Saturday, April 9, 2011

Recommendation For a Successful Marriage, Then and Now

Somewhere along the way, I was given a list of "marriage secrets" from 1950, probably in one of my English classes in high school. I, being the precocious girl I was/am, decided to re-write them when I was about 17. Now that I'm actually married, I'd re-write them yet again, hopefully with more maturity and wisdom.

My favorite photograph of my grandmother

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 a 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 makeup, 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 THE 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 ALL NOISE: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. 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 lie 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 - he needs to be home and relax.
10) THE GOAL: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
FROM: 1950 Home Economics Text Book


Jenn's Rules for a Successful Marriage (1999/2000)
1) Dye your hair blue.
2) Buy me flowers.
3) Be sure to have candles and incense burning, as well as wonderful music blasting when I get home.
4) Make yourself useful and do some housework once in awhile.
5) Don't try to grow beards or huge sideburns. They're scratchy and unpleasant to the touch.*
6) Make sure you listen to me. And I mean REALLY listen.
7) Refrain from referring to me as "your woman".
8) Don't be such a wuss and let me give you manicures.
9) Bring me cheesecake, chocolate cream pie, and coffee as often as possible.**
10) If I don't want to talk, leave me alone.
11) Give me good back massages.
12) Take me swing dancing.***
13) Don't be insensitive when I have cramps and am in pain. And don't make cracks about me needing Midol.
-Boldly Going Nowhere, Issue 3, circa 1999/2000

On our wedding day, November 8, 2008

Today's Recommendations for a Successful Marriage (2011)
1) Equality is key
2) Show love daily
3) Thoughtfulness goes a long way
4) Share the household chores
5) Listen to each other
6) Be understanding of each other
7) Be willing to compromise
8) Make time for each other
9) Laugh!
10) Be each other's best friend

*My husband has had sideburns for as long as I've known him. And he has a beard. I actually prefer him with a beard.
**I'd probably amend this to chocolate and wine.
***I've never been swing dancing in my life, I've no idea where this notion came from.

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