(There may be a couple offensive words in this post. Please do not read if you are easily offended. Thanks. The rest of you.... read on!)
I went to a shower this weekend. A friend from work is getting married and a bunch of us celebrated her upcoming wedding.
As we entered the venue, the tables had pretty little flower arrangements on it. Some of the women there were already seated and working on some type of 'assignment' as is customary for such occasions.
I started to fill it out as well. Here were the questions:
1) How far ahead should you plan dinner?
2) You should always be __________________ to see your husband.
3) A good wife always __________________.
4) Part of clearing the clutter is running the ____________________ over the tables.
5) During the cooler months, what should you do to help your husband unwind?
6) Catering for your husband’s comfort should provide you with immense _________________.
7) Children should be _________________ and ___________________ when your husband comes home.
A few of the girls obediently filled out the 'quiz' with honest answers. I just kept shaking my head. Here were my answers:
1) What dinner? Take out does not require planning.
2) Happy? Naked?
3) keeps the toilet seat up?
5) I think i left this one blank. I just couldn't come up with anything.
6) amounts of free time without the responsibility of making dinner, cleaning and doing laundry
7) happy and ready to play
I wondered if other women at this shower, who were so focused on answering the questions really are the ‘good wives’ who wait with apple pie at the door. I thought about my every day and how different it is from what those questions were insinuating. While we plan out our meals, it is most definitely NOT for my husband but because we need to know what the heck we’re going to eat today, tomorrow and the day after without scrambling for food when we get home. Am I always happy to see my husband? Well, it depends, I thought. Did I come home from a day of work only to find nothing done in the house and my husband sitting in his ‘happy chair’ playing Xbox all day. Can’t say that brings up feelings of joy. Am I happy to see him usually? Yeah.
The next question got me too. A good wife always... what??? Cooks? Cleans? Says yes to whatever my husband desires? Is that what a good wife is? Am I a good wife? I started going over the last few day... I bet a good wife doesn’t bitch at her husband for not mowing the lawn, or when he doesn’t pay attention to her and expects her to repeat the same sentence 5 times while he’s on Xbox. I bet being a good wife does not include an occasional object being thrown around and a door slammed.
Damn, I’m failing this quiz.
I was just as surprised by the rest of the questions. What’s up with the cooler months? What’s up with the comforting my husband? What’s up with the kid question?
Oh boy. I was failing at those questions as well!
I folded up my piece of paper and stuffed it underneath other girls’ quiz answers hoping we won’t have to go back and retrieve ours for an out loud read out.
A glass and a half of wine later, we were given the answers to the quiz.
Please read below. Take note of the DATE.
I read through the answers and mentally took note to be nicer to my husband... but only if he’s nice to me...And then I thanked heavens again that I was not a wife in the 1950s. I don’t know how the women did it. My big mouth alone would have gotten me in trouble every day.
While I have no problem cooking and working around the house I expect help, regardless of how many hours my husband's been at work. He lives in the house too, he cleans up. I am a firm believer in equality and so we both get equal share of chores around the house.
In the 50s, the norm was for women to stay home, rear children and take care of the house.
Housekeeping and raising a family were considered ideal female roles during the 1950s, although that standard was less rigid than in previous decades. With marriage and birthrates booming, women were becoming wives and mothers at unprecedented levels.
Source: American Decades, ©2000 Gale Cengage. All Rights Reserved.
I realize that the statistics are not most current here but just look at the trend. Look at the overwhelming increase in divorces! Where did that come from? From women having a voice, from speaking up and not being afraid to do so. We were no longer expected to be quiet, make men happy and keep our problems and needs on the back burner.
As I sat in my house the night I came back from the shower, I was glad for my husband. I wondered whether he would be different in the 50s and whether he is the way he is because this is the times he was brought up in. Is he a product of his environment in which he knows better than to expect me to do everything or is he just that good in offering to help most days.
I wonder if this is what those women really thought.
Whatever the case may be i decided that I had a much easier time now than women in the 50s, at least in the house chores aspects.
You don't want to get me started on the fact that even though we don't do it all, most women do work outside of home.