***PART I: 50's version of the perfect woman:***
The following is from an actual 1950s Home Economics textbook intended for high School girls, teaching them how to prepare for married life:
1. Have dinner ready: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal-on time. 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 prospects of a good meal, are part of the warm welcome needed.
2. Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will 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. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.
3. Clear away clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too.
4. 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.
5. Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.
6. Some DON'TS: Don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he's late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.
7. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lay down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.
8. Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.
9. Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his need to be home and relax.
10. The Goal: try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.
***PART II: The Updated Version for the 90's woman:***
1. Have dinner ready. Make reservations ahead of time. If your day becomes too hectic just leave him a voice mail message regarding where you'd like to eat and at what time. This lets him know that your day has been crappy and gives him an opportunity to change your mood.
2. Prepare yourself. A quick stop at the "Clinique" counter on your way home will do wonders for your outlook and will keep you from becoming irritated every time he opens his mouth. Don't forget to use his credit card!
3. Clear away the clutter. Call the housekeeper and tell her that any miscellaneous items left on the floor by the children can be placed in the Goodwill box in the garage.
4. Prepare the children. Send the children to their rooms to watch television or play Nintendo. After all, both of them are from his previous marriage.
5. Minimize the noise: If you happen to be home when he arrives, be in the bathroom with the door locked.
6. Some DON'TS: Don't greet him with problems and complaints. Let him speak first, and then your complaints will get more attention and remain fresh in his mind throughout dinner. Don't complain if he's late for dinner, simply remind him that the leftovers are in the fridge and you left the dishes for him to do. Or, you could nail a pork chop to the garage door and tell him that is his dinner.
7. Make him comfortable: Tell him where he can find a blanket if he's cold. This will really show you care.
8. Listen to him: But don't ever let him get the last word.
9. Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or other places of entertainment; go with a friend or go shopping (use his credit card). Familiarize him with the phrase "Girls' Night Out!"
10. The Goal: Try to keep things amicable without reminding him that he only thinks the world revolves around him. Obviously he's wrong, it revolves around you.
WOW...things have certainly changed!
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