This is an account of Day 2 of the 50s Housewife Experiment: Husband Obsessed Edition
A key inspiration for this experiment, Mrs. Dale Carnegie (who even had a first name of her very own - Dorothy), was the wife of a very successful self-help author. Dale Carnegie wrote a book you've likely heard of: How To Win Friends and Influence People. This book was written in 1937 and was immediately a huge success. Today, it's still selling well (at the time of writing this post, the latest edition is ranked #162 on Amazon). Apparently, the socially awkward and power hungry are an enduring, timeless lot.
I couldn't help but wonder just how much under her husband's influence Mrs. Carnegie was when she wrote How To Help Your Husband Get Ahead, especially when it came to a section on nagging. Along with driving home the point that nagging could lead to the downfall of marriage, family and society as we know it (all under a section charmingly called "Why Men Leave Home"), Carnegie provided tips for wives to curb their habits of griping (something she referred to as a disease). These tips boiled down to:
- Just stop nagging. Learn to only ask once and forget about it if he doesn't do what you want him to do.
- You catch more flies with honey than vinegar - be sweet and use flattery to get him to do what you want
Stop being a bitchGet a sense of humour - realize that most things you nag about don't really matter, otherwise, he'd have done them! (OMG)
- On the odd chance you nag about something important, talk about it calmly at a separate time
I simply can't envision any woman in any time in history coming up with such a horrible idea on her own. It's basically punishment for not constantly faking happiness, even when someone does something that deserves your annoyance. If anyone is going to have to pony up, shouldn't it be the person who failed to follow through on whatever chore or obligation he or she was supposed to do (rather than the person who reminds them of it)?
Apparently not. And so to my absolute horror, I present to you, The Nag Jar:
$0.25 in 1953, when this advice was viciously seared into print, is worth about $2 in today's market - and so that's my fine if I'm caught nagging or ... "showing irritation" ... *grits teeth and attempts to turn it into a smile. Fails miserably. Throws two loonies into the jar*
The jingle-jangles from my 'fines' are like Christmas bells to Patrick. He thinks The Nag Jar is the most hilarious thing to ever enter our house - and that includes the time I bought a poncho. He fully envisions a few trips to Starbucks next week will be covered compliments of this jar. I think not, but I'll let you know the damage at the end of the experiment.
Now that you know what's been in play at our home, onto the day's run-down:
Still riding that white cream sauce kick from the day before, I attempted to make something called Eggs a la Goldenrod for breakfast. Basically, you hard-boil a couple eggs. Once they're done, you separate the yolks from the whites. Meanwhile, make
Ridiculous, no? And yet, mine did not turn out nearly as glamorous (and it's not just the bad lighting of my photo). The lack of enthusiasm(!) that was put into the making of this breakfast is slopped all over the plate: Grilled tomatoes instead of asparagus. A complete disregard for the garnishing power of the mighty radish rose. Toast just strewn there in a manner that says,