Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Perfect Wife

And while we're on the topic of teeth (see yesterday's blog below), let me share with you a favorite (old country) story of my father's. It went like this.

I knew a man in Marash who was married to a woman, a woman who took endless trips to the dentist.  The man complained constantly that he was spending all his money paying for the dentist to pull one or another of his wife's rotting teeth.  So after she died (could her death have been caused by an unpulled rotting tooth?), the man decided that this time when he chose a wife, he would look for a woman with perfect teeth.  [Now this man must have been Armenian, since Turkish men were not allowed to see the faces of their wives before marrying.]  Hunt as he might, he could not find a single woman with perfect teeth, until one day he did.  He was thrilled.  He immediately arranged the marriage and soon it was their wedding night.  He was happily ensconced in bed with his new wife when suddenly he heard a crash.  Startled, he called out, "What was that?"  "Oh, dear," cried his new wife.  "My false teeth just fell to the ground and shattered!"


  1. there is another story involving teeth told by my dad. there was this man who loved this woman very much, so much he wanted to marry her and be with her forever. she was an ideal woman. she was patient, she was kind, she was noble, never complained and had a surpassing understanding. her only possible flaw were her teeth. they seemed worn down. other than her teeth, she was indeed the woman for him. they got married. she moved into his home and within a few days, poof! all that she was before the marriage was lost in a sea of her anger, complaining, unkindness, bitterness, the complete catastrophe,to quote Zorba, the Greek.
    Stunned, and made mute before such a transformation of human character, the fair husband with teeth not worn down, but not perfect, managed to stammer and beseech his wife for an explanation for all that had transpired since their nuptials had occurred. she smiled, a smile he had never before seen on her face. it was more of a slash across her face. she led her husband to the bedroom she had occupied in her parents' home, a room he had never before been allowed to enter. the bed was a magnificent four poster bed, or, at least was originally. the posters had all been gnawed down, as if by a beaver working to dam up a stream. why are the bedposts all gnawed down, the husband asked? she replied, 'for the last year when you and i were seeing each other, before going to bed at night, i would gnaw at my bedposts to relieve the fury and anger stored up within me'.
    the story ends here. i would have liked to have been able to say that the husband being armenian and not a turk solved the problem by buying a bed of her own with bedposts the size of tree trunks. alas, the story was not to end that way, and i was left with an uneasy feeling about not just women, but all people, that all was not always what it seemed, or to quote Hamlet (Zorba's alter ego)'tis seems, i know not what seems'.

  2. The dazzeled wrapping is usually more interesting. Man may make/sew/design the clothes, but does clothing make the man??

  3. i am afraid i am at a loss for the relevance of the comment from anonymous.