miss Sophia" and pulled out my chair.
It was on our third date that I discovered he never left the house without a firearm. We went to see "Heat," a crime drama with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, and when we were driving home, I asked, "So when you're off-duty, do you ever carry a gun?"
He laughed. "Always. Got one on my hip right now."
I was delighted.
Why is it that every other "Modern Love" has to show how some "progressive, Berkeley-type" is charmed by some guy's "old-fashioned formality" or something? At least once a month, we who are stupid or masochistic enough to continue subjecting ourselves to this paper must endure yet another "cute" modern retelling of the Taming of the Shrew? Only this time without irony.
I feel sorry for this woman's husband who has been rendered as a total caricature, a sort of whimsical foil, and, to make matters worse, used as fodder to spur her
writing career, he's basically just an avenue to some sort of imagined originality:
Sophia Raday, who lives in Berkeley, Calif., is writing a memoir about her relationship with her husband.
I can't help but get the feeling she went on this blind date just so she could go on and on about how novel her relationship was for the rest of her damned life.