I never had qualms about getting married especially to someone “worthy of me” and someone I love. I was already 22 years old then and settling down was not far from my mind, especially because Randy and I have been a couple for four years (22 years old is actually still too young, but then if you know me, planning a wedding would take YEARS thus it wasn’t that early; I actually got married at 24, a few months shy from my 25th birthday)…that is, until one fateful day in the office.
At that time, I was working at a company specializing in MVAS. Almost all of my colleagues were guys who were a tad older than I was, and almost all of them were already married. But to me they still look single because my idea of a family man is someone with a moustache, protruding belly, and a “weathered” face. Well, my colleagues have neither of that. Moreover, I was also used to hearing family men talk about debts and backyard drinking sessions—instead, my colleagues talk about buying the latest gadgets and about drinking sessions at Makati bars. So one time, we were in petiks mode and then one of them said, “Si misis blah blah blah”…I say “blah blah blah” because after he sad the word “misis”, I heard alarm bells in my head, and I felt like being in another dimension wherein a distorted voice kept on repeating “mii—siis, mii-siis…” I suddenly envisioned Randy drinking with his buddies and regaling his buddies a story about me, and referring to me as “Misis”. I cringed and the hairs on my neck stood up. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!
When I saw Randy on that weekend, I told him about it. He laughed and asked what was wrong with the “misis” term, and how should he refer to me when we get married. I said, “E ‘di sabihin mo, ‘Yung wife ko'”. He then asked me what’s the difference difference between the two, bakit daw kailangan pang i-English (Note: Actually, “Misis”, when orally said, is also in English. So I’m not being a language snob here, ayt?). Then I told him that there is big difference between “misis” and “wife”, and that the language used is just the tip of the iceberg.
“Si misis” wears a faded duster in the house, and her hair is haphazardly tied ina bun. Her past time includes picking nits and lice from her children’s hair. She also keeps on nagging her husband with her shrill voice.
“The wife”, despite the fact that she cooks
incredibly delicious Mediterranean, Chinese and Italian dishes and keeps the house immaculate, still has soft hands, well-combed hair, groomed eyebrows and manicured toenails even at home.
So you see, there is world of difference between the “misis” and the “wife”. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. I remember a time when I was explaining to my students the difference between Ms. and Miss (OK, if you don’t know it, explain ko na nga…MISS is often used to address young women who aren’t yet married, whereas MS. is used to refer to women in general regardless of marital status). So I asked my students which of the two is appropriate for me, and they said, “Ms.” I then asked them whether “Mrs.” is appropriate for me, and they said it’s not. Aren’t they brilliant kids? 🙂 More brilliant than Randy’s friends who laughed out loud when Randy told them that i cringe at the thought of being called Misis, harumpft!