Its funny that if you ask nearly any well educated black man about their dream wife, Claire Huxtable, or her modern counterpoint Michelle Obama, would find its way into his description. I’m always amused by this description. Not just because of their lack of Cliff/Barak-ness, but because of its idealistic qualities. Lets just break down the reality of the Huxtable residence.
Yes Claire was definitely a ride or die… she stuck with Cliff when he was in med school, and he while she was in law school. But Claire also confesses to having molded Cliff over the years, and we KNOW how much men love that.
Claire was as much a nag as any other woman. She watched Cliff’s diet like a hawk. Even snatching food from his very grasp.
But what I loved most about Claire’s realness is when it came to how she mothered the children. She was loving but FIRM. Some of the fights between she and Vanessa were downright legendary, to the point of making it on my DVR. When Robert and Vanessa stayed out past curfew and Vanessa yelled down the stairs to see if he was ok. Claire yelled back up with as much force as my mother when we argued.
Their child rearing struggle resulted in a Princeton grad who opened a pet store, Denise – enough said, annoying ass Vanessa and we never know what became of Rudy. Of ALL the children that made a REAL something of themselves, it was left to Theo… thats right crazy ass Theo. All this to say, the Huxtable residence was not the haven of success, but a revolving door of failure and struggle. Do yall really want that for your household gentlemen?
Cliff and Claire’s relationship was a partnership. I remember him being in the kitchen as much as she. Many times when he was at home and SHE would come home with the briefcase. In many scenes she was seen working on files at her home desk. Cliff dealt with as many parenting struggles as she. He cared for Rudy when she was sick. Stayed at home with the kids when Claire was away on business. Helped with homework. And the list goes on.
All this to say, Claire was not perfect. She was far from it. And we are far closer to Claires than our male suitors would like to admit. And even if the myth of Claire’s perfection had a thread of truth, its because she was well supported by her husband, not that she herself was super woman.