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Eve the Original Desperate Housewife

Eve the Original Desperate Housewife

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Published by: Ann Meyers Piccirillo on Feb 06, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/24/2014

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EVE: THE ORIGINAL DESPERATE HOUSEWIFE
If Eve gave up Eden for an apple, what would she have done for  Nordstrom’s half-yearly sale? Fur-lined Uggs? A roomy mini-van? A ten-minutenap? These are things I think about when I should be focusing on more importantthings like did I pay the mortgage this month? Did I take the right kids home from
 
school? Is that tightness in my chest my bra or a heart-attack? But musing on Eveis so much more fun. She’s constantly referenced as the first mother, but hasanyone thought about the fact that she was the first housewife? And if she gave upParadise for an apple, could it
really
have been Paradise for her?Although I’ve always been fond of the biblical Eve, that story is told from amale perspective. Now John Milton’s Eve in
 Paradise Lost 
is a woman who speaksto me. True, Milton’s a man; however, he was a blind man whose daughterstranscribed the story as he told it to them, and it’s my theory that they put a trace of their own seventeenth-century feminist spin on Eve’s marital situation.There’s no doubt that Milton’s Eve is much more compelling and conflictedthan the Eve of Genesis. Milton gives her language and through her voice weglimpse the domesticated Eve. Fed-up with hoeing with Adam in Eden, Eve tellsAdam that she needs some alone-time and wants to go off on her own to exploreParadise. Adam, befuddled, can’t understand why she needs to go off on her ownwhen she can till the land with him and revel in the beauty of his total nakedcreation. Besides, he wants to take another “nap” with her. Frustrated, Eve does a brilliant rhetorical dance that completely wears Adam down, and she manages toconvince him that he’ll be all right without her for an hour or two. I can almosthear Adam saying, “You’re not taking my rib anywhere without me!” I can also
 
see his sullen look as she runs naked away from him through leaves of grass insearch of the Paradise of having a minute to herself.We all know what happens next--she meets the serpent, eats the apple, andflushes Paradise down the proverbial biblical toilet bowl. But ladies, side with mehere; the serpent was essentially offering to feed her something other than the sameold manna from heaven; and he wasn’t expecting anything “else” in return, if youknow what I mean. Truth be told, if I’m having a really bad day (or if the kid’shave a snow day) and a serpent slithered up to me and said, “Sit down, relax, takea load off; oh and by the way, here’s an apple for you to eat; however, if you takeeven one bite you’ll send civilization straight into hell,” there’s a
really
strong possibility that I’d eat that apple to the core with one hand while waving good-byeto civilization with the other.Look, Eve faced it alone—no girlfriends to commiserate with; no mother tocriticize Adam or compare him to Eve’s other boyfriends in an effort to completelyemasculate him; no Oprah; no wine; no football games to distract Adam. True, shedidn’t have a mother-in-law, a fact which may outweigh all the others, but she didhave a father-in-law who gave her the monthly curse! Imagine, too, that all daylong she had to sit and listen while Adam reminded her that were it not for his rib,she would not be. It wasn’t like she went to
 Arby’s
and said, “I’ll have the Adam’s

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