Wednesday, September 28, 2005

We've Come A Long Way Baby

The pictured newspaper article is from Housekeeping Monthly, May 13, 1955

It reads as follows:

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.

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.

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. (emphasis added)

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

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

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. (emphasis added)

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. 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.

Be happy to see him.

Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him. (emphasis added)

Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, the the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours. (okay, now we're really getting going)

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.

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

don't greet him with complaints and problems.

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.

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

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

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.

A good wife always knows her place.

(And we wonder why we can only have a female president if it is make believe and on teeVEE. This just wasn't all that long ago, the ERA has never passed and we still make 72 cents on the dollar.)


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28 September, 2005 07:15  
Anonymous Manpants said...

Hey anonymous - keep your asshat comments out of here - it keeps Millicent from her duties to me.

28 September, 2005 08:10  
Anonymous Manpants said...

By the way, Millicent said I could say what I just said. Excuse me, I have to go put a ribbon in my hair and tend to the little ones.

28 September, 2005 08:12  
Blogger Catharine said...

"A good wife knows her place."

Indeed. At her attorney's office, working out a mutually beneficial prenuptial agreement, ensuring that, should they be one of the 54% of married couples who don't make it, the blue-chip stock portfolio and Lexus she spent years slaving for before she ever met him don't fall victim to community property.

Oh, yeah... and... atta boy, manpants....


28 September, 2005 11:51  
Blogger I.M. Dedd said...

Cheer're reader of the week at Dead Guy. :}

28 September, 2005 14:44  
Blogger Cranky Liberal said...

Man I'm thinking we should pass this as law. I mean what good is a socially conservative, moralizing police state government if it can't pass something as useful as this. I hear Rick Santorum is working on it as we speak.


28 September, 2005 21:13  
Anonymous Becks said...

Some Jackass I work with sent this to me a few weeks ago with a comment that said something like "oh- the good old days" and he wasn't kidding. Unfortunately- there are too many people like him. That's why we still work for 72 cents on the dollar. The damn shame of it is that there are just as many women out there who agree as well.

Great blog- Came over via Cranky's blogroll.

30 September, 2005 08:16  
Anonymous pia said...

Manpants sounds very nice; especially the ribbon in his hair.

We haven't come a long way. It scares me because there's a whole generation of women who think that abortion isn't important, that they'll get the job they deserve, leave it to have babies, and come back without suffering consequences--which would be great if it were true

I could go on--but it would be a book

Actually I originally came here through Cranky, if that means anythng, but then I became hooked on your writing.

30 September, 2005 09:40  
Blogger Laura said...

Hey, where can I get a wife like that? Because when I get home at night, I'm cranky, I've been through strain and pressure, and it would sure be nice to come home to peace, tranquility, and a home cooked meal, as well as someone bowing and scraping to my every need. I WANT A WIFE!!!!!!!

02 October, 2005 05:56  
Blogger Deirdre Cooley said...

I'm right there with ya, Laura... As I was reading, I was thinking. "Gee, if that's what a wife is, I sure could use one!" I was really groovin on this piece until "Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours."

Seriously, it's close to impossible to imagine a whole country of men AND WOMEN who believed this is the way things should be. Thank GOD for Gloria Steinem and other pioneers. I can't remember the last time I put on pearls to vaccuum. Good riddance, Donna Reed.

02 October, 2005 12:14  
Blogger R said...

I let my husband read this. He was just about to say something "cute" when I pointed out that I would be far far too exhausted trying to "prettify" his existance to ever give him a blow job never mind make him a drink or dinner. He understood the female perspective IMMEDIATELY.
I love Catharine. Manpants is off his leash. I LOVE IT!!!

02 October, 2005 22:07  
Blogger ~Betsy said...

I read with mouth agape, realizing what my mother faced as she graduated from high school in 1955 and soon after married her sweetheart.

A life of Servitude. Feeling and being told you're less important. Not being able to acknowledge your feelings, your worth, your own dreams of becoming something more.

This blog truly helps me understand my mother better, and what she went through to be what and who she is today.

We've come a long way from the 50s but still have miles to go.

11 October, 2005 05:37  

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