The Good Wife’s Guide: Circa 1955

Right before I got married, a co-worker of mine gave me a copy of a 1950s Housekeeping Monthly article on wifely duties.  As someone who admires traditional values, I was excited to see what this list had to offer.  Below are a few of the tips given and how I view them as a modern bride:

  1. “Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready upon his return.  This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are connected with his needs…” Agree (to a degree)– I actually am a strong believer in meal planning. I am not always the best at practicing this idea, but I do enjoy coming home from a long day of work and knowing exactly what’s for dinner. And if I really planned ahead, dinner is probably warming in the crock pot as I turn the key.  However, Mr. H doesn’t expect me to have dinner every night. Some nights we order in or go on a date to a nice restaurant.
  2. “Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make up and put a ribbon in your hair”Disagree—I don’t have 15 minutes to “refresh myself” before my husband arrives. I work.
  3. “Be a little gay and more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and it’s your duty to provide it”Agree (to a degree)—I do think that as a spouse we should lift our partner’s spirits if he’s having a bad day.  We love to share our day with each other, talk about what’s going on with our friends, or ask for advice on things on our mind. Even though we are a couple, there are individual parts of our lives also that make us who we are.
  4. “Prepare the children…they are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part…”This is not always possible!- Children are children. They can be perfect angels one minute and screaming on the floor the next. If anything, I’d be happy to have my husband home to help give me a break! Maybe to take that nap listed in tip #2…
  5. Be happy to see him”–Strongly Agree—Why wouldn’t you be happy to see your best friend?
  6. “Listen to him…remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours”.–Agree with part one of that statement…But the rest…Yeah…
  7. “Don’t greet him with complaints and problems”Agree- There’s nothing worse than coming home from a stressful day at work to deal with a stress at home.  If there’s something really important we need to discuss, I try to let it wait until after dinner.
  8. “Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner or even if he stays out all night.”–Disagree- This is just a respect issue.
  9. “Make him comfortable… Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.”–Agree—Only because it looks so cool in Mad Men! I actually tried doing this for our first few weeks after marriage and had a Jack and Coke waiting for him when he’d come home! (Then we thought of our livers…)
  10. “Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity…You have no right to question him.”Strongly Disagree—While my husband is the head of our household, we make decisions as a couple and discuss how they will affect our family
  11. “A good wife always knows her place.”Agree—only if they mean that her place is by her husband’s side and not as a submissive slave!

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So what do you think???

Are these traditional “wifely duties” still applicable today or have our roles evolved past the point of executing such responsibilities????

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The Pros and Cons of a Roommate for Life…

First off, I love my husband. But let’s face it; many of us couldn’t stand sharing our space with our freshman college roommate for a semester, let alone for the next 50 YEARS! So of course with all the wonderful moments and sense of completion that marriage brings to our lives, there are those aspects that maybe we didn’t expect but must just learn to cope with. (We did say ‘for better or for worse’ somewhere in there, right?) So here it is my fellow wifeys…my list of the good, the bad and, dare I say it, the ugly of marriage.

 The Pro: The way you stand a little taller and squeeze his arm a little tighter when he introduces you as his “wife” after running into an old buddy of his.
 The Con: When after that introduction you realize that he left his wedding band at home because he is “still getting used to wearing it” (a concept you can’t understand because you feel naked without yours) and now you feel like your relationship is a complete sham.

 The Pro: Someone is there every morning to wake you up with soft kisses behind the ear—other than your dog. The perfect start to any girl’s day!
 The Con: When who you thought was your flirty husband turns out to be just your dog after all because your Romeo snuck out of bed while you were still sleeping to get in “one quick game of Madden” on the Xbox. It’s never just one game and they are certainly not quick.

 The Pro: Many of your expenses are automatically cut in half. You’ve now got one cable bill, one electric bill, and someone to pay half your rent! You sell that extra couch and dining room table and magically you both have a bit more pocket change.
 The Con: You are now the proud co-owner of a big, orange, circular bachelor chair because it’s the only thing of his left in the apartment after you got rid of all the “extras” (aka, all his stuff you hated). And you were so close to getting that Pottery Barn showroom you always longed for…

 The Pro: You finally stop wedding planning. No more worrying about what table to put Aunt Sue because she’s hates Uncle Ned’s new wife. No more weekends consumed with linen selections, floral arrangements, and arguing over the perfect shade a peach. You can finally un-follow all those wedding boards and start pinning the stuff that matters… like crock pot recipes, 50 new ways to tie a scarf, and the philosoraptor. And best of all, it’s just you and Hubby!
 The Con: You have to stop wedding planning…No more fun parties. No more fittings. No more gifts to open. And you find that your Pinterest obsession is suddenly consumed with nursery ideas and “Baby’s Firsts” DIY projects….Because it’s just you and Hubby. (You swear you’re still going to wait at least a year!)

 The Pro: Monday night is a night off from cooking (yay!) because football is on. Your man is just happy with pizza and a cold beer.
 The Con: In your eyes, the football game has gone on long enough and he’s just watching it for his fantasy league anyway. So you slip into something to bring the attention back to you…and realize that even THAT can’t compete with pig skin.

So what about you? What are some of your unexpected surprises after entering marital bliss??

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Going back to preschool: Relearning your name and actually turning around when it’s called.

The first time someone called me “Mrs. H” after I was married was our reverend right before we kissed at the altar. I was beaming at the thought of a new me, a new us, and relished in the name the whole night.
The second time someone called me “Mrs. H” was at work, and I just kept walking because I had no idea who they were talking to.

Who was this Mrs. H person I was seeing signed at the end of my emails and how had she suddenly invaded my life? Wasn’t this one of the things I was most excited about after we said “I do”? Hadn’t I practiced the uncomfortable new signature over and over again until I perfected how to properly loop the end of the “H” seamlessly into the much more fluidly formed “a” that followed? How was I ever going to assume the role of this new woman?

Behold: the Monogram. Sure, the new name on your license might look funny and you swear the post man has the wrong address when you first look at your mail. But that dance floor gobo light looked perfect as your new initials glowed beneath your feet and the “H” rested elegantly draped in pearls atop your cake. There’s something so mystical about your new letters that you start to become obsessed with it. Obsessed to the point where you’re pining after-wedding projects adorning the capital H and accessorizing everything you own with your new identity. Like if you don’t decorate every corner of your life with these 3 letters, the new you will completely succumb to a major an identity crisis.

I was such a believer in the power of the monogram that I too accepted the path of a monogram worshiper. I created yarn “H” wreath projects which grace the door of our humble abode signifying to our visitors that Mr. and Mrs. H reside here (as if our friends already didn’t know who we were). For our first Christmas, our “H” ornament hung proudly from our Douglass Fir. Whenever I wear my recently ordered gorgeous gold monogrammed bracelet, my married girlfriends always seem to compliment it on its charm and beauty. I feel like a true wife when I bake in my monogrammed vintage apron (complements of Etsy!) Even my husband has asked me when our monogrammed wine cozy would be arriving!

Maybe it’s because of its diminutive fashion that makes the m

onogram easier to chew rather than consuming the whole new last name all at once. But the closer I surround myself with the little letters, the easier I’m finding it to assume ownership of them all!!

So how long did it take for you to feel comfortable with your new surname? Did you pay homage to the monogram gods as well?

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