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The "Good" Wife Re-Visited

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

This is a re-post from my other blog. It's about a year old, or so, and some things are changing in my life so it may not be entirely true to today, but hey, it was a good post and I'm on vacation!

This is from a 1954 home economics text book as well as a Good Housekeeping article from 1955. It's all about how to be the perfect wife. My responses are in red.

* Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.  I think that making reservations will suffice.

* Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. 15 minutes to rest? WTF? I take the whole damn day! Not to worry about freshening up, I always look great. I have this one covered.

* Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it. Well, hell, I have this one hands down. I am a little gay, half gay as a matter fact. I wonder if that's anything like half white, black, Mexican or Irish? He finds it intriguing as well as a little threatening. I, on the other hand, love it.

* Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables. My hands touch a dustcloth? That's what kids are for, get them to jump to work while I'm sipping that Tanqueray and Tonic with a twist. "Oooops, missed a spot. Finish up children. Mama needs her feet massaged."

* During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction. He can reach the haven of rest and order when we're sitting in the ski lodge chatting with the other "I play I'm a skier on the weekends" type of people. 

* Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet. No danger of the washer or drier going, I mean he washes the clothes. The vacuum? Oh is that the long hose that the minions stick in the wall to suck shit off of the carpet? Kids have that covered. My kids quiet? They have to be dead to be quiet and even that would be questionable.

* Be happy to see him. Yeah, well is he bringing me a paycheck or a new bottle of Tangueray? Or just give me a valium.

* Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him. Ok, we're getting out of hand here. I mean I'm home with the crumb crunchers all day, every day. I'll smile blissfully at him the day he takes them for a week.

* Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours. Give me a break! He's talked to adults all day. I've only spoken with kids with marbles in their mouths, kids tying up the cat, and catching the dogs whiskers on fire. If anyone's going to talk, it's going to be me!

* Don't greet him with complaints and problems.What? Am I to close the kids in the closet, burn the bills and forget to mention that the bitch at Nordstrom took my parking spot? HA!

* Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work. I kinda like this one, First the house will be much quieter, I could have my bed to myself and hey, whats good for the goose.......I be havin' me a good ole time!

* Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Comfortable? come on now. The guy works in shorts and tennis shoes 365 days a year!

* Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice. Taking off his shoes, uh, I don't do any feet except my own. Even then I don't actually touch them. That's what the pedicurist is for. Low, soothing pleasant voice is kinda hard to do when you're screaming at your 12 year old to get the blow torch away from his brother's eyelashes.

* Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him. Oh you mean I can't ask questions about why he gave a raise to OUR employees and didn't consult me? Or maybe the time he gave 10,000 dollars to a client off their bill because he felt "sorry for them?" "Master of the house?" I run this place, it's my way or the highway!

* A good wife always knows her place. I know my place and it's at Neiman's searching for expensive lingerie and luxurious shoes.


Leo February 2, 2011 at 7:20 PM  

Oh my gosh..this is hysterical. I have seen this before...but your commentary makes it the best. I right with you at Neiman's.

e February 2, 2011 at 9:41 PM  

Good grief, thank f*** things have changed! I guess this is why I was NOT born in the 50's! Hilarious.

MarkD60 February 3, 2011 at 5:15 AM  

You can find a copy of the original here

Monkey Man February 3, 2011 at 12:06 PM  

Funny stuff. I think my Mom had that book.

Raven February 4, 2011 at 10:17 AM  

Love this blog! I'll be back. I'm a single mother with bipolar and two kids with mental health issues as well. I'm pretty sure our cats are OCD. We don't have a Tortoise though. It's a madhouse around here too, so I can relate.

I've seen this article before (isn't it just sickening) and I love your responses!

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