Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The Good Wife's Guide (1955)
Y'all may have seen this, but a friend has just reminded me of this 1955 Housekeeping Monthly article on how to greet yer man when he comes homes from work. You may need either a whole box of tissues for the tears of hilarity, or an adult diaper/nappy, depending on your constitution. Let me break down some of the suggestions for you. Better yet, let me also tell you how they might parlay in Expat's House. I may have to do it in a few installments, such will be the flow of spleen:
- Have dinner ready. (OK, that I can usually manage, albeit with some attitude). Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. (Ha- wrong on so many counts. Planning ahead usually means standing about in the kitchen at 4pm wondering what on earth I can pull together. And wouldn't it be nice to know quite when HIS return would be? I either can't get through (important phone call) or he's pulling into the garage by the time he answers). 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! (I beg your pardon!!!! I'm hungry ALL the time, and who is there to give me a warm meal and a similar welcome? Exactly.
- Prepare yourself. (Oh right, cause that's going to be the first thing on his mind as he's assailed by the latest domestic crisis plus little guy's indignation at having to turn off Sponge Bob.) Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. (Just where do they think we put the kids? Rest??? I haven't done that in 16 years - not even for 15 minutes.) Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. (No comment whatsoever.) He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. (And he's about to encounter yet another. Suck it up!)
- 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. (Let's be grown up and take the word 'gay' in context. You want interesting?? Great - I have a Law Degree, oh, and a Masters in Something Else, and a published book. I can talk to adults about a lot of interesting things.... Sometimes, when HE walks in the door, I am SO manic that I can appear "gay and fancy-free". It's called hysteria. (Rhymes with Wisteria.) And while we're discussing things, can we talk about boring days please.....)
- Clear away the clutter. (Ha, ha, ha - I have a big house and a lot of kid stuff that I refuse to take full responsibility for. If the man wants a clutter-free house, he may have to hire someone or have a word with the "clutterers".)Make one last trip through the main part of the house before your husband arrives. (I struggle with this one, as it was clearly written in the USA. There is no "main part of the house". It's all open plan; there are no doors; when you clean up one room it only serves to make the next room look like a tip.)
- Over the cooler months (which would be most of the year in Chicago) you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. (Thank God we have that fake gas stuff, which even he can't ever light.) Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order (splutter, splutter) and it will give you a lift too. (No - it will mean I've run away to the local spa.) After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction. (Oh, it does, it does.)
Excuse me while I return to this planet for a while. I will definitely be commenting on the rest of the "commands" in the next posts!