“Wife!” I say to my wife. “I have had the best day!”
“Oh yes?” she says, not looking up from the craft-tastrophes she’s perusing on Pinterest or from doing something so complicated to a website I will never understand it.
“Oh yes!” I say, “Maggie looked so hot today.”
“That’s nice, baby,” she says, and passes me the tax return she filled in for me after I collapsed into tears and blasphemy while trying to understand it. “Sign here.”
“I mean really, really hot,” I say, signing and feeling increasingly like a slightly annoying puppy.
“I’m glad, my love,” she says as she turns back to her laptop. “How was work?”
“Work was great! I said! Maggie wore that dress I love.”
“Dress?” she says, absently, tinny sound from a YouTube video coming from her machine.
“The dress, the dress! The shiny blue one that’s all clingy and lovely and shows off her… you know, the dress! We’ve spoken about the dress!” I’m starting to sound petulant.
“Have we? Sorry, baby, I don’t remember. I’m sure it was lovely. What time do we eat?”
“You don’t care about my hobbies!” I shout and flounce off to the kitchen to cook dinner.
I tell you this story as something of a disclaimer, in case at any point it appears that I am speaking for all men. I may be typical, I may not be. I honestly couldn’t say. My wife calls me a freak, but then she calls me a freak about a lot of things, and she doesn’t seem to care about Maggie’s dress, so she is not to be trusted. I know I don’t feel like a typical blokey bloke whenever well-meaning guys in cargo-shorts try to tell me what I, as a man, should be into. Sports and cars and fighting, you see, hold far less appeal for me than poetry and music and beautiful women.
I looove beautiful women. Love ’em. I love looking at them, talking to them, being around them. I am a fan of hotness, you might say. And I am often made aware that either this attitude or the brazen expression of it is not acceptable in civilised society. In fact, to express yourself thus is to be relegated to the realms of the uncivilised. Visions of crowds of frat-boys screaming and whooping at a stripper on a pole or builders shouting at a woman on the street. Well, I have never shouted at a woman on the street, I have never built a damn thing and I have only ever clapped politely and thanked strippers. That’s just how my mother raised me.
And I think this is okay. So does my wife. I may, of course, be wrong. So may my wife. But you tell her that.
There is a mistake that I think a lot of people make that has to do with the conservation of energy. Some people seem to think of romantic and sexual aesthetics as what scientists call a closed system: if one part of the system gains, another must lose. My grasp of science is shaky at best, my wife says, so I’m willing to accept I got the analogy wrong, but not the principle. The fact that I find Maggie hot does not remove hotness from my wife. Nor does it reduce my ability to see it. I am married, not blind, and while I love my wife and think she is both hot and beautiful (there’s a difference but that’s another article), I am not so love-addled nor so niche in my tastes as to believe she is the only hot woman on earth.
My advice to you, Christian couple, is to chill out. Relax. You both are going to meet hot people. Here’s some tough news: you’re both going to meet people hotter than your partners. If you prepare for that now, your marriage may survive. If you give each other permission to acknowledge it (as well as the insecurities that may make it hard to hear) and if you value and cherish each other aesthetically, I think you’ll be okay.