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Shoot Me Now!

A few years ago when I was teaching, this little copy of the May 13th, 1955 Housekeeping Monthly ended up tucked in the agenda for a faculty meeting.  It caused a few chuckles as well as a few very upset women.  I more  laughed, but was very awestruck with how much times change and some things never do.  Basically, the article was, “The Good Wife’s Guide.”  It included a few, “tips” on how to keep things running smoothly.  The author remains anonymous, but I can’t help but wonder if it was in fact male.  I found the paper today while I was cleaning.

It read this way:

* 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 been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.  Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

* 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.

* 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.

* Clear away the clutter.  Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.

* Gather up schoolbooks, toys , paper etc. and then run a dustcloth over the tables.

* Over the cool 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.  Afte all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

* Prepare the children.  Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (If they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes.  They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.  Minimise all noise.  At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum.  Try to encourse the children to be quiet.

* Be happy to see him.

* Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in yourdesire to please him.

*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.

* Make the evening his.  Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or othe places of entertainment without you.  Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very rael need to be at home and relax.

*Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquillity where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

* Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.

* Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even it he stays out all night.  Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

* Make him comfortable.  Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom.  Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

*Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes.  Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

* Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement 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.

* A good wife always knows her place.

I had to bite my tongue through this article.  I could feel the sarcasm pooling on the end of my tongue.  I think over all, I’m just grateful I wasn’t born until many decades later…okay 3 decades.  After this Will may be wishing he was a 50s husband.  Any thoughts?! …besides, I can’t remember the last time I tied a ribbon in my hair.

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10 Responses to “Shoot Me Now!”

  1. Will says:

    Very good points, I’ll be expecting ribbons, cool drinks, and low soothing voices from now on.

  2. Kim W. says:

    I couldn’t help wondering if the husband’s own mother had written the article. There is NO way to accomplish all of this at the same time (clean the house, make a drink, clean the kids, take time to rest yourself while putting in ribbons and freshening make-up). Wowee!!! Thank heavens that some things have changed. Although, I do admit that I plan my meals a day or week ahead of time. A throw back to the 50’s I guess. Ha!

  3. Oh oh my. SO much to say but where to start? I don’t think I fit ONE of those! I mean-was it EVER the rule to not question your husband if he stayed out ALL night? LOL Thanks for the laugh!


  4. Michelle says:

    I like the 15 minutes of rest – the other parts I am definitely going to work on (or not)!

  5. OK oops-I just had Dustin read this and must omit my comment about not meeting any of those. I AM happy to see him when he comes home. But the rest-nope. :)


  6. Amber says:

    WOW!! I think I need to throw up. Thank goodness for the change in our society. I would have been the WORST 50’s housewife. Thanks for a good laugh Jess.

  7. Melanie says:

    I’m wondering if I could convince my husband to try out some of these techniques. Maybe for my birthday?!

  8. Seriously! There’s a reason I wasn’t born until the 80’s….I would have been one of those rebellious radicals who didn’t wear a ribbon in her hair!

  9. Miranda says:

    In his dreams…

  10. Matt says:

    You know, MY wife does ALL of those things. It was written into our marriage contract.