Miss Congeniality

I was patting myself on the back the other day for being such a kind and understanding person. I mean, Travis left his neti pot out on the bathroom counter again and I did not even yell or go ballistic or anything. I mean, sure he has been sick and, I mean, I know that it really helps him but I don’t understand why he does not understand that it FREAKS ME OUT to stare at it all the time. Anyway, the point is, I saw it and I did not cry or freak out or demand that after 2 weeks it be finally removed from the bathroom and safely hidden away so I don’t have to look at it. And I thought, ‘Man, he is one lucky guy to have a gal as kind and understanding as I am’. I did have to scream at him for not putting the bath mat up right. And he still folds towels wrong, we will have a talk about that soon. And sometimes, he has the nerve to not clean the kitchen they way I clean the kitchen. And he still sweeps funny because he sweeps it onto the carpet and then vacuums the whole house. But the point is- boy is he lucky to have a special lady like me to take care of him. Or at least to point out what he is doing wrong.

Anyway, then I found this handy guide below and I thought ‘Oh boy, am I doing things wrong’. I could not find the part where when the guy does 50% of the house work with little to no complaining you still get to not so gently point out all the ways that he is doing it wrong. (I am helping!) Which I thought at first was a typo or obviously I was missing page two of this helpful guide but am starting to think that maybe it is me that is high strung and occasionally unreasonable. Possibly. I am not really willing to commit to that statement.

“The good wife’s guide” This is an actual article from the Housekeeping Monthly Magazine 13 May 1955

Ø 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.

Ø 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.

Ø 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.

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

Ø Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. and then tables.

Ø 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.

Ø Prepare the childrens. 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. Minimize 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.

Ø Be happy to see him.

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

Ø 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.

Ø 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.

Ø Your goal: to make sure your home is a place of peace, order, and tranquility where your husband can renew himself.

Ø Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.

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

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

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

Ø 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.

Ø A good wife always knows her place.

So, it turns out there is no page two- trust me, I looked. It also turns out that I probably would have been put in jail in the 1950s for a variety of reasons. The point of this post is to read the hilarious suggestions listed above and to laugh. And also for me to say that I am thankful for many things but especially for Travis, who probably would do more for me on this list than I would do for him. But for the record, babycakes, WOMEN CAN PREPARE FIRES IN THE FIREPLACE no matter what you think!! Dang. I forgot to use my low and soothing voice. Sigh. I am just bad at this. Well, I guess I am off to go buy a ribbon…


PS-Baby is short, fat, and fine.



  1. tracey lide smith said,

    November 25, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    It’s a wonder my marriage has survived 18 years. I’ve done this all wrong.

    Will is on his way home…so..I’ve got to practice Being a little gay and a little more interesting for him. Afterall his boring day may need a lift and one of my duties, as I NOW know… is to provide it for him.

    Now where is MY ribbon?……

  2. Elizabeth Howell said,

    December 4, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I love where I can’t complain if he stays out all night because I must imagine what his day was like. Ummm… hah no. And am I supposed to call him master too, since he “is the master of the house”? Waaayyy too Stepfor Wives for me. No wonder radical feminism was so popular in the 70s. They were running from this!

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