1950 was a very good year … for men.
As I was trolling through Facebook yesterday, I found a truly spectacular artifact, shared by a friend. It was an actual page from a 1950 high school Home Economics book, entitled: “Tips to Look After Your Husband.”Helpful hints! Apparently, to tend to a husband. Like he was a pet ferret.
Let’s share the knowledge from 1950 and my interpretation, circa 2018.
1950: Have dinner ready. Plan to have a delicious meal made on time. This is a way of letting him know you’ve been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Men are hungry when they get home!
2018: Have a note ready. It should direct your husband to call Agolino’s for take-out, pronto. Or, let him know you’re thinking about him because you bought his favorite string cheese and Slim Jims, and there’s a meal right there.
1950: Prepare yourself. Touch-up your make-up and put a ribbon in your hair. Be fresh looking.
2018: Prepare yourself. Put a sweatshirt over your pajamas so he’ll assume you got dressed that day. Trade in your slippers for flip flops. Touch up your Chapstick. So fresh.
1950: Clear away clutter. Make one last trip through the house before he arrives home. Run a dust cloth over the tables.
2018: What’s a dust cloth?
1950: Prepare the children. Wash their hands and face, comb their hair. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
2018: Prepare the children. Tell them that whichever one of them pooped in the garage that morning better damn well clean it up. Have them stand in the yard and hose them down. The only way your husband will think they’re little treasures is if it’s Halloween and you dress them as pirates’ bounty.
1950: Minimize noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise: washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet. Greet him with a warm smile.
2018: Minimize noise? I suppose when he gets home, you can turn down the TV in the middle of “Judge Judy.” But really … why? Then you’ll have to have a conversation with him. You could turn off the vacuum unless, like mine, it’s been broken since Bush was president. Encourage the children to keep their mouths shut about the fact you were on eBay and Amazon for three hours that day and ordered more sweatshirts to wear over your pajamas. You can greet him with a warm smile — after you’ve slurped down the first two glasses of Chardonnay. With a straw.
1950: Don’t greet him with problems or complaints.
2018: Then I suggest he not come home.
1950: Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair and have his drink ready. Arrange his pillow and take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing voice.
2018: A low, soothing voice?! Hahaha. I’m not James Earl Jones, for God’s sake!
1950: The goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
2018: The goal: At the end of the day, if the children and dogs are alive, and you managed to brush your teeth, then score! … goal accomplished. Nothing caught on fire, no one lost a kidney, and everyone is essentially happy. Except for the kid who pooped in the garage. He’s grounded until Thanksgiving.
1950 or 2018 …we can agree on one thing: Men really are like ferrets. They need beef jerky, water and a cage. Throw in a golf ball, a TV and a keg and you have tended to his every need. Well done.
Maria Jiunta Heck, of West Pittston, is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.