Saturday, June 23, 2007

Can it? Should it?

In an earlier post I posed the question "Can this marriage be saved?" in referring to the matter of a long-running disagreement between Carol and me over the question of whether any part of our precious lives should be spent engaged in board games and the like. I want to be sure that everyone understands the ironic allusion behind my use of the question "Can this marriage be saved?". It may not be obvious to younger members of the community.

"Can this marriage be saved?" was the title of a column in the Ladies' Home Journal, a women's magazine that was a best-seller in the 50s. The writer would present a particular non-fictional marital situation, one that seriously threatened the marriage, and then would offer suggestions on "saving" the marriage. The question, "Can this marriage be saved", crept into the language idiomatically, and, for example, one spouse would use the phrase as a sort of benediction after describing a not too serious disagreement with the other spouse.

I would see my mother reading that column sometimes and I would ask, "Should that marriage be saved?" But that was a little irreverent and, of course, not scriptural. My mother had an idiomatic phrase that she used in replying to me, her son, but I won't repeat it.

3 comments:

Macon said...

I'm guessing that since you won't write it, it wasn't her expression, "Oh Cow!"

Paul said...

It was variation of "Smarty Pants", a less kind variation.

Paul said...

It did pertain to an animal though.