10 Nov 2010

The 50s Housewife Gets Way More Sarcastic Than Usual

If you thought I was a navel-gazer before, check out this post! I think I can see my spine!

During this round of the 50s housewife experiment, my blog was picked up by a feed or two and the experiments (both the original and the latest one) were mentioned on a few websites, some with much larger audiences than mine ... like here and here and here and here and here and here. Please – take a look! The rest of this post makes much more sense with that bit of context.

Getting the increased traffic was both exciting and terrifying. Knowing more eyeballs were watching added some pressure to "perform" – but that wasn’t what made my stomach feel achy – it was the Ring of Plenty all the unfiltered opinions, many none too complimentary, about me, Patrick and this very goofy "experiment."

If you’re going to share parts of yourself online, you have to expect criticism. I completely do. If I get to enjoy the nice things people say (and there have been some very nice things – thank you!!!), I have to expect some not-so-nice things will be said as well. It’s sometimes easier said than done, but both Patrick and I have pretty thick skins, a sense of humour about ourselves and a certain amount of openness to actually consider the validity behind the critiques. In fact, some of the comments were actually quite witty, and I love wit regardless of which side of the argument it falls.

The bulk of the conversations that I linked to above happened over a week ago, which means for most people, those threads are about as buried and forgotten as sweet Mark Linn-Baker’s career (I’ll save you the effort of clicking and / or Googling: He was Cousin Larry in Perfect Strangers).

But even though I realize that no one cares anymore, I’d like to clarify a few points brought up in some of the comments on those websites. After all, a *slobber ... drool* publisher could one day stumble onto this, and I’d hate to miss out on the opportunity to frankly explain what this book-worthy blog is all about and who this Jen But Never Jenn person really is.

A smart and classy woman would take the high road and continue along as if unaware of anything that's been said of her; a post like this is probably a bad idea. But it should come as no surprise to regular readers: I am not a smart and classy woman. So here’s the deal:

  • When I’m not being a publicity-seeking attention whore, I like to keep my husband, Patrick, in a small but comfortable cage in the den. I’ve decorated it with masculine tastes in mind – a brown, corduroy beanbag chair, a few jaunty denim throw pillows, and a neon Budweiser sign to act as a night light. By storing my husband in this setting for the majority of the year, I’m able to establish a control to which I can compare my highly scientific experiment results against.
  • I don’t consult with Patrick about whether I’m going to do a bizarre lifestyle project that impacts him in nearly every way nor does he get any say over the fact that I’ll be sharing it all on the friendly Internet. I’ll tell you what I tell him: It does what Jen demands of him or else it gets the hose again.
  • During our “normal” life together, Patrick never gets alone time. Even when in his cage, I force my presence on him. There’s no need to be courteous of my husband’s feelings because he doesn’t *have* any. Remember, I married a Patrick, not a Patricia.
  • The 50s housewife experiment brought nothing but misery to our home. We never laughed or smiled or had any sort of fun doing it. We actually had to pay actors to come by and pretend to be our friends (casting the role of "Baby Charlotte" introduced us to the world of the stage mom - now that was an education). Any references to positive feelings we had were fictionalized as to make me appear more bankable in the eyes of advertisers, publishers, Hollywood producers and Oprah.
  • I fully intend to demand a divorce if Patrick doesn’t immediately start liking capers.
  • Magazines, television and books from the 1950s are completely accurate reflections of what life was like then, just like magazines, television and books today completely capture modern life. Sometimes, I swear Cosmopolitan is just a reprint of my diary (especially the parts about always being on the look-out for new sex positions)!
  • Two weeks of living by advice from the 1950s has made me an expert in what life was realistically like for every woman in that era ever. Perhaps I should have explained: Before starting my 50s housewife experiment, I went through that spinning time-space travel machine from Contact. What may have seemed like two weeks for you, was actually a lifetime for me. It's true, just ask Jodie Foster.
  • I’ve submitted the contents of my blog to several medical and academic journals. The breakthrough research I conducted fetched such solid factual results that I think I actually have a shot at winning a Nobel Prize in a number of different science categories. The Nobel Prize in Literature is obviously in the bag.
  • I see your point – taking on the tasks that 1950s housewives did is just like writing a giddy blog about being a slave or living in a concentration camp. Frankly, I'm amazed they don't sell aprons that have "Arbeit macht frei" embroidered on them. When I passed that observation along to friends whose relatives perished in horrifying ways in said camps, it was applause all around. "What a sensitive, thoughtful and rational comparison," they remarked.
If reading between the lines is not one of your strengths, I’ll come right out with it and provide you with the true gay agenda of this blog. Here are the Ten REAL Lessons I was hoping to get across to the masses through my 50s Housewife Experiment:
  1. You should never explore subject matter that interests you in a fun or unusual way - and that goes double-true for professional writers who usually spend their day working on ad copy and manuals. That would be very, very silly and the world demands we act serious all the time about everything. Also: I should get a real job. And perhaps have some children.
  2. I hope to convince the world that women shouldn't have a choice about how they live their lives. I yearn for and demand a return to a time when women were pressured to have one kind of career, regardless of their personal interests, aspirations or skills.
  3. I want to be spanked - hard and often. The problem is, I just don't know how to tell my husband directly, so I'm hoping these round-about, public posts about JELL-O molds and radish roses will hopefully clue him in.
  4. The 1950s was the greatest decade ever. It didn’t matter if you were a woman or black or gay or socialist or an immigrant or suffering from a mental illness – the 1950s was an era where everyone was happy, experienced equality and could eat apple pie without abandon (it had no calories back then!).
  5. Feminism isn’t about choice – it’s about wearing pants – and I *hate* pants.
  6. If I lived in the 1950s, I wouldn't miss very much ... well, maybe my favourite TV shows - Two and Half Men, Big Bang Theory, and Sex and the City re-runs. At least I'd have Big Bopper tunes to keep a smile on my face.
  7. All technology is evil. iPhones, microwaves and horseless carriages will eat your soul.
  8. If you don’t like something about a particular era, you should disregard *everything* from that time. All advice, tips and values should be considered as backward and worthless as a slam dunk contest in the WNBA.
  9. Organ meat is highly underrated.
  10. If a group of people were pressured into homemaking and weren’t happy with that path, it therefore means that *all* people must have hated being a homemaker. Anyone who chooses to be a housewife today is either misguided or simple, and will one day turn into a less hot version of Unhappy Betty Draper - the only difference being that they'll never even have known the joys of a Don Draper dicking.
Here endeth the lesson. I hope that clears things up.

Har. And that is what the kids call "overkill."

Now, a true lesson? Life is better when you don't take yourself so seriously. The next time someone has something negative or peculiar to say about you, pull up a picture of yourself on MS Paint and go to town creating a visual representation of yourself that matches their perception. It's good old-timey fun. Even grapefruit baskets can get in on the action!

I want to thank the people who "got" the blog as I intended it and said so here or elsewhere. It's a bit scary to wade into a sea of snark and your comments were like little buoys that lit up the page and my day. I discovered quite a few of your own fun blogs in the process (like this one and this one and this one and this one) and they are now a part of my daily spin around the web. Heart, heart, heart. NOW WE ARE SO HAPPY, WE DO THE DANCE OF JOY!

And those of you who had a totally different perspective? You're a-ok, too. Like I said, some of your comments were genuinely entertaining to read and, as I just discovered, respond to. I also thank you for taking the time to speak your mind, even if I might totally disagree with it. Opinions are fun (and plentiful!).

Just a reminder - you still have chance to enter my two draws to win vintage cookbooks. One ends on November 11th and the other ends on November 15th! Even critical comments qualify - I hold no grudges (for real, I'm pretty much a grudge-free zone)!

Also - have you supported our friend Dave in his quest to raise $ for prostate cancer? Because unlike me and the entire contents of this post, what he's doing actually matters!

Keep smiling, Internet!

23 comments:

kylydia 9:56 am, November 10, 2010  

I love that one of the "You Might Also Like" links is for a post titled, "Lighten Up."

Seriously, what's the deal with people?

I loved reading about both editions of The 50s Housewife Experiment, even though I'm a bad reader and never commented that I loved it.

Meg,  10:29 am, November 10, 2010  

That was epic. Was it as good to write and it was for me to read? I'm hooting and laughing at my desk - my office mates think I've lost it.

Anonymous,  11:27 am, November 10, 2010  

That was entertaining - but probably unnecessary. You know what they say: Don't feed the trolls.

heidi,  12:20 pm, November 10, 2010  

I thought this was great. I've been steaming with anger for days - ever since reading all that crap on metafilter. Who are all those people and what is all the anger about?? I mean I raised my eyebrows when I saw the list of foods Patrick didn't like - but it made me chuckle. It certainly didn't make me so mad I had to find a forum to cuss him out.
I love your blog and can't wait for you to win a nobel prize for all of your *serious* work:-)

Meghan,  12:47 pm, November 10, 2010  

I am just glad the vitriolics haven't spilled over into your blog (although, it leads me to believe the "haters" probably didn't bother reading any of it, which would lead them to such ridiculous conclusions in the first place!).

Jen! Don't feed the trolls!!

Tisha,  3:39 pm, November 10, 2010  

I have to admit, I came across this blog due to the DoubleX link. To be honest, it was the reference to the list of vegetables that drew me in. But after reading the first post, I've found myself addicted to the wit and humor of the blog (and have since gone through the archives and read every post). My husband got to hear some of the highlights, and was also pretty well entertained (except for the description of the asparagus meat mold--that almost made him vomit).

Joe (father of the monkey),  5:32 pm, November 10, 2010  

Yikes!

Don't mess with this particular '50's housewife, she'll rip your lungs out with her pen with one hand tied behind her back!

You go gurl!! Don't take no crap from nobody!

Juli 9:26 pm, November 10, 2010  

While I love your writing, I think I enjoy your artwork even more. The angry mold is amazing.

Amy 11:01 pm, November 10, 2010  

I think you're hilarious, and I can't believe some people are upset about your blog. I found it from one of those links, and now I'm a regular reader. And your writing is wonderful. Keep it up.

Melissa O. 11:28 pm, November 10, 2010  

I loved this experiment! It made me laugh and snort with glee. Would love to try this but afraid my two boys wouldn't eat at all! Maybe I'll adopt the cleaning schedule.

Love your sense of humor. Hopefully, if I'm ever in your neck of the woods I can sample some random jello mold! Can't wait to read more.

I really think you could do a whole serious just on the mouse town living in your house. :)

Pop Tart 5:25 pm, November 11, 2010  

This further cements my crush on you.

Nothing else I can add, really. So I'll be in the corner, unable to take my eyes off you.

Charlotte 7:56 am, November 12, 2010  

I also found your blog via Double x. I think it's smart and funny.

I have never understood why people feel they have to make mock and get angry about personal blogs.

Haters are going to hate.

Nicole G.,  4:43 pm, November 12, 2010  

I love you. The end.

Allison 2:37 pm, November 15, 2010  

I don't think I commented before, but just to let you know, I also enjoyed reading both series'. Some people take themselves WAY too seriously on the internet. And some people have no parody detector at all ... I remember a friend being outraged at Kitten Bonsai because she actually thought it was real! Have fun in any future wacky adventures!

Jen 2:42 pm, November 15, 2010  

Aw - thanks, everyone! Hearts Hearts Hearts.

brooke @ claremont road 9:03 pm, November 15, 2010  

FAN. Tastic.

Some people just lead sad little lives... and they are the same people who hide behind the anonymity of the internet to try to make others feel bad about themselves so THEY feel less schmuck-y. Your 50s Housewife experiment is what brought me to your blog and ultimately inspired me add you to my Google Reader (and that does not happen often these days). Keep writing, and keep being awesome.

sharolyn k,  6:22 pm, November 22, 2010  

it's so amazing, im only 17 and not a wife or mother, and i just spent my entire day reading the whole of both experiments. i absolutely loved it!! I was completely amazed that even as critical as the people who are doing nothing but being critical are, anybody had anything bad to say about this blog. Its great jen, and you are such a good writer you kept me staring at my computer screen for about 5 straight hours today, which i am not one to do. anyway, GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT!!!

TressaA 6:24 pm, December 06, 2010  

I thoroughly enjoyed the blog (I read every post of the housewife experiments!), and forwarded to all my friends. Being full of sarcasm myself - I really enjoyed it. Other people are more dense. Perhaps they need their Sarcasm! Antennae! Activated! to "get" the blog. Keep up the great work. I also have a blog "Ask the Science Lady." http://asksciencelady.blogspot.com/
It is not as funny as yours, but more informational. :-)

Alisa Smith 1:55 am, September 10, 2011  

You! I get you =] I enjoyed this blog [both of them] I laughed and found this interesting and plan on putting some of these lessons to great use! I love your sarcasm and Star Wars references. I guess that's enough yaking! I'll be reading your other posts and ish. Alisa

Anonymous,  7:25 am, July 25, 2013  

Holy crap! I almost wet myself with laughter reading this post. I LOVE your style of writing and sense of humor.

I didn't read any of the negative comments made. I didn't have to. Just type "50s housewife" into google and the usual snarky comments come up.

Im used to mean comments straight to my face. When people find out my husband and I aren't having kids they look at me as if i said I like to kill kittens for fun. Then proceed to berate me for my selfish choice. (Im 32 and regularly babysit my neices and nephews to give my sisters a break. Usually for 3 days straight)Yet tell them I'd rather be at home taking care of my husband and home instead of working my minimum wage job and they call me old fashioned.

I've learnt that some people are just narrow minded idiots.

I for one am grateful that you wrote about your "experiment" and shared some laughs along the way.

Thank you!



Danielle 10:30 am, August 01, 2013  

It sounds like those commenatators might want to break out their own judgey jar! Ha! I love this blog- just found it a few days ago- so glad I discovered it! I know recently you have fell upon some hard times with a divorce and job loss. Your in my thoughts and prayers! I think your such a great writer and love your ambitions to discover the fifties!

20/80 Katy,  3:10 pm, November 18, 2013  

Jen,

I tumbled across your post on a restless night while looking for inspiration—something (ANYTHING) to help me get motivated enough to care if the dishes are done or the laundry is folded. After a l-o-n-g illness and a number of setbacks still left to cope with, I was flirting with depression. This gave me that little *pop* of "what if?" thinking I needed to overcome the apathy and re-engage on the home front again.

Of all the things, your blog and this idea is the one that struck my fancy. You never know what will inspire someone. THANK YOU for the inspiration!!

As for all those nasty comments, you really have to feel sorry for people like that despite their inherent nastiness. Between the Bitter-With-Baggage Bummer Boys and the Clearly Crazy Catty Chat Cowards who would never dare say such things to your face, you caught it coming and going. Boo on them!! And a measure of pity, too.

"Two men looked out of prison bars. One saw mud and the other saw stars". Their glasses aren't just half empty; looks like they're smudged with greasy fingerprints, smeared with someone else's lipstick and half full of something other than what they ordered.

No matter. It you don't feed the trolls, they will eventually slither along to the next food source that fans the flames of their cold, hate-filled hearts and ignites the familiar spark of covetousness in their evergreen eyes.

Whatever they say? It was creative. It was fun. It was interesting. It rocked. And so do you :)

20/80 Katy,  3:11 pm, November 18, 2013  

Jen,

I tumbled across your post on a restless night while looking for inspiration—something (ANYTHING) to help me get motivated enough to care if the dishes are done or the laundry is folded. After a l-o-n-g illness and a number of setbacks still left to cope with, I was flirting with depression. This gave me that little *pop* of "what if?" thinking I needed to overcome the apathy and re-engage on the home front again.

Of all the things, your blog and this idea is the one that struck my fancy. You never know what will inspire someone. THANK YOU for the inspiration!!

As for all those nasty comments, you really have to feel sorry for people like that despite their inherent nastiness. Between the Bitter-With-Baggage Bummer Boys and the Clearly Crazy Catty Chat Cowards who would never dare say such things to your face, you caught it coming and going. Boo on them!! And a measure of pity, too.

"Two men looked out of prison bars. One saw mud and the other saw stars". Their glasses aren't just half empty; looks like they're smudged with greasy fingerprints, smeared with someone else's lipstick and half full of something other than what they ordered.

No matter. It you don't feed the trolls, they will eventually slither along to the next food source that fans the flames of their cold, hate-filled hearts and ignites the familiar spark of covetousness in their evergreen eyes.

Whatever they say? It was creative. It was fun. It was interesting. It rocked. And so do you :)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Blog Archive

I have no shame

Need words? I'm a Toronto-based freelance writer who injects great ones into blogs, websites, magazines, ads and more. So many services, one lovely Jen (with one 'n').

The Daily Quote: The Smartest Part of the Blog

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP  

Real Time Web Analytics