Monday, October 26, 2009

The Good Wife's Guide: Revised.

No one teaches you how to be a married person. I distinctly remember a unit in high school Resources for Living class that covered forms of birth control and their proper usage (which clearly, I failed to pay sufficient attention to.) While we learned how to balance a checkbook, we learned little about how to balance a life.

What we ladies need is an updated version of the 1950's Good Wife's Guide. A primer on how to treat your hubby well and have a happy and fulfilling marriage.

So yeah, I'm going to take a stab at it.

I bring to the table eleven solid years of marriage, none of which have involved police intervention, public shamings, or flaming piles of clothing on the lawn.

Check out this list of Good Wife guidelines, abridged for the modern, sassy woman of the 21st century.

  • 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 be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.

    Make sure to call him BEFORE he leaves work to ensure that he stops by the pizza place on his drive home. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. It's rude to send him back out to get dinner when he walks in the door. Don't neglect to remind him to pick up dipping sauce; it's a real bummer if he has to go back to the 'Hut again.

  • 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.

    Try to remember to use your own toothbrush and deodorant, not his. Or at least put them back so he can't tell that you did use them. If your top is extremely dirty, turn it inside out before he sees you, and if he notes that you are wearing the same pants you slept in, feign profound insult until he comes to believe that you are, in fact, wearing different pants that merely look similar to your pj's. Lots of people own more than one pair of reindeer sleep pants.

  • Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.

    Stop scrapbooking and eating saltines in bed. It may be a practice that's tough to curtail, but if a die-cut scrap slices his retina for the third time, your husband will have some grounds for discontent. Try to stem your hoarding impulses. No one is more put-off by finding cat feces in his slippers than your prince. Especially if you don't own any cats.

  • During 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 to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

    You can't compensate for the lack of a fireplace by placing your large metal popcorn bowl on the floor and burning stuff in it. It isn't romantic, and it isn't acceptable as a cost effective means of heating a small room. He will get mad.

  • Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.

    Here's the genius angle on this one– if he doesn't have full hearing capabilities, he will never be disturbed or distracted by excessive or irritating noises, right? There are a number of ways to induce hearing loss. I will leave you to your own creative devices.

  • Be happy to see him.

    Don't immediately say, "Did you eat ALL the rest of the frickin' mini Twix? Why are we paying for Lipitor?!" or "Hey! You know what I want for my birthday?" when he walks in the front door.

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

    If you down a bottle of pinot before he gets home, you can smile at anyone. If he suggests that you're only happy to see him because you're drunk, reassure him that alcohol is the great truth-serum. Let the romance begin...

  • 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.

    Stare in his general direction while he is talking, and nod your head rhythmically. After a while, it becomes automatic and you can continue the charade of interest while thinking about things you actually care about like the G4 summit, alternative fuel sources, and scrapbooking.

  • Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

    Don't tell him that you horrendously plugged the toilet. He'll eventually figure that out all on his own. Why be the messenger?

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

    Make him comfortable before you tell him that you drove into the garage door again. If he's lying down, you can run out of the room before he lurches back into a seated position to address your misstep.

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

    Don't bother to tell him that you rubbed the baby's butt on his pillow when he left this morning without helping you get the older kids on the bus. You may feel apprehensive about being mean, but rest assured, he still deserves it for something.

  • 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.

    Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Carefully log all his indiscretions in a journal, including any photo or video evidence. The next time you want to do a girls' weekend in Vegas, he will heartily agree. Or else.

  • A good wife always knows her place.

    You bet she does.


Mary said...

Again Lars, thanks for the hilarious read! XOX

Helen said...

You had me at "horrendously plugged the toilet." :)

Linda said...

Peed my pants! Need to get me some of those Attends or Depends or whatever they're called.

Gary M Photo said...

Lara, you really ought to find a way to write for a living...

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