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HOME ECONOMICS, 50s VERSUS 90s



The following is from an actual 1950's 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 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 the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the 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, 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.

Now for the modified/updated version for the '90s woman:

   1. Have dinner ready: Make reservations ahead of time. If your day becomes too hectic just leave him a FAX or voice mail message regarding where you'd like to eat and at what time. This lets him know that your day has been bad and gives him an opportunity to change your mood.

2. Prepare yourself: A quick stop at the "LANCÔME" counter on your way home will do wonders for your outlook and will keep you from becoming irritated every time he belches at the table.

3. Clear away the clutter: Call the housekeeper and let her know you'll need her for an extra day this week. 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: Drop them off at Grandma's!

   5. Minimize the noise: When he arrives at home remind him that the washer and garbage disposal are still not working properly and the noise is driving you crazy (but do this in a nice way and greet him with a warm smile... this way he might fix it faster).

   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 last one home does the cooking and the cleanup.

7. Make him comfortable: Remind him where he can find a warm fuzzy 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: A chance to get the washer and garbage disposal fixed.

10. The Goal: To try to keep things amicable without reminding him that you make more money than he does.

Now for the guy's version:   

1. Have dinner ready: You might as well since you know she can't cook. If you're lucky, she may actually appreciate this and, God forbid, be fair and load the dishwasher afterwards.

2. Prepare yourself: All of the outfits you hope she'll be wearing and all of those romantic things you see women do in the movies (usually movies from the 50's) just won't happen. You're expected to love her at her worst, and that's what you're gonna get.

   3. Clear away the clutter: Make one last trip through the house cleaning up any sign that you might have been enjoying yourself during the day. Throw away your empty beer cans, take the TV remote out of your pocket and put it back on the TV and put the phone back in the cradle. If she thinks you've enjoyed the first half of the day, she'll be sure you don't enjoy the rest of it.

   4. Prepare the children: You know they were in the house a few hours ago. Go find them, they couldn't have gone too far.

   5. Minimize the noise: Turn down the stereo and turn off the TV Stop the dryer from running and hide your clean clothes. If she finds out you do this for yourself she'll expect you to do hers also.

   6. Some DON'Ts: Don't greet her with problems and complaints. She'll always one-up you. You'll be expecting some comfort but before long, you'll be running her a bath and taking the kids out for pizza.   

7. Make her comfortable: You might actually get some tonight.

   8. Listen to her: Or at least pretend to, usually simple nodding will do.

   9. Make the evening hers: It already was anyway, don't kid yourself.

10. The Goal: To try to keep things amicable, learn to say "you're right honey," 'cause she always is. Soon you will settle into this routine and you'll understand everything your father ever taught you - somewhere around your third marriage.