Did you happen to take that 1930s housewife test that was floating around the ‘net last year? I did. Turns out I’d make someone a fine husband. Seriously, a servile, old-school wife I am not. But many modern women do still serve their men–literally.
In “Woman, where’s my waffle: On serving food to men,” XOJane’s Jessica writes about a scene in a North Carolina Best Western:
“Carl, do you want a waffle?” a plump-cheeked woman asked her husband, who considered the buffet a mere two feet from their table. “A little of everything,” he instructed, sitting back in his chair and shaking open a copy of USA Today. His wife smiled knowingly — her Carl sure had an appetite!
Then she went dutifully to the buffet where she began to make his breakfast, dishing up Styrofoam bowls of cereal and assembling floppy sausage and egg sandwiches.
Other couples came into the dining area and diverged, the men settling their wide khaki bottoms into chairs while their wives went to the counter and poured coffees which they brought back to the table before going back up to the buffet for the main course. While the women heaped two plates with starchy breakfast foods, the husbands all sat, sipping their coffees and reading their USA Todays.
When I was a kid, my friend’s mom would dish up food for her family, hovering awkwardly in the background until everyone had finished eating. It always made me uncomfortable. I watched the women at the buffet and was both appalled and fascinated. Read more…
Not a family gathering passes without my sister asking “Aren’t you going to fix your husband a plate?”
Sister: “See, I need to teach you how to do.”
I also had a friend years back who would crow about how well she cared for her boyfriend. “I always fix his plate.”
Is this still a thing? In 2012?
It is not surprising that the Marital Rating Scale, devised in 1939 by Dr. George Crane, judges wives in great part by how well they serve: putting children to bed, keeping the house clean, putting dinner on the table, letting hubby sleep late on weekends and keeping the seams in her stockings straight while doing it. It does surprise that some of these judgements still exist seven decades and a women’s rights movement later.
I love my husband and like doing things to make him feel good and pampered. It isn’t as if I have never served the man a plate of food. (He does the same for me, because he is awesome and I am a lucky lady.) But as a wife, my only duty is to love, honor and respect my other half, and work with him for the benefit of our union and our family. My husband is my partner and the love of my life, not my liege.
What about you? Do you fix your man’s plate? How comfortable are you with the traditional role of wife?