Saturday 25 November 2006

The Wife

I'm not quite the last person in the world you'd expect to start a blog, so there are still a few left for those of you who may have been thinking about getting one.

Now, I have always liked the definite article, used instead of the possessive pronoun, in 'the wife', though wives do not tend to be fond of it. It has an unpretentious earthy working class Britishness about it. It's the antithesis of the socially aspiring person who talks of 'my electrician' or 'my chiropodist' or 'my bank manager', as though all of these good folk were being kept in a room at the back of the house, or at least on retainers. It also reminds me of an old tv show, Meet the Wife , famously mentioned in a Beatles' song, which we never missed in our house when i was a wee'un.

It reminds me too of 'The Mammy' of Irish usage, and celebrated in the wonderful old photo on Brendan O'Carroll's book, which I confess i just bought for the cover and haven't read. What a glorious photo, from when the mammy wore kickarse boots and marched to the shops with a big bag in each hand, and when men were useless bastards, if we are to believe Angela's Ashes and its ilk. Lately in our house the Wife has found herself ennobled with that other nostalgic title, and she seems to have accepted this with a degree of affection. After all, is the definite article not good enough for the Queen?

However, my story: my wife (for I am but a coward when all is said and done), Anne , has lately added a new word to the English lexicon. Caught on the phone during dinner, she yessed her way through a conversation while mentally rehearsing her exit line- thanks for ringing... thanks for phoning?- and when she finally found a break in the traffic to speak it, it came out as 'thanks for roning'. This is now the exit line of choice in our house, even when a telephonic device is not involved.

In the old days I'd have made a one-page 'Alec' out of this , but today we squander our narratives in a blog.

posted by the old man

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