Mr. B and I were discussing the differences in barbecue sauce and he asked, "Just what's in it anyway?"
The question took me back to an old Home Economics book where I'd written the recipe for Clay Potts barbecue sauce so long ago that the ink was fading. And right there in black and white were other things our teacher tried to teach us girls, to help fit us into our upcoming wifey mold.
We were on the verge of a new era in those days. We burned our bras. We burned our bridges. We burned candles at both ends. And more than making barbecue sauce got changed by the time we got finished with the female revolution.
Back then we simmered barbecue sauce all day. Now we chase through the grocery store after a hectic day at work, grab a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce to pour over the chicken when we get home.
Back then it was paradise for the male gender and if they'd known what burning bras, bridges and candles at both ends would cause, I have a feeling they would have hidden the matches and thrown out all their cigarette lighters.
Here's the way it was then when the wifey mold was still being used and now--after reality set in.
Then: Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before to have a delicious meal on the table when he walks through the door. Now: Make reservations ahead of time. If your day becomes too busy just leave him a voice message regarding where you'd like to eat and what time he is to be there. This lets him know that your day is crappy and he can stay on hold for thirty minutes to make reservations. Plus it gives him the opportunity to do something nice to change your mood. Flowers are nice. Something from the jewelry store is even nicer.
Then: Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and have a sweet attitude. He has just spent the day with a lot of work-weary people so smile and be interesting. Now: A quick stop at the massage place on your way home will do wonders for your outlook and will keep you from becoming irritated when you walk into the house and hear, "What's for supper?" Don't forget to use his credit card.
Then: Clear away clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up school books, toys, paper and anything else that would be lying about. Now: Call the housekeeper and tell her that any miscellaneous items left on the floor by the children can be placed in the Goodwill box in the garage. You've told them a hundred times to keep things picked up so that you don't fall over them when you walk through the door. Any kid that whines can go in the box with the items.
Then: Prepare the children. Daddy is coming home. Wash their hands and faces and comb their hair. Change their play clothes into something nicer so that Daddy will be pleased. They are little family treasures and should be taught early that Daddy is the head of the household and everything should be done to make his life easier. Now: Send the children to their rooms to play on their techie-toys. They may be gifts from God but even He has a sense of humor and is fully well capable of sending gag gifts.
Then: Minimize the noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer or vacuum. Turn of the television even if the cartoons are on and remind the children of the above rule. Little treasures from heaven should be seen and not heard. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him. Now: Forget any attempt to minimize noise. Tell him you're doing the laundry, the kids are fighting because they have to fold two loads and he can run the vacuum. After that you will share the supper and homework duties.
Then: Some Don'ts. Dont' greet him with problems or complaints. Don't say a word if he's late for dinner. Count this as minor compared to what he had to endure that day. Now: Don't complain if he's late for dinner; simply remind him that the leftovers are in the fridge and you left the dishes for him to do. Or if you think that he's lying about working late and you definitely smell perfume on him, then nail his pork chop to the garage door, put his green beans in the dog bowl and his ice tea in the water dish. Write a note in lipstick on the garage door window that his dinner has been served and he can use the garden hose to get the perfume off him before he can come through the door.
Then: Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in his most comfortable chair. Have a drink eady for him. Offer to take off his shoes and massage his feet. Speak in a low, soft pleasant voice and allow him to relax and unwind. Now: Tell him there's a clean blanket in the dryer and if he's making martini's bring one to you on the deck.
The goal back then: to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax. The goal now: to try to make things amicable without reminding him that the world does not revolve around him and Monday night football.
Hindsight, they say is 20/20! I wonder what the male population, that was so ready for a double income family, thinks when they look at a box of matches these days!