If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, I could be in trouble. Back in the 1950s a girl learned how to cook, clean and balance the house hold budget. Somehow those skills escaped me. I barely passed home economics in high school. Vancity has more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in North America. In other words, I never had to learn. I do great take out.
With my fingers flying across the key board, I decided to do a little research. What did women learn in the 1950s?
From a 1950’s high school home economics textbook, teaching girls how to prepare for married life.
1. Have dinner ready: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal on time.
This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him, and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.
2. Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking.
He has just been with a lot of work- weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.
3. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables.
Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.
4. Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes.
They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
5. Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.
6. Things to avoid: Don’t greet him with problems or complaints. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner.
Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.
7. Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes.
Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.
8. Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.
9. Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.
10. The goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.
What fascinated me about that piece was that was the type of household I grew up in. During the cold days this past winter, I automatically fell into some of the patterns of behavour mentioned.When I was working from home, I didn’t find it difficult to make sure there was a hot meal and I was excited to see my beau when he walked through the door.
Straight out of Tantra teacher, Tanja Diamond’s work, I would rush to the door to greet him when I heard his key in the lock. Making eye contact I would rush into his arms for a long awaited hug. There’s something special about welcoming my beau home when he walks through the door.
As I wrestle with kitchen appliances to create home cooked healthy meals, he takes the lid off of a pot, dips a spoon in and tries my concoction that I have created. As he continues to stir the sauce, he adds spice after spice. Together we continue cooking our evening meal feeding each other samples of the culinary creation we have concocted together. When we finally sit down to eat, we are relaxed.
In the past few months, my grocery bill has punctured a huge hole in my budget. My budget created as a singleton focused on meals out. Although I have been told that dining at home should be healthier on my bank account and my life, I have found this evolution expensive. Not having the basics – pots and pans; spices, and many more things that most people take for granted in the kitchen, each time I have made something, it would have been more cost effective to buy it ready made.
Thankfully I have fantastic friends like Colleen Coplick, a sexy kitchen guru. In the next few weeks, she is going to give my culinary skill set and house hold budget a makeover. Perhaps in time I will become a domestic goddess. In the meantime you can enjoy my kitchen exploits. Right here.