taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Monday, September 13, 2004

How do you get to be a trophy wife? Do you start out as a stripper and clean yourself up, learn how to speak properly, a la Pygmalion? Or do you start out as a prep-school bunny, maybe not so bright, and go to Tulane and meet an investment banker? Or do you maybe troll the yuppie bars in Canton, looking for someone with a nice watch?

I ask this because at the gym tonight were two women who were so clearly trophy wives, it was like they came from central casting. Blonde, tan, and you could tell they were older than they looked. You could tell that they worked damn hard to look that way--surgery and workouts all day and well-matched gym outfits. I was sweating and doing bicep curls in a fifteen-year-old t-shirt, and they didn't even break a sweat lifting twice the weight.

If they were fifteen years younger, I would have thought they were either sorority girls, strippers, professional volleyball players, or cheerleaders for the Ravens. But these ladies had the unmistakable marks of age on them: the crows' feet you can never really get rid of; a slightly ashy blonde to their highlights that says "covering gray", and artfully applied foundation makeup. These women, then, were protecting their investment--their hotness was their ticket to expensive gym clothes and nice tans.

I have nothing against the trophy wives. I think they work harder than most women do at actual jobs, and for less reward. I guess I think they're suckers, but who am I to judge? Maybe a nice house in Palm Beach and an unlimited clothes budget would turn my head, too. But I do wonder how you go about getting that job and signing that contract. Somehow I think it's not a binding contract, either, which sucks for them--because at the end of the day, who would you rather be? the aging trophy wife or the guy with the wallet?

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