08 April 2008

The Good Wife

I received an email from a friend of mine today, which contained this article from a 1950s Good Housekeeping magazine:

The email ended: Ok when you guys stop laughing long enough to pick yourself off the floor forward this to all the women you know so they can have a good laugh too.

Ha ha? There's quite a few good reminders to be gleaned from that cute little picture alone. Make the kids behave. Why? So you and your beloved can hear yourselves think. Have dinner prepared. Why? Because it's time to eat and it's your job. Look nice. Gulp. "Hey, Self! Just comb your hair, for crying out loud!"

My favorite bit from the text comes at the end: "A good wife knows her place." That's pretty wise; submit and be cherished. Magazine editors have come such a long way since then. It's so nice to be liberated from helpful advice and pleasant reminders and liberated to topics like, "How to wake up hot in the morning!" and "How to spend less by spending more!"

I'd love to say more about this very important topic, but I've got cookies to make.


Me said...

At my bridal shower the pastor's wife came up to me and said that it was my job to cook.

Where is that biblical?

We both eat...we both cook.

Gauntlets said...

Well, hello there! I wondered if you'd gone forever.

It's not biblical in the biblicist sense, nuda scriptura. So you got me there.

Rebekah said...

This is great, and what I like most is that it assumes the default attitudes toward husbands are respect and trust. When did this get completely reversed? (Wait, this is our blog, so let's say: the pill and the sexual revolution! HA HA HA HA HA)

Rosie said...

Good post, Gauntlets! We were actually just talking about this very article the other day in a deaconess class...

One of our students passed along the modern version of it - to show how (not) far we've come. Pretty sad...

The "Modern" version:

1. Have dinner ready. Make reservations ahead of time. If your day becomes too hectic, just leave him a voice mail message regarding where you'd like to eat and at what time. This lets him know that your day has been crappy and gives him an opportunity to change your mood.

2. Prepare yourself. A quick stop at the "LANCOME" counter on your way home will do wonders for your outlook and will keep you from becoming irritated every time he opens his mouth. (Don't forget to use his credit card!)

3. Clear away the clutter. Call the housekeeper and tell her that any miscellaneous items left on the floor by the children can be placed in the Goodwill box in the garage.

4. Prepare the children. Send the children to their rooms to watch television or play Nintendo. After all, both of them are from his previous marriages.

5. Minimize the noise: If you happen to be home when he arrives, be in the bathroom with the door locked.

6. Some DON'TS: Don't greet him with problems and complaints. Let him speak first, and then your complaints will get more attention and remain fresh in his mind throughout dinner. Don't complain if he's late for dinner, simply remind him that the leftovers are in the fridge and you left the dishes for him to do.

7. Make him comfortable: Tell him where he can find a blanket if he's cold. This will really show you care.

8. Listen to him: But don't ever let him get the last word.

9. Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or other places of entertainment; go with a friend or go shopping (use his credit card).

10. The Goal: Try to keep things amicable without reminding him that he only thinks the world revolves around him. Obviously he's wrong, it revolves around you.

Reb. Mary said...

Rosie: Your class does great work!

I think this very article is one discussed in Caitlin Flanagan's "To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife." A must read, and someone should blog it sometime.

But not me, not now--the fluctuating volume of the bullfight music in the next room leads me to believe that some discipline is in order (BOYS!!! DON'T TOUCH THE STEREO!!!!). Excuse me. At least we've gotten off the Dueling Banjos kick that we were on for two weeks straight.

Gauntlets said...

Wow. Sad to say, that list reminds me of the young, idiotic, grrl-power me from my really cool college days. Thank God I got a patient husband who, nine years later, tells me I'm doing much better.

Rebekah said...

Nice, Ro. :D

Dueling banjos???

Reb. Mary said...

Ah, yes. The banjos are from the bluegrass section of our eclectic music collection. Between that, the bagpipes and the bullfight music, we've gotten more or less peacefully thru lots of these early nursing sessions--I put the music on and the big brothers "dance" like crazy while New Guy nurses and wonders what kind of world he was born into.

Rebekah said...