I still like the book club scene where the characters debate, but given the revised version of The Cold Wife, there was nowhere I could keep the scene and make it work with the rest of the plot. I had to toss it out with the 40,000 words I deleted.
This is why I wrote the book club scene:
This probably doesn’t come as a surprise based on my other books, but I think the United States culture doesn’t value men enough. (I haven’t lived outside the US, so I can’t compare countries.) I think it’s a shame that men are mocked on TV or movies. Usually, they’re shown as lazy idiots who need their wives to organize their lives for them. The husband who needs his wife to figure things out for him is becoming the norm in comedy. Well, it’s not funny to me. Then there’s the super-strong woman who is the one who protects the man–and she can even beat him up. So men are also “weak” and unable to protect women. If it weren’t for women, such men wouldn’t be able to survive in this world.
I know I’m old-fashioned. I know I’m not “with it” and that I’m a “square”. That’s fine with me. But I like being married, and I feel better when my husband is here. When he was in South Korea, I had to manage the whole house (writing, my kids, the schools, any repairs, etc) all by myself. I felt vulnerable. While I had a couple of friends to help, it wasn’t the same as having him here. There is a level of protection and support that my husband can give me that no one else can.
I think men are not valued enough. I think their strengths are often overlooked. Men and women are inherently different (physically and emotionally). I know there are exceptions, but overall, the differences exist. And those differences work to their advantage in marriage. The man and woman works as a team. Together, they form a complete unit.
I love the fact that my husband is stronger than me because he can lift all the heavy stuff. I like that while I am emotional about a situation, he’s able to come at it with a cool head. He’s able to discipline the kids better than me because I tend to get all soft (it’s the nurturing part of me that kicks in). He lets the kids do more than I do. I still tend to baby them by making their meals, but he’ll have them make their own meals now that they’re old enough. He goes out and cleans the gutters and does other jobs I’d rather not do because (quite frankly) I’d rather clean up the house instead of climbing on the roof or tending to the yard.
I don’t want to be like a man. I want to be a woman. I don’t want to take over the man’s job. I want my husband to do it. Men are smart. Men might not be all mushy when it comes to love, but when I was sick and couldn’t take care of the kids, he did the work for me. Men have their way of showing love. Some are more verbal about it than others, but they can and do love deeply. They are great protectors and great role models for their children. They should be appreciated for their strengths instead of being ridiculed. A man who works to provide for his wife and children is often overlooked and highly unappreciated. He’s faithful, he’s steady, he’s dependable. Maybe not “exciting” according to the culture’s standards, but he’s a hero in all of my romance novels and in real life.