I bet you have all seen this or at least heard of it before.....the it i am referring to is the "How to be a Perfect Wife" commentary from the 1950's. I happened to think of it after staying busy with a very funny little string of emails running between my friends this morning and it was very funny reminder of how at once we ladies are both lucky and unlucky these days.
Sometimes, right around 5:00 when i am on my way home from work i feel just that - lucky and unlucky ( or pissed and annoyed however you would like to put it) because that is when i start wondering what i am going to make for dinner. I know that I have zero energy left, but i also have so much still to do. Its like my second shift starts and my mind is tuned to the channel that says: this "feminist go to work shit has really messed up my plans for today." It's not that i hate working, and it is not the fact that i resent my husband for not making the dinner or doing housework himself (sometimes he does).....what makes me mad is that I really (more than anything) want to be a good wife, I want to make fantastic dinners served on china with candles lit, perfume on my neck, and nice vanilla/cocoa scented clean hair BUT becasue i have also been taught that it is a wonderful thing to be a woman and have a job where (if i wanted to) i could go burn the world down while kicking ass and taking names in some fancy shmancy job...i tend to serve lean cuisines on paper plates and i am usually bitching about something when i do.
The sad part is that I am not 100% at either job: perfect wife or ass kicking professional. It is just too much to take on both and be perfect in either.....and i don't even have kids yet! So i can't even imagine the additional challenges that might be flung my way if i were a working mom.
Wouldn't it be nice if we were all able to earn the respect of others and get paid at least 100k for doing whatever the hell we wanted as long as we were working hard?
I think in my perfect world, i would be like the "perfect wife" below -Just get rid of all of the "submissive", "my feelings aren't important" crap in the article and i think this B is on to something! Minus the lack of a double salary I know Pat would love it, and boyyyy would our house look nice with an additional 40 hours of time/week devoted to its care :)
Anywho( for your entertainment) i leave you this....some of it is good advice, some of it is hilariously misguided, but somehow it all sounds better than what i am currently busy with
How to be the Perfect Wife.
(This was taken from Helen B. Andelin's Fascinating Womanhood. The course was designed to teach women how to be happy in marriage).
GET YOUR WORK DONE Plan your tasks with an eye on the clock. Finish or interrupt them an hour before he is expected. Your anguished cry, "Are you home already?" is not exactly a warm welcome.
HAVE DINNER READY Plan ahead, even the night before to have a delicious meal, on time. 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 prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.
PREPARE YOURSELF Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. This will also make you happy to see him instead of too tired to care. Turn off the worry and be glad to be alive and grateful for the man who is going to walk in. While you are resting you can be thinking about your Fascinating Womanhood assignment and all you can do to make him happy and give his spirits a lift. When you arise, take care of your appearance. Touch up your makeup, 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. His boring day may need a lift.
CLEAR AWAY THE CLUTTER Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. in a bucket or wastebasket and put them in the back bedroom for sorting later. Then run a dustcloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order and it will give you a lift too. Having the house in order is another way of letting him know that you care and have planned for this homecoming.
PREPARE THE CHILDREN Take just 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 look the part.
MINIMIZE ALL NOISE Especially give heed to this if your husband has to join rush hour traffic. At the time of his arrival eliminate noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet at the time of their father's arrival. Let them be a little noisy beforehand to get it out of their system.
BE HAPPY TO SEE HIM Greet him with a warm smile and act glad to see him. Tell him that it is good to have him home. This may make his day worthwhile. If there is any romance left in you, he needs it now.
SOME DON'TS Don't greet him with problems and complaints. Solve the problems you can before he gets home and save those you must discuss with him until later in the evening. Also, don't complain if he is late for dinner. Count this as a minor problem when compared with what he might have gone through that day. Don't allow the children to rush at him with problems or requests. Allow them to briefly greet their father but save demands for later.
MAKE HIM COMFORTABLE Have him lean back into a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to massage his neck and shoulders and take off his shoes. Don't insist on this however. Turn on music if it is one of his pleasures. Speak in a soft, soothing, pleasant voice. Allow him to relax - to unwind.
LISTEN TO HIM You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first, then he will be a more responsive listener later.
MAKE THE EVENING HIS Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and to relax. If he is cross or irritable, never fight back. Again, try to understand his world of strain.
THE GOAL Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit. Then add to this the application of all the principles of Fascinating Womanhood and your husband will want to come home. He will rather be with you than with anyone else in the world and will spend whatever time he can possibly spare with you. Try living all of these rules for his homecoming and see what happens. This is the way to bring a man home to your side, not by pressure, persuasion or moral obligation.
Wow! that last line even rhymed. If that is how it is done I have some work to do!
First thing on my to do list: start drafting the 2010 version of "How to be the Perfect Husband" for curious male readers....of course. it's only fair ;)