Saturday, February 2, 2013

February Faces: Woman's Work?


From Phyllis Nicholson's Country Bouquet 1947

"It is woman's work to keep love warm. But the cold blast of her busy indifference causes the flame to flicker down in father's heart. Absorbed by the Children, Lost Causes, Golf or Bridge, Madame has increasingly less time for her husband. This makes quiet men wistful and lively men wild. No husband should come in from work almost unnoticed. Give him a hero's homecoming every day and keep romance alive."

Nicholson was writing from post-World War II England and she's pretty rough on wives here. What do you think about what she says? Before you get too defensive, I must tell you that on the next page she advises women never to marry a man who comes home for lunch. In fact, she claims that the best husbands are soldiers and sailors who are gone a good bit of the time!

Is she right? Is she wrong?


[The photograph above was taken September 24, 1944 in Victoria, Texas. These are not family photographs but are from my personal collection of Soldiers & Their Sweethearts.]

21 comments:

  1. For his hero's welcome, get him a dog. Really. A dog never fails to make him feel like the most welcome guy in the universe. It takes a lot of pressure off the wife. Hee,hee.

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  2. I think we all can be accused of neglecting our men now and then. When my sisters are here for a visit, which only happens once a year it's all about them and he gets barely noticed. I'm so lucky to have a man who understands the importance of my relationship with my family and friends.

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  3. I agree with the hero's welcome, but not that the husband whould be gone....solders and sailors can get too lonesome. I am a true believer in spoiling a good man...but that goes for women too. Couples just have to remember "who is their best friend in life". It should always be their mates. xoxo,Susie

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  4. I agree but I love my husband dearly. During all the years my husband worked (he is retired now), I never failed to greet him at the door. He does the same for me. We are blessed.

    By the way, my husband came home for lunch for years.....I loved it!

    Barb

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  5. For the first 20 years of our marriage my husband was in the merchant navy (merchant marine, I think you would call it) and he always had a great welcome when he came home. When he came ashore for good and changed career, he would often get home first but I don't recall being made to feel like a hero when I dashed in later to start cooking dinner!

    I remember a song my mother used to sing in those post-war years, something about keeping young and beautiful if you want to be loved. It was probably written by Phyllis Nicholson or one of her friends who liked to be rough on wives.

    I hope you and your friends will come over and enter my book draw, Dewena.
    Maureen

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  6. So true! When my husband gets home he always greets me with a hug.. I greet him with big smile..

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  7. I have been unemployed for two years. For the first time in years, I was the one greeting him when he came home. It was really strange at first, as I had done little of the cooking for many years as he always got home first and also loved to cook. I did find out fairly early that I was now in charge of meals. It took a lot of work and I still need more to start cooking. I found out that men really do not like casseroles especially three or four times a week. I just found it easier to put everything into one pot. We have both changed over the past two years, and have managed to succeed in this life change with the assistance of humor. My husband never forgets a joke and can go on all night telling new jokes. He never tells me the same joke twice even through 38 years of marriage. I was asked once by a survey what I valued in my marriage, and I said humor as my husband always manages to make me laugh and I him. We take the approach of " lighten up Francis" from one of our favorite movies, Stripes. My advice, keep laughing.

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  8. I love this post... especially, the "rest of the story"... the being away part... :-).... I also like the above comment from Teresa... who did not let being unemployed get her down... I like women like that! (and we say "Lighten up, Francis".... between my sons and me, too.

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  9. I think Nicholson is absolutely right!! If men don't get a warm welcome at home, they just might look elsewhere.
    Mary Alice

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  10. That idea may have been based on daddy being the total breadwinner. In today's world it seems neither partner is home for lunch. I'm not sure if we've lost or gained. I agree that it matters if that fellow with the lunch pail or briefcase gets a warm smile and a hug when he walks in the door unless he gets home first. In that case, he needs to start dinner. Right?

    Sami Pat

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  11. I've enjoyed catching up with you this evening Dewena. Very interesting posts, all!

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  12. As a stay-at-home-mom, I was always delighted to see my husband come in the door at night! On the other hand, I do agree with the not coming home for lunch part. As much as I loved seeing him, on the rare times that happened, it really disrupted my daily routine:/ Now that I'm working and he's home, I get the warm welcome . . . and dinner all prepared!

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  13. I think her advice is right on. How often do we forget to make a big deal about our love one coming home? I wish I had in the past and not taken it for granted. I also think the best relationship I ever had was long distant. We saw each other once a month for about 6 months....I was never happier.

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  14. My mother-in-law once told me I should wear a bow in my hair every day so my husband would remain interested. -_- so not kidding...

    That being said, I think if you're home when hubby gets there, of course you should greet him and be happy to see him. Not sure about a hero's welcome...but happy to see him, yes. :)

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  15. I think that advice is very true even now! I can't tell you how many woman I know will say that their husbands tell them they are tired of being the last in line after kids, house, friends, hobbies etc. Lovely pics...I love old pictures.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog

    Lisa

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  17. Years ago I read that early in Dr. Phil's marriage, his wife would fix him a glass of ice tea and wait on the porch of their house for him to come home. They both thought it was a special time to bond again when he first got home. I thought, well, one day a week I get home first and I would take big glass of ice tea out on the porch and greet my husband when he gets home. It was wonderful! Then I noticed how exhausted he looked when I greeted him. I started insisting he come right in and take a nap in his easy chair. We did this for years! He told after he retired how much it meant to him that I greeted him and put him in his chair. Just one of the sweet things we can do for the one we love.

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  18. I think she's right, and I think that sentiment applies to every member of the family. We all want to be valued and appreciated. I remember when my kids were little, setting the table with candles and flowers. "Who's coming to dinner?" they asked. "You are," I said. The look on their faces...Well, all I can say is that it taught me to make beauty in the every day for my family. I'm not always successful, but I want to try.

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  19. I agree. It's worked for me for almost 35 years.

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  20. These Faces posts and quotes are fun to read and quite thought provoking! :)

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