While I was raised in the South back in the 60’s and 70’s, I WAS raised to be a bit more subserviant than I turned out to be these almost 50 years later, so a couple of the “guidelines” did not surprise me. (They nauseated me, but didn’t surprise me) However, some of them set my hair on fire. It felt like I was reading The Good Slave’s Guide, circa 1855.
If THIS is the guide I should have followed, it explains why my marriage failed, as well as why I’ve never remarried. I’ve underlined the specific “guidelines” that sealed my fate. Were they serious? Really?
* 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.
[I'm all about cooking and feeding people so this one didn't bother me.]
* 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.
[I don't remember HAVING 15 spare minutes in my day to "refresh myself". I was too busy BEING one of those 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.
[And when MY day needs a lift, I'm supposed to get it from where exactly? This must have been when I met Miller Lite.]
* Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.
[I always keep my house reasonably neat, so this is never an issue.]
* Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc and then run a dishcloth over the tables.
[I always do that for ME, not just for HIM.]
* 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.
[This is bullcrap. While making my husband happy WAS a goal of mine, it was not the live-all and be-all of my existence. I was also catering to the comfort of our children. He could light his own damn fire.]
* 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.
[It's okay for me to hear the children running through the house like banchees, and it's okay for ME to hear those annoying noises like the washer and dryer and vacuum, but goodness when HE walks through the door, we're to put on our shiniest and most noise-free faces. I think my hair just went ablaze.]
* Be happy to see him.
[I'd be happier to see him if I didn't have to put that damn ribbon in my hair.]
* Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
["What can I do to serve you today, Master?"]
* 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.
[Of course it is. Little Johnny got a fishhook in his eye today, but you go first because I'm certain that you're "work-weary".]
* 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.
[When donkey's fly.]
* Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquillity where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
* Don't greet him with complaints and problems.
[Is this where I was supposed to greet him in cellophane?]
* 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.
[When pigs fall out of the sky. I think I just found the number for my divorce lawyer.]
* 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.
[I could actually do this one. I'm not a total ogre.]
* Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
[I'm sorry, but if he's too helpless to take off his own damn shoes, I don't want him.]
* 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.
[Yep, my head officially EXPLODED.]
* A good wife always knows her place.
[Or so I thought. This was the final nail in the coffin. I'm dialing for my divorce lawyer and I haven't even been married in 20 years.]
Boy, have things changed!!! Sorry men! I bet it was great while it lasted.