“Happy wife, happy life.” This and it’s corollary, “When momma’s happy, everyone’s happy,” are cliches we’ve all heard a hundred times and as with all cliches you hear a hundred times, at some point they become meaningless and we just nod our heads idiotically at their assumed wisdom.
OTOH, if you have ever been married to an American woman there is something about the aforementioned cliches that scratch an unfortunately itchy place for the average American man. There’s an implied threat to the cliche – that is, what if momma ain’t happy?
That’s why when Janet seemed to throw out said cliche last night over dinner I did a double take. After all, I hear often from men married to Filipinas to watch out for the Americanization of their lovely brides. I’m usually not too paranoid about this alleged problem but as I say, I did take notice.
“What was that you said, baby?”
Janet repeated, “Happy life, happy wife.”
I let her remark soak in and then began giggling.
“Why are you laughing?” she asked.
“The actual quote’s the opposite,” I said, telling her the real cliche and then asked her what she had meant by quoting it.
“Well, when the family’s happy, the wife is happy,” she replied.
A classic example of the difference between Filipinas and we Americans.