Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Handy Hints for Wives

A to Z Challenge

 I PROMISED in my post called H is for Handy Hints for Husbands that I would do a similar one for wives. For those of you who didn't read the original post or have forgotten it, it was about two little books of advice written in 1913.

Don’ts For Husbands included very pertinent advice like: "Don’t sharpen pencils all over the house. It does not improve either the carpets or the servants’ tempers to find pencil sharpenings all over the floors."

Advice for women in Don'ts For Wives largely revolved around keeping house and keeping hubby happy.

This is one piece of advice written in all seriousness: “Don’t let your husband wear a violet tie with grass-green socks. If he is unhappily devoid of the colour sense, he must be forcibly restrained.”

Of course, every wife had to know her way around the kitchen, even it was just to tell the servants what to do. I must get to grips with this one:  "Don’t be afraid of cold meat. A few cookery lessons, or even a good cookery book, with the use of a little intelligence, will make you mistress of delicious ways of serving up leftovers."

And I mustn't forget this: "Don’t omit to pay your husband a compliment. If he looks nice dressed for the opera, tell him so. If he has been successful with his chickens, or his garden, compliment him." Darn it, the last time we went to the opera I clean forgot to tell him he looked nice. I hope he has forgiven me.

This one is going to be harder to keep to:  "Don’t say 'I told you so' to your husband, however much you feel tempted to. It does no good, and he will be grateful to you for not saying it."

I mustn't forget to, “Listen for his latchkey and meet him on the threshold." As he steps through the door I must gauge whether he is ‘nervy'. If he is it could be that his "tea habit is getting too strong in him" and I must keep a watch on him.

I directed this one at the dearly beloved and got a glare in return: “Beauty is only skin-deep and the cleverest men are rarely the handsomest.”

I also referred him to: "Don’t be discontented and think your husband not manly because he happens to be short and thin, and not very strong. Manliness is not a purely physical quality."

He glared at me even more and now he's not talking to me - so that's a bonus.






5 comments:

pilch92 15andmeowing said...

Interesting tips. I wish I had these servants they speak of.

Tamara Narayan said...

Maybe I should borrow some of these sayings, but I don't think they would work. Nothing stops my husband from talking. Nothing.

Darla M Sands said...

Priceless. Thank you for the chuckle.
Awakening Dreams and Conquering Nightmares with a Pen
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Jo said...

This made me think of the 1935 copy of Mrs. Beeton's Household Management which I inherited from my mother. It is full of instructions for handling the servants and teaching them their duties. I've always loved the idea of using tea leaves spread on the carpet which you then sweep towards the fireplace. Before vacuum cleaners were in general use. There are pictures of all kinds of "modern" appliances which are a hoot today.

Rhonda Gilmour said...

This is a hoot! I've added your blog to my list of A-Z blogs to read from top to bottom.
@RhondaGilmour from
Late Blooming Rose