Friday, November 12, 2010


I don’t know how many of you ever read the 1955 Good Housekeeping’s Article on ‘The Good Wife’ rules?  I read it when I was younger. I remember making fun of it with friends in high school.  The other day I re-stumbled across it. "‘The Good Wife" article cracks me up!  Crazy how much we, as women, have evolved… or should I say, told "The Man of the House" ‘to sit down and shut up’. So I’ve decided to post the original ‘Good Wife Rules’ and then write my own!

1955 The Good Wife Suggestions – via article in Good Housekeeping (this would’ve had me canceling my subscription faster than i could dial the phone)

  • 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.
  • Clear away 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 dust cloth 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 give you immense personal satisfaction.
  • 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. Minimise 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.
  • 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.
  • Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late, or goes out to dinner, or other place 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 your home 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. Consider 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 pillows 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 judgement 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.

REALLY?  SERIOUSLY?  I've read this list before, but since I recently stumbled upon it again... and was flabbergasted all over again! All i can say is:

So, if you will please allow me a moment to regain a minuscule amount of composure, I would like to attempt to make an updated version of this list -- a "2010 Good Wife Guide", if you will -- inspired by, but not copied from, 1955′s suggestions.

  • Dinner? If Hubby is considerate enough to call you and tell you that he is on his way home, toss some chicken nuggets or fish sticks and tater tots on the Pizazz while mic-ing some frozen veggies. Or there is always the option of throwing frozen waffles in the toaster, cutting up a banana, and pouring some milk.  BAM! (as Emeril would say!) There you have three food groups in one. If he complains about it, there is always the real-love option of placing his plate full of food in the trash. 
  • Prepare myself? Now this one really tickled me pink!  If I get a moments peace, he is lucky if I have showered.  Now, if I were to shave my legs... that would require him to worship me for quite a while.  He is counting his blessings when I have time to throw on deodorant, put my hair in a ponytail and wear clean clothes.  If he doesn't notice the shave legs -- well, HADES!  I'll have to resort to wearing granny panties, so he knows that until he helps around the house, there will be NO action. 
  • "Be a little gay and interesting to liven up his day"?  Oh!  I plan to be interesting.  I plan to share all of the gorey details of my day.  I will entertain him with stories of having Little Man whack me upside the head with a ball that he intended to take off Princess' head with.  I'll explain that I am on laundry revolt until he fixes the damn machine.  I will regal him with tales of my heroism as I battled the blue hairs and other nut cakes at the grocery store with FOUR screaming kids in tow and still managed to only put one child in a head lock in a public place (KIDDING... kind of.)  I will tell him how many times I wiped so-and-so's butt and cleaned up cat puke.
  • Dump all the garbage and dirty clothes HE left out the night before right into the chair he likes to sit in. "Why" you ask?! Well, because that’s what a good (i.e. bitchy) wife does. If he can’t pick it up as he should, he can deal with it when he’d like to sit down and relax. But make sure you do it with a smile!
  • Scream at the kids to come get their crap and put it away for the UMPTEENTH time.  If the neighbors hear, oh well.
  • Make sure the kids are at LEAST wearing clothes. As long as that’s done. Good enough!
  • When he walks in, push all screaming children into his arms.  Instruct him that if anyone wants dinner before 8pm, he will handle them and happen to mention in passing that you loved some of his ‘things’ to his chair.
  • Make sure you smile and wink while doing the above, because we all know a positive attitude cancels out the bitchiness… Right?!
  • Listen to him talk about his ‘hard’ day at work. Then don’t respond AT ALL, just plow into the crappy day you’ve had at home. Go ahead and cry too. Let it all out. You deserve to be listened to too! Tell him what you blogged about. In minute detail. Explain what each child did that embarrassed the hades out of you. And them show him that rash you’ve been meaning to get looked at...
  • If he comes home late, ask him for an explanation. Then explain WHY his stuff is out on the lawn and why you even considered changing the locks.  Remind him that for every one night out, you will be expecting a night out too.  Do not bother to ask when is okay. Just plan it. And remember, don’t get a babysitter… daddy knows how to watch his own children.
So...  That posting may have been a bit tongue-in-cheek, but you get the point.  Don't be a doormat to that man you may or may not live with.  You are a gorgeous, fabulous, brilliant, grand goddess who deserves to be treated as such.



Tough Cookie Mommy said...

Hi, Annie. I noticed you passed by and followed my blog so I just had to pass by and return the love. My husband is lucky that we weren't married during this time because he would have been left out in the cold. This list is absolutely ridiculous and makes wives look like slaves. Thanks for giving me a good laugh. I am following back.

Alison said...

Hey Annie:

Wow, I had never read that original article. Reminds me why I can't watch Mad Men - can't stand the attitude towards women. Your list made me laugh out loud! :)

Lameisha said...

OMG, you've got to be kidding me. Is that article for real. I like your version much better.