Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters
socratic

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Lovely? I think not

"You have a lovely wife." I hear that all the time. Or at least I would. If I were married. To a woman. It's a nice thought, I guess, but who wants lovely in this day and age? Lovely is an adjective you apply to objects like bone china and window treatments. Lovely is a summer day, or a big blue bonnet. Lovely applied to women of the past, delicate creatures who spent their days fanning themselves on the veranda and their nights swooning to protect the family honor.

Today's women are a different breed.

No longer content to sit on the sidelines in uncomfortable corsets and cheer for their men today's women grab life with both hands and say "Oh yeah, life, you're my bitch. You're my bitch now. Bend over. Bend over life." Ideal femininity has gone from a pale creature in a bright dress who smells like flowers to a tough girl in a sports bra with shredded abs and short spiked hair. She sweats, she farts, and, yes, she fucks. Lovely? Like a china doll? Like a daffodil? Lovely? I think not.

So how is it a compliment to tell someone he has a lovely wife? Just what are you implying? That she's from a bygone era? That she's old? That instead of embracing sex as a thing of joy and pleasure she lies back on the bed, lifts her knees, and thinks of England? A lovely girl is polite and respectful. When asked for oral sex she declines, or at best licks hesitantly at the penis, like a child tasting an ice cream cone only to find it is made of human flesh. Then she returns to her time honored tradition of counting ceiling tiles while the hairy brute completes his business. Lovely is an insult, a shot across the bow. "You have a lovely wife sir. Sex with you must really be a chore."

So I decided to go on a quest. A quest to discover a new adjective to describe the modern bride. An adjective that would compliment her beauty without impugning her spirit. An adjective that would capture the essence of what it means to be a woman in 2005. I would try out a bunch of candidates and see what felt right and what other people responded to as a replacement for "Lovely."

I started with "Fuckable." This did not go over well. In fact, you'd be surprised how hard an old man can hit you if you lean over during a piano recital and say "Is that your granddaughter? She's extremely fuckable." After that and several other incidents, including one unfortunate misunderstanding at a job interview where a recent widower had a photograph that was clearly misleading about the current life/death status of his wife, I had to concede that perhaps my idea could use a little massaging. After quickly going through "Rideable" "Masturbateable to" and "Is that your wife? I'd hit it" I decided that perhaps the world was not ready for such a radical departure from "Lovely" and perhaps it would be advisable to rein things in a little.

Thus began a lengthy search of the English language for just the right word. "Foxy," "Foxish," "Stone cold Fox," and "Alopex lagopus" were all dismal failures. "Troutish" just lead to cocked eyebrows and a bartender refusing to serve me anything but Sprite. "Crackerjack" made people think of a delicious ballgame snack, "hunky dory" made them think they were at a '50s theme party, and "super-duper" got me a date with a guy named Carl, though that may just have been the accentuating lisp.

I tried taste adjectives next, but there didn't seem to be a happy compromise between "Ambrosial" (a little too fancy) and "Sumptuous" (A little too "Is that your wife? I'd hit it.") "Creamcake" "Amaretto Surprise" and "Roasted chicken in a lovely orange sauce with cilantro and a side of pureed New Potatoes" all confused people. Was there no way to refer to women without implying they were shrinking violets or getting my ass kicked?

Then I stumbled upon the perfect word. "Winsome." It does not reduce a woman to merely the sum of her physical parts or imply that she is a shrinking violet, but neither does it conjure up images of illicit sexual behavior or a three course meal. Now I know what you're thinking, winsome is just a synonym for "charming." That's true, but I wasn't going to go on this vast journey of linguistic discovery just to end up at "charming." People already say "charming." I didn't get my ass kicked by a 70 year old in an ascot to end up with "charming." Winsome is also alliterative, a winsome woman. Can charming say that? No. So fuck "charming." Now I know what else you're saying. Winsome makes me sound a douche. That's true, it does have that drawback. But you know what? Sounding like a douche is a lot less awkward than setting salary demands with a man whose dead wife you've just called fuckable, okay? So deal with it. The next time you need an adjective to describe someone's wife or daughter go with "Winsome." You can't go wrong with "Winsome." Do not under any circumstances say you'd hit it. Trust me, that's not the way to go.
Tags: humor unedited, women
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