March 17, 2011

Marriage, The Eruption

Yesterday I was in a delightful bookstore and bought several very delightful books (actually, that's not quite true - one was on drug addiction and prostitution, one was on suicide, and one was a series of essays on social phenomenon. But they all had very nice covers.)

I also bought a tiny book called 'Don'ts For Wives', written in London in 1913. Despite its fairly negative title (I would have thought 'Do's For Wives' was rather more catchy) it is a marvellously upbeat little tome, full of nuggets of wisdom that need only minor modernisation to stay relevant today.

So, for your elucidation, education and entertainment (and a totally gratuitous use of alliteration) here are some of those nuggets, helpfully updated by me:

"Don't moralise by way of winning back the love that seems to be waning. Make yourself extra charming and arrange delicious dinners which include all your husband's favourite dishes."
= After you've been married for a while, you and your husband will go off each other. Find solace in food.

 "Don't argue with a stubborn husband. Drop the matter before argument leads to temper. You can generally gain your point in some other way."
= Don't bother fighting with your husband because he'll never give in. Withhold sex instead.

"Don't be shy of showing your love. A playful caress as you pass his chair, an unexpected touch on the shoulder, makes all the difference between merely knowing that you care for him and actually feeling it."
= Oral sex will keep your husband happy.

"Don't get angry if your husband says that he never now tastes cake like that his mother used to make. Write and ask her for the recipe."
= Live far away from your mother-in-law.

"Don't try to excite your husband's jealousy by flirting with other men. You may succeed better than you want to. It is like playing with tigers and edged tools and volcanoes all in one."
= Stay away from other men's tools or you could cause an eruption....

"Don't arrange for the chimney sweep to come on the day your husband happens to be staying at home. He won't like either the sooty smell or the subsequent upset for cleaning purposes."
= Ignore the above.


  1. I much prefer your version of the book. My particular favourite is "Don't bother fighting with your husband because he'll never give in. Withhold sex instead." Works a treat :)

    Oh and "Life far away from your mother-in-law". Amen to that sister!

  2. "Don'ts for wives" - I'm pretty sure I know my husbands

    Don't bother putting your pyjamas on. Actually, just dont wear clothes at all, any time of the day. Don't complain when I pinch you on the bum, or grab or your arse, its my special form of foreplay. Don't worry about childbirth/broken ankles/fatigue or general lack of interest when it comes to sex "you don't have to do anything, I'll be quick"

  3. I want to read the whole lot now. Including your pencil notes. How I love marriage & domestic guidance from era's past for the piss take value...

  4. 4 kids - are we the same person, because I swear you just described the situation in my house. But you forgot - the period: "but your mouth isn't bleeding..."

    Men are so charming.

    Kerri, spectacular as always. You really are the goddess of understand male and female relationships!


  5. Oh macsnorky!! And Kirsty!!!
    Kerri.. You are funny but now these ladies are T M Iing
    & I think I can remember the last time "we" (hub, not you K) did it..1990 that's wrong 1994..maybe?
    Dementia for him
    Hormone less for me.

  6. Babe, we are on a similar page. I gave the same advice on MamaMia yesterday- that forget sharing dinner together, a busy working mother can best keep her marriage on track with an occsaional surprise, no strings attached BJ*. So much easier than cooking too, and no kitchen to clean up afterwards!

    *Boost Juice, as moderator Rick kindly pointed out. Full of protein and goes down a treat!!

  7. Love it! And love that book too - I referred to it quite a bit in 'What Kate did Next'...but because it's so old, I didn't have to pay royalties! It has some great lines, rather like yourself.

  8. Thanks for the translations, Kerri. You have filled in all the gaps in my limited knowledge of women. You have performed a vital service.......

  9. Kerri (&ladies with the gloriously funny comments) - thank you for the first laugh of my morning. Seriously Kerri - you should publish a revised version - we could all use some brushing up of our 'wifely' skills. Or perhaps just a cheat sheet we could leave on a kitchen bench.

  10. Oh but it is so hard to come by a decent chimney sweep these days.

  11. I love these old-fashioned books and advice.
    I must add that all the Blow Jobs and gratuitous and sometimes public sex in the world doesn't help if your husband can't keep it in his pants (marriage number one).
    Then if you have kids and get honest, and say no occasionally because you're too freaking tired, and there is a small human in the bed, your husband will dump you. (number 2 marriage).
    Frankly, I find life as a single much easier, and I get a lot more sleep!
    But I didn't have lovely husbands like all of you! (Okay, mostly lovely, treasure them!)


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