Equal time: What a wife has to believe

Hi, I'm Bonnie Jenkins. The guy whose column normally appears in this space is my husband. For now.

OK, I'm just kidding. As Rob said in last week's column, we've been happily married for more than 23 years. It's just that he has no clue as to why. He thinks men stay married because they somehow brainwash themselves into accepting certain dubious "truths" about women. In reality, it's women who have to willingly suspend disbelief.

Here are just a few of the things a woman has to believe in order to stay with any man longer than six months:

Men only get gas at home. Do you guys really expect us to believe that all day long, as you sit through meetings, talk with clients and chat with co-workers, you never feel the need to emit rude noises? Then when you walk in the door at 6, the urge is suddenly overpowering?

Please. The same intestinal chemistry that fires your boilers at home is simmering in your nether regions throughout the day. It's just that you manage to suppress the more forceful and malodorous expressions of your gastric distress when you're around other people, because you know they might find them unpleasant.

Well, here's a news flash, fellas, straight from Wives Central: It's not exactly stop-and-smell-the-roses time for us, either. Do you think we're sitting around at 5:30 saying to ourselves, "Any minute now, my one-and-only will walk through that door and break wind. Then all will be right with my world."

Get a grip. You can hold it in at work, hold it in at home.

It's for the family. Yeah, right. Men get upset when we buy a new pair of shoes on sale, but they can buy anything they want, from a big-screen TV to a bass boat, as long as it's "for the family."

Of course that $5,000, 60-inch plasma screen with surround-sound home theater system is for the family. That's why you watch football on it all day Saturday and Sunday. And Monday night. And Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. Friday night, the kids and I get to pop some popcorn and join you for a heartwarming family film, such as "Mission: Impossible III" or "Jackass: The Movie."

Look, we don't care if you buy something for yourself. Just admit it's for yourself. And quit complaining about our shoes. They match our new purse (also on sale).

Marriage causes blindness. Our husbands want us to think they don't even notice other women. Sure, they don't. That's why they walk around the mall with their guts sucked in.

Guys, we wives know you encounter attractive women all day long - at work, at the grocery store, at the neighborhood pool. We don't necessarily expect you to pretend they don't exist.

We just want you to break wind around them every once in a while.

Lawrenceville resident Bonnie Jenkins is the wife of Rob Jenkins, associate professor of English at Georgia Perimeter College. E-mail Rob (or Bonnie) at rjenkinsgdp@yahoo.com.