A Wife By Any Other Name

I keep a separate blog from this one. Did you know that? It has more to do with my vocation where as this one has more to do with my first-loves… marriage, motherhood and of course, HGTV. I’ve spent the better part of the afternoon pondering a phrase that has come up recently among some friends of mine. Since many of us have already discussed the marriage topic around this particular cyber-table a time or two, I thought I’d include you on some of my more twisted introspective thoughts. Tune in next time for more fun with hot-glue and wine corks.

Today’s Post at The Sound of Center City’s Blog:

I was recently asked to join an online forum for Young Pastor’s Wives. At first, I thought someone surely must have sent me the invitation by mistake. And then it occurred to me, “funny, I AM a pastor’s wife”. How ’bout that. Let’s celebrate with a round of PBRs, shall we?

Now, my husband doesn’t have the fancy credentials yet, but for all intensive purposes, he is functioning in a pastoral role which makes me the wife of one pastoral-esque figure. Nobody actually calls him “Pastor” or “Reverend”, and that is a good thing. The first time I ever paired the phrase “Pastor Clark” he glared at me as if to say, “say that again and I’ll introduce you to everyone we ever meet as, ‘This is my wife Salina who used to work for Benny Hinn’.” I’m not sure if it is the weightiness of the pastoral title or perhaps the very mention conjures up images of grown men wearing crew socks and Teva sandals with a T-shirt that says, “Satan Got Punk’d”, but either way, it is currently a shelved issue to be discussed at a later date and time perhaps after he’s had too many apple martinis.

When Clark and I met and got married, the rock-n-roll life still had its charms. I pictured myself an 80-year-old woman still wearing Chuck Taylors and cheese-grated blue jeans listening to Family Force Five. I’ve toned down the “shredded” look a bit {even though last week after the supposed Earthquake along the Eastern seaboard I found myself singing, “10.0 on the richter scale. Shake it like an earthquake. Move your tail!!!” for the remainder of the afternoon}. What can I say? Old habits don’t die hard.

But this “Pastor’s Wife” identity has me wondering if I’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere. As if all across the world wide web there are forum gatherings for “Postman’s Wives”, “Engineer’s Wives”, “Iranian- Chinese-Puzzle-Solver’s Wives… From what I gather this “Pastor’s Wife” identity carries with it quite the lofty expectation. The woman who find herself bearing such a title must herself exhibit the compassion of Mother Theresa, the domestic savvy of June Cleaver, the vocal styling of Fraulein Maria, and the delicate grace of a Japanese Geisha. If that’s the case…

I’m sunk.

Most days I feel about as foul-tempered as the Queen of Hearts with the grace of an Alaskan bullmoose. So naturally when I’m asked to contribute thoughts on pastoral wifehood, my initial response is “I’m still working on the whole ‘wife’ thing where every other word out of my mouth isn’t “OFF WITH THEIR HEAD!” By preceding the word “wife” with “pastor’s”, one implies that a “pastor’s wife” is somehow a different brand of “wife” when the “wife-ly” wife is the one I was already working so hard on, and the very mention of it becomes way too much to handle and all of a sudden I feel the overwhelming urge to beat a live hedgehog with a flamingo mallet!

Before I’m run away with myself, allow me to say this… being a good wife who gives selflessly and loves unconditionally is hard enough without attaching some unwritten expectation to it. If being called a “pastor’s wife” somehow sets me apart from all of the other women out there who are just trying to be good “CEO”, “Radio DJ”, “Construction Worker” wives then I’ve never been one for titles.

Although if “Oldest-Living-Chuck-Taylor-Wearing-Ex-Benny-Drama-Queen” isn’t taken, I’d like to put myself in the running and I would appreciate your vote!

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