Cheryl Hughes: Facebook Husband
Occasionally, I sit down after dinner and watch “Wheel of Fortune.” If you’ve watched this program throughout the 30 years of its broadcast, you will have noticed the Stepford-Wives quality of most of the contestants. They appear to be perfect people with perfect lives.
“Tell me a little about yourself, Ed,” Pat Sajak might say on any given week night.
“Well,” says Ed, with a smile and puffed out chest, “I have a beautiful wife of thirteen years, Edwina, and three terrific kids: Ed, Jr., age 10; Edward, age 8; and Ed-a-loo, age 6.”
The perfect people almost always work for a major company—a major airlines, a major telecommunications firm, a major hotel chain. Just once I would love to hear a response along the lines of: “Well, Pat, I’ve been married to an average-looking woman for…actually, I can’t remember how long, but it feels like forever. We have three kids: Bubba, age 21; Sissy, age 19; and June, age 17, as well as seven grandchildren. I was working at Burger King, but got laid off when HR inadvertently hired a new manager with links to PETA, and I’m one spin of this wheel away from losing my house.”
I will never hear those words, however, or anything similar, because the people in charge of finding contestants for “Wheel of Fortune” have an inexhaustible resource from which to choose contestants, especially married male contestants. It’s called Facebook.
The husbands on Facebook are always taking their wives out for dinner or on beach vacations or for long walks along the river side. These husbands are crazy about their spouses and forgive their mistakes and accept them just the way they are with loving and supporting attitudes. I know this because their wives post status updates on Facebook every fifteen minutes that tell everyone so, and they have pictorial documentation to back up their claims.
There are plates of steaming crabs at tiki bars, a sunset behind couples, holding fruity drinks while a gentle breeze stirs the palm fronds beside them. There are pictures of jewelry and automobiles and shoes, all purchased by Facebook husbands for their wives, their own happiness being secondary. And these aren’t random people from a Sandals commercial, these are actually people I know. I’ve known many of these people for years, and I had no idea how wonderful they were.
I, for one, feel cheated. My husband, Garey, gripes at me for hogging the covers, and he’ll be mad for a week if, while mowing the yard, I accidentally get grass clippings in the garden he spent three hours hoeing out. We spent our last sunset, stringing an electric fence around the corn in order to keep the deer and coons out, and a picture of our meal last night would have included a steaming plate of sausage and fried squash, enjoyed by a couple in sweaty tee shirts with barely the strength left to lift a fork to their mouths.
Thanks to Facebook, there is a new standard for husbands everywhere, though. The bar has been raised. There are expectations to be met, walks on the beach to be taken, jewelry to be bought, meals to be served—and not by the wives themselves—mistakes to be forgiven, and flaws to be accepted. There’s only one problem with that. Husbands like Garey never log onto Facebook.
You know, Garey’s pretty good at sensing my mood, though. After the electric fence-sausage-squash sunset we had last night, he must have figured out that I was becoming a bit disgruntled with our lifestyle, because he took me out for breakfast this morning. I have a not-so-smart phone or I would have posted a picture of the Farm Boy biscuits and gravy on my Facebook page.