Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Rebuttal to "The Good Ol' Days"

If you happen to have the current edition of Vanity Fair (with a glorious cover trio of Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman, and Amy Poehler) flip to page 118.

They have some excerpts from a charmingly dated (nearly 100 years old) manual on "Don'ts an Dont's" for Wives and Husbands.

It's a disturbing window into marital life from the days when miscegenation was a crime, "speak only when spoken to honey" was doctrine, and balding, lumpy, riddled with phlebitis old white men ruled all (or, as John McCain calls it "the good ol' days.")

Well, except for the fact that Viagra wasn't invented, so loveless marriages at least had a good chance of becoming sexless marriages earlier.

Anyway, I figured I'd pull a few of their quotes, and tack on some comments to them. Mainly because it's free (free things are great in a recession) and also because my bracket is already so throughly fucked, I can't devote myself fully to basketball.

First, the "Don'ts For Wives":
"Don't expect your husband to be an angel. You would get very tired of him if he were."
-Well, duh. Because then he'd be dead, and despite what that Patrick Swayze movie may tell you, you can't have sex with a ghost. Also, don't put Baby in a corner.
Or...100 years ago Nice Guy Syndrome was going strong.

"Don't try to excite your husband's jealousy by flirting with other men. You may succeed better than you want to. It is like playing with tigers and edged tools and volcanoes all in one."
In general, I'd say it's probably best not to wildly flirt once your married...though the undertone here is that if the poor defenseless woman starts flirting, she's powerless not to have sex with whomever she's flirting with.
Gender issues aside, it's now my life's goal to somehow play with at least tigers and edged tools at the same time (working up to adding that volcano.)

"Don't bother your husband with a stream of sensless chatter if you can see that he is very fatigued."
Thanks Blanche Ebbutt, this one comment launched decades of bad stand-up comedians, and I blame for sitcoms like that crappy one with John Belushi's talentless brother.

Don'ts For Husbands:
"Don't forget that character is more important than genius. If your wife is a true woman, don't worry about the rest."
And if Mrs. Dumb-as-rocks isn't a true woman...well either you're also quite stupid (note: "she" probably shouldn't have genitials exactly like your's) or maybe you should reevaluate your sexual orientation. Don't worry, if you keep it (mostly) hidden, you can still become a prominent Republican!

"Don't scowl or look severe. Cultivate a pleasant expression even if nature hasn't blessed you with one."
I'd like to see the phrase "look severe" come back into everyday lexicon. It just sounds cool. "Dude, you look severe." "Thanks." Wish me luck on this earlier attempt to resuscitate the phrase "bee's knees" was met with sour pusses and cries of "flim-shaw."

"Don't give up cricket, or football...or whatever outdoor sport you have been accustomed to just because you are married. Athletics will keep you from becoming flabby."
Well, I guess 100 years ago they didn't have the "Fat Guy+Hot Wife" shows. At least they're throwing the ladies a bone (other know...)

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