Tag Archives: marriage

A Son

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I was reading a book about Elizabeth I, and it got me thinking about her mother, Anne Boleyn. More specifically I was thinking about her death. Would it have at all been different if she had been able to conceive a son? It appears all her husband wanted was an heir. If a woman has a daughter, and becomes an unwanted wife, what happens if she should have a son afterwards? Does she become the favorite again? What if a wife who desperately wants to save a marriage manages to give birth to son after a daughter but is unable to repair things? The son was not the answer. She would regain her husband’s favor and undivided attention for a week, maybe a month. Then what? Would she be cast aside to have her head cut off just the same?

Everyone can recall the official charges that lead Anne Boleyn to her execution. But what is of more interest is how everything unfolded from the beginning, leading up to that point. When did things start to fall apart? There are myriad histories written about Anne, from as many perspectives, but all can agree that she never gave up. What if she had? For her there was too much at stake; hers was not an ordinary marriage. Yet if we strip her of her crown and make her a common woman, her problems would have remained. She would not have died for her alleged sins but her existence would have been unbearable. She would probably at one point have had a son, only to be greeted with the same indifference. Which was worse?

Yes, I was reading the history of Elizabeth I, but perhaps I was reading the wrong book.

Polygamy

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I have never understand polygamy. I find the concept of several spouses quite confusing. I mean, what is a woman supposed to do with multiple husbands?

Isn’t one bad enough? Now you have several men trying to rule your life, telling you what you can and can’t do. Then you somehow become responsible for pleasing them. Each one comes with their own requirements and you must keep them in mind as you switch back and forth. Husband A likes it when you get dressed up, while Husband B prefers more natural looking women, and you haven’t yet figured out what Husband C wants. A is an engineer and expects you to hold conversations centered around the sciences, while B and C wish to discuss history and astrophysics respectively. One won’t eat fish, while the other is a vegetarian, and the third loves fried food.

You will be running yourself ragged maintaining several wardrobes that you change out of at least twice a day, while cooking five course meals to appease everyone and practically getting a third and fourth college education as you read entire libraries just to manage conversation during your five course meal.

Not to mention your wifely duties. It is hard enough to spend one man’s money, but now you have three (or more!) to contend with. There is only so much shopping a woman can do. And think of holidays and special occasions. If you have ever tried shopping for a man, you will know what I mean. They are impossible. Now you have several of them in your life, and you are left with a nagging suspicion that matching wallets just won’t do. You could of course rely on their interests to guide you, but at this point, between the cooking and reading and general shopping, you don’t really think you could keep them straight. Next thing you know you are buying a golf set for the wrong husband.

What about your gifts? What are you going to do with so much jewelry, perfume and candy? Besides, if they all pitch in for the wedding ring, chances are you won’t even be able to lift your hand off the table to eat the chocolate, much less cook all those dinners.

Speaking of chores, just imagine the laundry. As if washing all of it wasn’t difficult enough, you then have to figure out what goes into whose closet. Obviously you will have to start liking men who have the same build and then spend some of their money on identical outfits. They may all have different personalities and interests, but what is appears you are trying to do is make them all into one person.¬†Which I suppose would defeat the purpose. This is why I have never understood polygamy. It just seems like too much trouble.