Stories from the front lines of an unplanned pregnancy.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Good Wife's Guide...

In my endless quest to become the best domestic engineer/stay at home wife/lazy-pregnant-woman-with-excessive-amounts-of-free-time that i can be, I stumbled upon this supposedly real article from a 1955 issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine entitled, simply, "The Good Wife's Guide". Guide to what, you ask? Guide to being homicidal, suicidal, and hopelessly bitter by your 3rd anniversary, I think.

But either way, those dipsy dames over at Good Housekeeping seemed to think that they were doing all us Stay at Home-rs a favor by laying out some ground rules for navigating the tricky game of Housewifery. Unfortunately, their advice is starting to look a little faded at the edges and worn at the seams and in an overall need of drastic updating. So, I've taken the liberty of reproducing their article here... along with my suggested updates to make the whole list a little more relevant. The original point is marked with an asterisk, and my suggestions are preceded by a pair of hyphens.

(Editor's Note: After reviewing my commentary, it occurred to me that the said updates are, in actuality, changes that would need to be made in order to make the original advice more relevant to one particular lazy bones, tv obsessed, milky way bar loving lady in particular... who during her pregnancy has found herself less and less inclined to spend hours in her rubber gloves scrubbing the tub, vacuuming the blinds, and then dashing off to reapply eyeliner in time for Darling Husband to return home from work.)

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* 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 be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.
-- ask dear husband to call when he's on his way home from work so that you can properly time microwavable french bread pizza to be finished by the time he's walking in the door. or, greet him with suggestions as to where we'll be going for dinner tonight.

* 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.
-- simply try and remember to brush teeth before key is heard in door. if couldn't be bothered to shave today, throw on long sleeved sweater.

* 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.
-- show dear husband new patch of pregnancy hormone spurred hair i found on tummy. certainly kept me fascinated for a good twenty minutes when i got out of the shower, anyway.

* Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.
-- track down all evidence of earlier milky way and pizza hut craving, gather wrappers and boxes and bury under the topmost layer of trash in the bin. remember laundry that was taken out of the dryer before falling prey to America's Next Top Model marathon this afternoon, stuff back into dryer. try again tomorrow.

* During 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 to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
-- hide remote and light a candle. wonder when promised "immense personal satisfaction" began to rely on husband's ability to drink beer and scratch balls by firelight.

* Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
-- stop washing machine, pray he doesn't accidentally wander into laundry room and find all work shirts stewing in their own dirty water. enjoy convenient new excuse to avoid vacuuming.

* Be happy to see him.
-- check.

* Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
-- sincerely promise to let him change the channel just as soon as law & order is over... unless there's a new I Love New York on afterwards.

* 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.
-- while waiting for your chance to speak, keep yourself entertained through rambling stories from work by singing theme song to Green Acres in your head, composing a mental checklist of celebrities you'd like to shag, and attempting to nod and smile at appropriate intervals without actually listening to a word he says.

* Don't greet him with complaints and problems.
-- a warm, "Hello, Dear!" works wonders when placed directly before a list of grievances.

* Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.
-- instead, console yourself by throwing his now ice cold dinner of stouffer's lasagna at prized big screen tv and locking bedroom door before going to sleep.

* Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
-- Scooch over on couch, share corner of blanket, and offer tired, swollen feet (yours) for a massage. at some point during the day, make sure fridge is still running so that beer is cold when he goes to get himself one.

* Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
-- arrange his pillow? if there's a pillowcase on it, you've done your job. if attempting the shoe removal move, it is imperative that you do not gag and/or vomit when foot found in shoe is a sudden, rank reminder that someeeebody's been on his feet for the past twelve hours. should you be unable to contain your sickness, use a low, soothing phone sex operator voice to apologize.

* Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment 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.
-- which is precisely why we own a 65" tv, a lifetime subscription to Sports Illustrated, framed posters of both Bob Marley, Kurt Cobain, Led Zepplin, a pool table (still in pieces and in the middle of the living room floor), and tickets to this week's car show... but no blender.

* A good wife always knows her place.
-- absolutely: on top.

(Editor's Note: Proving just what a lazy twat I am, I totally ripped this entry from my facebook where I posted it yesterday as a note. Whatever.)

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