Well, I wrote the parody. This was a super entertaining way to procrastinate working on my book.
How to Be a Good Wife
by Anne Riley
Inspired by that article from the 1950s that is floating around the Internet
Make Dinner Plans at Least 6 Years in Advance
A good wife should always be able to answer the question, “What’s for dinner?” No matter if your husband is asking about tonight’s dinner, or next Friday’s dinner, or dinner two years from now, or the dinner you made on the last day of February in the most recent election year (STOP: Was that a leap year?? YOU MUST KNOW BECAUSE OTHERWISE YOU MIGHT GET IT WRONG).
The best way to ensure that you always have an answer to this question is to spend 200 consecutive hours doing nothing but meal planning. PS: Those hours only count if your hair is curled and you’re wearing pearls. Oh, and you still have to put dinner on the table at 5:00 sharp every evening. Obviously.
Look Perfect, All the Time
Listen, nobody wants to come home to a Frumpy Frannie. If you’re not wearing a cocktail dress when your husband comes through the door, you might as well just set all your clothes on fire. Make sure you have full makeup on, hair that’s styled without looking like you spent two and a half hours* on it (which, by the way, is the Housewife Hair Maintenance Minimum Allotted Time [HHMMAT]), and heels. Always heels. And of course, pearls are a given; in fact, just go ahead and superglue that clasp shut, because those babies belong around your neck 24/7.
*If your hair maintenance hours coincide with your meal planning hours, you must perform both tasks simultaneously or risk failing at housewifery altogether.
Never Stop Cleaning Your House (Ever)
Let’s get this out of the way right now: if you are ever not cleaning, you have failed. Dust is unacceptable. Dirt on the carpet is practically heresy. And a stove that betrays the fact that you actually cook on it? You might as well just flush your wedding ring down the toilet, for all the good you are as a wife.
And don’t you dare try to use your children as an excuse for a cluttered home, either, because it doesn’t matter how many times they take off their diapers and smear poop on the walls - you better have it cleaned up when your husband gets home. (Don’t forget to also style your hair and plan meals for the next twelve years while you’re scrubbing poop off the baseboards. No excuses!)
Your Children Are Shining Angels of Light (Or Else)
About 4:45pm, right when your kids are transforming into velociraptors because it’s the end of the day and you’ve been trapped in the bathroom with a curling iron and a meal calendar for the last four hours, you’ll need to make sure they look and behave like angels. This is not optional.
Get them in the bathtub, even if they claw at your eyeballs and scream until your hearing is permanently damaged. Put them in fancy outfits (monograms are required; smocking is a bonus). If they are crying, give them whatever they want until they stop - candy, TV, whatever it takes. Don’t worry, there’s no way that will come back to bite you in the future. The important thing is that your husband has to do LITERALLY NOTHING involving the children when he gets home. It’s your job to raise them; it’s his job to pat their heads when they do something cute and then congratulate himself on being such an awesome father. elopement wedding dresses
Do Not Speak or Otherwise Provide Evidence of Your Existence
When your husband gets home, he doesn’t want to hear your voice, your children’s voices, the sound of kitchen appliances being used in dinner preparation, footsteps, breathing, or heartbeats. Find a place in the kitchen where you can reach the stove, the fridge, and the sink without moving your feet. You may stir things, but only if you can do so with zero noise.
If your outfit includes sleeves, it would be wise to change into something sleeveless so that the fabric doesn’t rub together and create a rustling sound. Breathe as slowly as you can so that your heart reaches a hibernation-like state. This keeps your involuntary muscles working as quietly as possible, thus reducing the risk of disturbing your husband while he watches another rerun of COPS. After all, he’s had a long day of intelligent adult conversation and free coffee. The man deserves a break!
If you cough or sneeze while your husband is resting, it’s safe to assume that you have single-handedly ruined your entire marriage.
You Are Not Important
Never, under any circumstances, should you do any of the following:
- Say hello to your husband
- Volunteer information about your day
- Ask him why he was three hours late for dinner
- Talk about the children
- Mention that you could use some help washing dishes
- Ask for input on dinner for May 9, 2045
- Tell him that the children ripped out an entire chunk of your hair right after you finished curling it
- Express any sort of dissatisfaction with your life
- Refer to your home as a prison
- Wonder out loud how you can escape
- Flee the premises
Remember, his day was important. Yours was not. Stick to these rules and you’ll be a decent wife. Maybe even a good one.
Your husband is counting on you.