Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Seriously. A Wacky Shout-Out from 1955.


I am sure you have all read this or a version of it somewhere. I know of a friend who has it, jokingly, hanging on her wall in her kitchen.

Jaren sent me this email a while ago.

"I heard a radio station reading this article this morning on my way to work. I thought the women could benefit from reading this and I thought the men would get a kick out of seeing how poorly we are being treated these days.
Jaren (Master of his house)"

For those of you who have never met him, he was joking. Don't get all worked up thinking I married a total jerk who has no respect for women, me imparticular. Besides, May of 2009 (that's when grad school ends) I will be the MASTER in the house.

This article was actually found in the May 13th 1955 issue of Housekeeping Monthly entitled A Good Wife


1. 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 favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

Whatever. These days Jaren is either picking up take-out or making dinner for us when he gets home.


2. 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.

I am a work-weary person. He leaves them and comes home to one. 15 minutes to rest? Anyone else laughing out loud? Freshen-up? Jaren is lucky if I shower.


3. 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.

Is complaining about how sick I feel, how Gunnar didn't listen all day, how my computer crashed on me three times during the day, how I want new furniture, a new camera, and some grass being "a little gay"?


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

Why clear it away when it is just going to reappear 10 seconds later?


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

If I run a dustcloth over the tables what will we write our names in or where will Gunnar practice writing his ABCs?


6. Over 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 for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

Yes. Catering to his comfort...If I tried to light a fire I would probably burn down the house and then no one would be comfortable.


7. 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 encourage the children to be quiet.

Encourage the children to be quiet. That is hysterical. Gunnar is usually playing in the mud or watching a noisey episode of Scooby Doo when Jaren gets home. I usually don't wash his face until he is in the bath or shower. Never before Jaren gets home. Sorry, Dude.


8. Be happy to see him.

This, I am always.


9. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

I do this too, most days.


10. 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.

His topics of conversation are more important than mine? What the sub-contractors did at work over Gunnar's growth and progression. Really? Good to know.


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

What other places of entertainment are you going to Jaren? Huh? Unfortunately, when J gets home there is more strain and pressure to get things done around our house. (We have 6 months to get things really settled before the baby.) In fact, work is probably more of a reprieve for him.


12. 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.

I do try to make it a good place to be. Renewal of body and spirit? Ummm...maybe not right now. There is just too much to do. In fact I can't wait until our house projects are done so we can have a normal night/weekend as a family.


13. Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

See response to 3.


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

I only complain when he is bringing dinner with him and he is late and we are starving. "Minor compared to what he might have gone through"...seriously?


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

Drinks are in the fridge. He knows where the glasses are too. There is no time to get comfortable. We have work to do.


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

He goes to bed before me. His pillow is right where he left it. Why arrange something he is happy with? ;)


17. 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.

This is just wrong. Way wrong. I feel like a huge feminist right now.


18. A good wife always knows her place.

Yep. At Nordstrom.


Anyone else failing miserably at these expectations? I would have been a terrible wife in 1955, but I think I would have really enjoyed the malt shops, fashion, enchantment under the sea dances, and the music of the time.

Hope this made you smile and laugh like it did me. Have a happy day doing all the things you do to make your homes run smoothly, to make your kids happy, and to make your husbands "comfortable". xoxo Kam


Tonya said...

Ok...I am so glad I did not live then...or I would really have issues...
These are really funny, but can you imagine...at the end of a long hard day at home...working at home...to have to play that part...oh, I would just explode one day...literally!
This is really good at helping me appreciate how liberating my life really is!

Thanks for sharing...

oh...I can totally see you sporting a pencil skirt, wearing that updo and hanging at the malt shop...our next enrichment activity should be a themed one...(maybe not...budget!)


Joy said...

All of these require you to be home when he gets home. I am never home so shouldn't he do those for me when I get home. I wonder what the wives in 1955 would of thought of our sassy attitudes?

Shannon said...

When I stop laughing I'll leave a more elaborate comment:)

Rebecca said...

I'm ready to go burn that Madonna imitation bra right now. I would have failed beyond miserably in 1955. I'm barely making it today. Great post and I'm linking it on mine. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Lindsay said...

Are you kidding me with that stuff!! Kill me now!!! So glad I clicked on over to your blog! I'm all fired up now though because this explains why some of the women (older) I know put up with this crap from their husbands today!! I would have to tell the guy that actually expected any of this from me to go fly a kite!! (but I'd say it in a "nicer" way!!!)

Lindsay said...

ps- I'm linking this post to my blog too- you might get a few new visitors :) hope that's ok!!!