"What happened?" The Wifester replied.
"I've done all I know to do and the vacuum cleaner is still not working."
"Oh, you just want me to hurry up and give you that Dyson I promised you!"
Maybe I do dream of my wonderful, beautiful Dyson. It's true. Can you blame me? It's a beauty!
But my old Oreck really has been a trooper, and to be honest, I'd hate to say goodbye to such a wonderful friend.
Friend? You may ask.
Why, yes. I mean, I've dissected that baby to it's core.
Performed surgery on it more times than the Beverly Hills docs have on Joan Rivers. I know by each thud and clunk, by the shape of the plume of smoke that it emits precisely what is lodged and where.
But this time may have been the last time my practiced hands could try to resuscitate the old machine.
So the Wifester comes home from work that day with a newspaper in one hand and a huge, devilish smile on her face. I know right away she's up to no good.
"I'm going to need you to read this article and follow through with EVERYTHING it says before I can buy you a Dyson."
"Oh REAAAALY?" I ask, with suspicion and amusement bypassing my urge to tell her what to do with previously mentioned newspaper and article.
She sees my willingness to play along and presses forward:
"Yep. This is the Nashville Retrospect. It's stories and articles reprinted from years past. The article I want you to read is right here..."
She leans over to me and points to an article dated January 6, 1950, reprinted from the Nashville Banner, entitled The Perfect Wife Will Help Her Husband in Many Ways" by Samuel G and Esther B Kling
The article reads, in part
" How can every wife be an asset to her husband? By doing everything she can to help him in his job or career and by making his home life as comfortable and as pleasant as possible. It is true that some husbands succeed in business or their professional life in spite of their wives. Socrates, for example, would undoubtedly have been a great philosopher no matter whom he married. Indeed, he himself said: "By all means marry. If you get yourself a good wife, you will be happy forever after; and if by chance you get a common scold like my Xanthippe, why then you will become a philosopher."
Abe Lincoln is another shining example of a man who succeeded in spite of an unsympathetic, nagging wife. But these are exceptions to the general rule. "
It goes on to ask
"What are the signs that a wife is an asset?
You're an asset if you are making a serious attempt to keep up with your husband's business or professional interests. You're an asset if you know how to make friends and entertain where these are necessary for your husband's advancement, as in most cases they are... You're an asset if you make certain your man is properly groomed and dressed, that his appearance is always neat and attractive. You're an asset if your own appearance is always up to par so that he isn't uncomfortable or embarrassed when out with you. You're an asset when you are thrifty and economical instead of always trying to keep up with the Jones's... "
Well, you get the drift. It goes on to list things like reading the daily newspaper so that you can keep up your end of a conversation and not embarrass your husband. Serving nurtitious, attractive meals, on time. Bolstering your husband's ego and maintaining a pleasant disposition at all times.
Upon review of the article and seeing the Wifester's smug grin, I responded
"Well, maybe if I had a husband instead of a wife, and lived in 1950, I would do all of those things."