Thursday, February 08, 2007

Be a Good Woman

One thing I hate about being married with children are the multitudes of magazine drives I am subjected to on a bimonthly basis. I mean, how many magazines can a person read?

I subscribe to everything from Vanity Fair to Vegetarian Times, and quite frankly, my house isn't big enough to accommodate the deluge of glossy bound paper that Gary the Postman hurls into my box.

Still, my daughters continue to come home with mimeographed guilt trips from various organizations, along with descriptions of rags that will improve my life in countless ways. Like a dutiful parent, I tend to order them.

Just about the only thing I hadn't yet subscribed to the last time around was Woman's Day, so I ordered it. Yesterday, the March 6th issue arrived, and it blew my mind. After I finished reading it, I needed a nap (and I took one, too).

Two articles set my hair on fire:

"Perfecting the Juggling Act," which offered coping strategies for worn-out working mothers. Chief among them: Change your perspective. "Say to yourself, 'I can handle it,'" you little whiner, you.

Don't dare ask your husband to ever wipe the kitchen counter. Do not suggest that the people to whom you gave birth make their own lunches (Woman's Day tip: Do it yourself, Sister--the night before)

and

"Inner You: Ditch the Scorecard," which warns women to stop focusing on what their husbands do wrong. The author offered this charming little story about her aunt, Lois, who endured 42 years of marriage to her uncle, Tip:

"How do you put up with him?" I asked her. "Uncle Tip can be so mean! Remember the time he sold your pretty new car while you were in the grocery store? It was gone when you came out!"

"I know your uncle loves me, and I love him. That trumps everything else," Aunt Lois said. "When I get mad, I say why, then get right back to loving him. I don't keep score, he doesn't either."

Let me tell you, if my husband ever drove over to Stop & Shop and sold my car from under me, I'd consider it my duty to take him in for psychiatric evaluation.

Is it any wonder why two of my good friends are stuck in emotionally abusive marriages when the media consistently reminds them how lucky they are to even be married? Here's the message: It's your job to take crap! Tell yourself you can handle it, and you will handle it!

Interestingly, this very issue also featured a big piece on the number one killer of women, heart disease. It didn't list resentment as a cause.

Attract a man with the cajones to wipe a counter.