They Teach You To Be a Trophy Wife

You are 13 when your teacher asks you—
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
You feel a lump in your throat as you mumble, “Relevant.”

They teach you to be a trophy wife, but
pretty doesn’t last forever; you’ve seen your mom
so instead, you learn to be pretty smart, pretty hard working,
pretty tough, pretty perseverant, and all that stuff.

Both, well-kept and well-read
neither afraid to talk politics, nor stumbling
when draped in silk…all the while nurturing
patient ears that can brace a man’s fears.

Year after year, one day at a time
you raise a man, and a few babies, all his.
Work a full-time job as a full-time mom, which leaves you
just enough time to play a part-time wife;

that’s the best you can do in a day
that’s not a minute longer than 24 hours.
And when even that falls short, you stretch to make up
with more bucks by day and more moans in the night.

You keep up with the current, follow every trendy feed
take some time out for Netflix, you even study tweets;
it won’t earn you another degree
but it will surely keep you popular among your kids.

So you have more to talk to them
than “What’s for dinner,” “How was your day,”
“I’m still talking, mind your ways”; and sometimes
they might even listen to what you have to say.

When vases stay empty and boredom springs
at least silent dinners won’t be a thing
and his mid-life crisis that doesn’t want you
in his bed, will still save you a seat at the table.

When the mirror doesn’t look at you with the same eyes
you can still see yourself with less pity and more pride.
Year after year, one day at a time
you’ll say you’re fine, you’ll tell another lie,

wondering if it were easier only if you could’ve
gotten through this life like a trophy wife:
Having enough, wanting less,
with a moment or two to catch a breath.

Every full night’s sleep, a gift not a prize
and you wouldn’t be too tired to be grateful.
But then, what’s a good life without a good fight?
Because pretty doesn’t last forever, pretty amazing just might.

You’re 43 when you ask yourself
“What do you wanna be when you grow old?”
You clear the lump in your throat
and set the words free – “Happy”.

Shruti Shukla is a writer at large, experienced in copywriting, content writing and video production, with a natural inclination towards storytelling.

Featured image: iStock