December 21, 2012
Over 20 years ago I hitched my wagon and my person to a long-haired science major with a fondness for paintball and big-hair music. Turns out it was a good choice, and if you have daughters, I urge you to urge them to seek mates with these traits.
Dr. Stevens has been invited to speak at two universities in China next year, and they are also bringing me.
Why? Because I’m his wife, that’s why. No. Other. Reason!
I am still agape.
I get to be arm candy. I get to be decorative and (I hope) charming. While I often fulfill the role of Science Wife (which involves Spanx, tight dresses, alcohol, and smiling and nodding at people babbling in a language I don’t understand), this trip will be the ultimate in science-wifery.
The Feminist In My Head snarls even as I type these words. “You are more than a pair of well-scaffolded breasts and a smile,” she shouts. “You are Person, with a Mind and Creativity and–”
Oh, shut up. It’s a free two-week trip to China! People go on Wheel of Fortune for this!
I know my price, and I know my job. Smiling practice has begun.
I’ve promised myself 70 hours of Chinese and China study. Since I cannot yet locate either Shanghai or Guangzhou on a map, I have quite a ways to go. I can, however, tell you all about how the pigments on the Terracotta Warriors act in a supermagnet (thank you, PBS and NOVA!). I can say, “My boyfriend doesn’t want a coffee” in Chinese.
At least, that’s what I think I’m saying. The more I learn about this language, the scareder I get. Instead of syllable emphasis, the Chinese speak in monotone. However, each vowel can be intoned four different ways–at a high note, at a neutral note and rising, dipping and rising, and starting high and dipping low. As best I can tell, I need to find my “key” and sing Chinese if I want to be understood correctly. The “intro to Chinese” podcasts, books and CDs I’ve checked out are full of horror stories of Americans asking to mate with their waitresses.
I won’t have time for that. I know darned good and well where my mating energies are to be put during this FREE TRIP TO CHINA! And unlike here at home, I won’t be able to say, “Maybe tomorrow, Honey,” while I’m there. With the time zone difference, today here usually IS tomorrow there.
That’s okay. I’m working out again. I’ve put “take your multi-vitamin” on my to-do list. Last night, I even put a mud mask on my face AND remembered to wash it off.
A Trophy Wife knows her duty. It’s a tough job, but I’m up for it.