Printed in May 1955, Housekeeping Monthly‘s “The Good Wife’s Guide” delineates the perfect tools to keep your significant other smiling.
Accordant to the ’50s, it’s about the woman satisfying her man, with her feelings and thoughts taking a perpetual backseat. Newspaper, advertising and magazines co-signed these notions, even taking it to the point of printing manuals on how to keep your man happy. The first pointer is to ‘have supper ready’ when he returns home from work – well naturally! “Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return,” the scoop reads. Evidently, this is a sure way to let him know “you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.” Next, the tips suggest to take 15 minutes to ease “so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives.” Too, “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.” Giddily, it’s instructed also to “be a little gay and a little more interesting for him” as “his boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.”
Additionally, there’s a gang of home maintenance jobs you must rush to complete before he arrives home, such as gathering up school books, clearing away the rubbish, preparing the kids, and sparking a fire so that “your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order.” When he comes through the door you ought of “be happy to see him” and “greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.” “You may have a ton of pertinent things to tell him, however the minute of his arrival is not the time. Allow him to talk first – “remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours,” states the article. Finally: “Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home later or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.”
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