At a recent family gathering we were outnumbered by the men folks and evidently they thought there was strength in numbers because one of them had the foolhardy notion they could bring up that business about women were supposed to submit to their husbands.
As a well-known feller in history once said, “Please define that word (in our case, submit) so I can fully understand the question.”
I called up the dictionary plus a thesaurus and I am ready to answer…
Submit is an old Middle English word meaning “let go.” I hereby say that most of us have been letting go since we said I do. And I have found many synonyms that support my argument.
Relinquish: We relinquish our rights to the name of our natural father and take the name of our husband. Along with that we relinquish our right to take out the garbage and we even relinquish our right to nag if it’s taken out before the utility room looks like a big city dump ground.
Accede: We agree to give in and let our husbands mow the lawn. It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday night football night. Since we’ve been taken to the jury about submitting, we accede and the husband will mow the lawn. Besides we’ve lost a dog, six cats and two neighborhood kids in the jungle called our back yard. I thought a saw a mountain lion and a bear last week. So it’s either mow the lawn or I have it mowed and pay for it out of the husband’s hunting equipment budget. Besides I smelled firewood in the back corner. I think the neighborhood kids are roasting the bear.
Acquiesce: We promise that we will keep our silence and not object when he goes into the jewelry store to purchase that lovely new set of wedding rings for our anniversary. And we promise not to show our submission when he writes out a check to the credit card company to pay for it.
Abide: This word means put up with, endure, tolerate or submit. It’s a big order but I take it to mean that we will endure an ailing husband, which we all know is worse than a sick kid. It’s tolerating hunting season when the husband wakes up the whole household before daylight on Saturday because he can’t find his favorite thermos. It’s putting up with them when the bionic buck bounced back into the woods and all they brought home was chiggers and ticks and a whiny attitude about the one that got away.
Bow: This is bow as in bow down, not bow as in bow up to. And we know what that is. We bow our backs to pick up hurt children, wipe snotty noses, kiss boo-boos on knees, mop the flours and haul in the groceries. And on occasion we bow our backs to pick up the dirty clothing that landed beside not in the dirty clothes hamper. On that occasion we can grumble…remember your wedding vows ladies. I hereby promise to love, honor, respect and gripe when I have to bow my back to pick up dirty socks.
Yes, I’d say we take this submit word every bit as serious as a heart attack right smack in the middle of a bargain busting sale. Since we (and they) understand the word, we can truly admit that we are submissive wives. And if they (being husbands) think we have perjured ourselves with this statement, they can call the nearest divorce lawyer. His card is on the front of the refrigerator right beside the recipe for his mama’s meatloaf.