Are You A Cooking-Cleaning-Gardening Machine?

Whenever I come across The Good Wife’s Guide, I always wonder what life was really like for the women in the 50’s. Did they actually greet their husbands at the door with his favorite slippers and drink in hand? Or did they — the moment he walked into the house — shove the screaming kids into his arms so they could take a much needed break?

So check out The Good Wife Guide below and tell me which item you’re most likely to follow and which one you’re most likely to ignore.

The Good Wife’s Guide

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

7. Be happy to see him.

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

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.

10. Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.

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.

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.

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

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.

15. A good wife always knows her place.

Which is The Good Wife Rule you most often adhere to? And which one do you most often ignore? My reply will be below in the comment section. 🙂

About Sheila Seabrook

Author of contemporary romance and women's fiction.

Posted on May 30, 2012, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. Christy Hayes

    Where do I start…I think the best thing about the list is #7 Be happy to see him. Everyone likes walking in the door to people who are genuinely happy they are home. This is why people love their dogs so much.

    Everything else on the list is laugh-worthy. My two favorites are: His topics of conversation are more important than yours. Really? If I’ve spent all day with the kids–his kids–is there anything more important than his offspring? And don’t complain if he stays out all night. Ha! If he stays out all night (and he’s not out of town for business), he may as well not come home at all. Just say’n…

    Thanks for the laugh!

  2. Brahahaha! I’ve often wondered if this was secretly written by a man. When my kids were little, my house was neat and tidy–because we both worked and the kids were in daycare all day! 🙂 Number 7 is the only rule I can practice. Thanks for the blast from the past, Sheila. And, for most women’s sakes, I hope it is a blast from the past!

  3. I don’t do almost any of these except listen when he comes home if he has anything interesting to say. Though if I’m on my exer-cycle I probably will take out my earbuds and say “hi” and talk to him later. I’m as busy as he is all day though I don’t work outside the home. He’s well aware of how much time I spend writing and editing and such and he commends me for working so hard at trying to “make it” in the publishing world.

    • Can you imagine living in the 50’s, having a full time job, and still having to follow these guidelines? I’m so glad to be the type of woman who demands equal right, and to know so many women who are the same, Patti. 🙂

  4. 😛 What they said. Before I got married my husband and I took a class that pretty much backed up #7. It said to drop everything you are doing when the other one came home and greet them. Well, I remember that very clearly. Do we practice it? Eeeh. But I am always happy to see him and listen to what he says.

    As for the rest…. My grandma used to do a lot of stuff like that. She was a military wife and held the wife glove inspections, tea time with the other wives, etc. I suspect there was a lot of drink spiking going on. She is not a happy woman. It’s a sad, sad thing. That kind of lifestyle did not do the relationship any good in the long run if you ask me. Humorous to see now though. Thanks for sharing

    • I imagine there were a lot of women who wanted equal rights with their men, and some men who even wanted to give their women the gift of equal rights, but society would have condemned them. I can see how difficult it must have been for your grandma, Debra.

  5. Now that I’m working full time from home, I always have supper ready for my man. Although if I was being totally truthful, I’d have to say that I do it mainly because I’m starving by the time he gets home from work.

    However, I fall down sadly on the #2 rule. I could probably class up/dress up my sweats and PJ’s with a nice ribbon in the hair. 🙂 Nah, not likely to happen ….

  6. Theresa Krebs

    oh dear, I fail on all counts!

  7. Coleen Patrick

    I agree with everyone else about being happy to see him when he gets home–it’s nice to be missed–and that home should be the safe place. But most of those tips make stuffing your own problems away a big priority–not exactly a healthy thing! Love the one about getting the kids to be quiet–ha ha!

    • I guess kids back then were to be seen but not heard. When my boys were little, they’d hide in the closet and wait for their dad to get home, then jump all over him, Coleen. 🙂

  8. Oooh this made me laugh out loud!! I printed out the sheet and gave it to all the married women at work, and they all got a good laugh as well.

    1955!!! Oh wow, how attitudes have morphed in the last 57 years!

    My fave was not to worry or say anything if he stays out all night. Buwahh!!! I wouldn’t say anything. I’d just set his computer and giant TV out in the street.

    And as for knowing my place…lol…I’ve never known my place. 🙂

  9. I knew a woman, when I was a girl, who lived by these rules. she was amazing, as a “leave it to beaver’ mom and wife. As for me, not so much. I watched her and hated all of it. especlally his sense of entitlement. yuck. no way. not me. no how.

  10. Ooh, ‘his sense of entitlement’. How superior this all must have made the men feel. Good thing we taught them that women rule the world, right Louise? 🙂

  11. mysweetestwords

    1) be happy to see him, 2) greet him with a smile, 3) listen to him. BUT as a working wife with an equally demanding job, I think it should go both ways 🙂

  12. Sheila, raised in the
    50’s … we were blue
    collar and both parents
    worked. No June Cleaver
    or Brady Bunch, we were
    a large loud brood and
    often my dad greeted my
    mom with dinner.

    Having a problem with
    comments so I’ll leave
    you with this:
    I am a feminist and I
    learned it from my dad

    • Florence, that’s so cool you learned to be a feminist from your dad. My dad used to come home from work and pick up the vacuum, so I too learned equality from my dad. 🙂

  13. Number 10 is the only one that is sound advice for any decade. The others are what have perpetuated the idea in a man’s head that he is the king of his castle. But everyone knows the queen rules the roost!

  14. LOL! Love it, though apparently I don’t count as a very good wife… 🙂

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