|Photo by Powell Woulfe Photography
Update 6/26/14: Since I had MAD travel, then surgery and mad travel again, I took a li’l break. I’ve been visiting other blogs for some inspiration, so if you have a blog surrounding this topic or filled with great organization ideas or recipes, please do leave a link in the comments below! I’m writing this from my hotel room in Miami today. I won’t be home for more than a few days at a time until I have a break for four weeks between August and September. The hub’s bonus daughters will be with us in July, however, and I want to be organized for when they are with us at home AND our Epic 2014 Summer Road Trip (stay tuned for more)! I do not have children of my own, so tips and glimpses on how you make your homes run smoothly are also appreciated! So for now, a glimpse into #1950sHotHousewife and why I started:
This last weekend I stopped to take a look at complacency. If you missed it, this entry will explain why I’ve decided to make Operation 1950’s Hot Housewife- With a Modern Twist part of my lifestyle. It’s not for everyone, but for those who would like to take part, here is the Good Wife’s Guide taken from Housekeeping Monthly, May of 1955. I have put my own modern twist on each guideline. Also, hubby doesn’t know I am doing this. I’m not keeping it from him. He can easily read my blog or see my Facebook updates, but I’ll let him find out on his own. I think the bottom line here is to make an effort. I am doing this in the way that works for me and my marriage. Each person should modify this in the way that’s best suited for her and her partnership:
1) 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. Modern Twist: I work outside the home and it is sometimes impossible to have dinner ready and waiting when he gets home, unless I use the crock pot. I will create a weekly menu and stick to it. We will still have our weekly sushi date and eat out from time to time, but I am resolved to cook at home a lot more. I also need to wake up and start making lunches – for both of us. Because I travel for work, I also cannot always physically cook the meals for my husband. I used to do freezer meals he could thaw and stick in the oven. I will be starting this again.
2) 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. Modern Twist: There will be no ribbons. I have no fifteen minutes to rest. When I leave the office, I’ll make sure to brush my hair and freshen my make-up. I do want to look nice for him and I always want my husband to be proud to be seen with me; especially if we were to randomly run into one of his CO’s or colleagues.
3) 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. Modern Twist: Hmmm. I COULD work on not complaining about how terribly other people drive on my commute home and I could be a bit more cheerful after sitting in traffic. Patience is a virtue, and one I could definitely practice a bit more.
4) 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. Modern Twist: Since he is sometimes home before I am, I resolve to do deep cleaning once a week while he is on base and upkeep each evening and morning with things like dishes and wiping down counters, sinks,etc.. We don’t really have much clutter, though I could stand to go through the paperwork in the junk drawer. Update: The junk drawer is no longer junkie!
5) 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. Modern Twist: Ummm, we live in San Diego! Cooler months mean 65 degrees. I’ll stick with offering to bring him his jacket and canoodling with him under a blanket.
6) Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet. Modern Twist: We live in an urban area. Noise happens. We have lizards, they’re quiet. The washer/dryer are also really quiet. This one is a bit non-applicable to us. I will, however, try to do as much laundry while he’s working so that I can have it folded/hanging when he gets home. Otherwise, he’ll try to help while I just want him to relax.
7) Be happy to see him. Modern Twist: None necessary. I’m always happy to see him and I am sticking with this one.
8) Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him. Modern Twist: Same as above. I don’t see a need to change this. I always want to please my husband.
9) 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. Modern Twist: Overall as an individual, I could be a better listener. I am going to adopt this one-not because I think his topics are more important than mine, but because my becoming a better listener IS important.
10) Don’t greet him with complaints and problems. Modern Twist: Again, cannot argue with this. I have to practice this. I think as women we want our husbands/partners to resolve our issues and we want to vent to them. That’s great, and they should listen. But bitching about the woman in the SUV who has no business in a vehicle that big shouldn’t be the first thing out of my mouth when I see him.
11) Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work. Modern Twist: It just isn’t his thing to stay out all night. I could be better about not moaning and groaning when they call him into base when I think he has the day off. It’s not his fault, and he understands I am not disappointed in him, but disappointed in the situation. Still, I know it makes him feel bad. I’m a military spouse. These things happen. It’s to be expected. I should be grateful my husband is coming back home to me at the end of the day. Many military wives are not so lucky.
12) 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. Modern Twist: Our very awesome recliner sofa does my job for me. All he has to do is sit. My honey is not a big fan of the taste of alcohol. He says my red wine tastes like cough syrup (insert chuckle here). He can tolerate some white wine, but he is a fan of honey whiskey. We do usually have it on hand. I think he gets a little pleasure from pouring his own drink over ice, but I’ll start offering more. And like I wrote in my blog, I’ll learn how to make coffee! We usually turn down the sheets together. We always go to bed together.
13) Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice. Modern Twist: When we get into bed, since I’m now making the bed in the morning, pillows will be fluffed. When I get home his shoes are already off. I suppose I could offer to help him take his boots off when he gets off base, but I think it would be more time consuming for me to try to help him than just letting him have a few minutes to himself to undress and unwind. Regarding speaking with a low, soothing voice; because of my hearing loss, my voice is generally tends to be a little louder. I cannot differentiate my voice from background noise sometimes (i.e. TV/radio). I could learn to speak in a lower voice, though. Not just for my husband, but I think it would be a good thing in general.
14) 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. Modern Twist: Ummm. I will admit this one made me ask, “WTF?” I would venture to say my husband is the head of our household, but master is a pretty strong word. I married my husband because I trust him and because he is a man of integrity, so I don’t have a reason to question him. This one, for me, gets a big NON-APPLICABLE.
15) A good wife always knows her place. Modern Twist: I one-hundred percent, without a doubt, absolutely agree with this. My place, as a wife, may be different from every other wife’s place on the planet. That written, my husband also knows his place. It’s an agreement that should be entered into before marriage. You may not use this exact phraseology, but we each have a role. I will trip up and make mistakes, but I love my “place” and for me pleasing my husband makes me happy. That may be demeaning or “non-feminist” to others, and I actually do understand that. For me, my place is not behind him. It’s not in front of him. It’s by his side and nothing makes me feel like more of a woman than knowing my husband wants to please me because I am make him that damn happy.
So there you have it. Be sure to share your modern twists in the blog!