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Saturday, November 14, 2009

A List of "Don'ts" from 1913...Part 5

Is it just me, or is Blanche Ebbutt just getting more and more spot on with her advice? How on earth has my marriage survived the last 9 years? Anyway, we continue with Blanche's marriage advice from the books 'Don'ts For Husbands' and 'Don'ts for Wives', published in 1913...

Don'ts for Husbands

I. General Habits - Part 4
Don't fidget. Some husbands are never still for a moment. They walk in and out of rooms like the wandering Jew; they play with the salt at dinner; they draw lines on the tablecloth with a fork; they tap the table with their fingers and the floor with their feet; they creak their slippers and drop the coal tongs on to the tiled hearth. In fact, they keep their wives in a state of tension, and the poor creatures would need nerves of iron to enable them to stand the strain. (They also open the fridge, stand in front of it for a while. They close it. They walk away. They return 3 minutes later and open it again. Stand in front of it for 3 more minutes. Then they walk away. Again. This is repeated. Often. - JA)

Don't make a fuss when your wife has "unattached" women friends to be seen home at night. I have seen men on these occasions look at their slippers, and fuss about changing into walking-shoes, and look out to see whether it rains, etc, until I should certainly have gone off alone had I been the guest to be escorted. (And if the "unattached" woman is good looking? I'll drive her home myself. Or call her a taxi. Thank you, Blanche.)

Don't sharpen pencils all over the house as you walk about. Try a hearth or a waste-paper basket, or a newspaper. It does not improve either carpets or the servant's temper to find scraps of pencil-sharpenings all over the floor. (The 'servant'? We don't have one of those around here. In any form. - JA)

Don'ts for Wives

I. Personalities - Part 4
Don't expect your husband to have all the feminine virtues as well as all the masculine ones. There would be nothing left for you if your other half were such a paragon. (Yep. I'm happy with that. I certainly don't want my hubby messing with my lipstick. Or my bras. Or my mascara. Or...anything of a womanly nature. Hmmm. - JA)

Don't be troubled because your husband is not an Adonis. Beauty is only skin deep and the cleverest men are rarely the handsomest, judged by ordinary standards. (But then sometimes you hit the jackpot. Think: Donald Trump. *clears throat* - JA)

Don't worry about little faults in your husband which merely amused you in your lover. If they were not important then, they are not important now. Besides, what about yours? (My faults? What faults? I'm pretty certain I have none. - JA)

Ah, yes. More great marriage advice from Blanche. Don't you think? Now, I'm just going off to do a stocktake of my make up. Just in case.

Until next time...

For previous Don'ts from 1913, click on the links below:


Liz.. said...

haha they are great! my dad fidgets all the time, he even bangs the dinner knife/fork against the edge of the table to a little tune - drives my mum and i crazy, and what was with the pencil sharpenings? is it normal for people to walk around sharpening a pencil? haha

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, that little trail of pencil shavings just drives me to distraction, move thee to the hearth Coach, chip chop.

Tara (Waffling Along)

clareybabble said...

I love this!! If only it was that easy... x

Thea said...

This is very funny! Some things never change....some things (thankfully) do!