I never tire of reminding Camera Girl that in my mind she and I are very close in behavior to the married couple in W. C. Fields two classic movies, “It’s A Gift” and “The Man on the Flying Trapeze.” In both movies Field’s hen-pecked character has a wife played by Kathleen Howard a tall, stout woman who affects the character of a cultured, histrionic scold who constantly hectors and nags at Fields’ character. And Fields’ answer to almost every utterance of his wife is a meek, “yes dear.” And I tell her this not because there is any resemblance physically or temperamentally between her and this shrewish character but because this reminds me of the natural antagonism that husband and wife experience in the course of their wedded bliss. Well, also because I am sort of a jerk.
A few weeks ago, we were sitting down to dinner and she had cooked a soup using the leftovers from a ham we had for the holidays. It was a ham and lentil soup and she decided to make it so thick that we call it a stoup, meaning stew/soup. As I started eating dinner it occurred to me that being married to a woman like my wife is probably the greatest good that a man can have in his life.
A traditional wife makes your house into a home and raises a family. And a family is the only true wealth that any man ever actually possesses. And if she’s also pretty and a good cook like mine then it’s as close to heaven as any man can hope to see on this side of the great divide. That’s the information I can provide to the young guys around today.
But where can you find such a woman today? All the American girls have been sold on the idea that they have to have a career to be fulfilled in the modern world. That is the root of the problem. There are only two solutions, either convince some woman that there is a better option or go outside of the local pool of women.
As far as convincing women to move away from careers I think a man has to have the wherewithal to convince a woman that he can support a stay-at-home wife. Probably that means owning your own home and having a stable income. It would be best if you are up front about your plans and expectations so that you can eliminate the girls that will never work out. I’m too old to know anything about on-line dating services but I would imagine a primary function would be trying to line up marital expectations. Correct me if I’m mistaken that they must have a profile that corresponds to a traditional homemaker.
One thing that might be a starting point is avoid any girl who is planning on going to some very expensive college. Unless her parents have funded her entire education, she is going to have to pay back those student loans and that will make it doubly difficult for you to afford a one income lifestyle. So maybe you should be looking at women who go to the local community college or even better ones working in local jobs that do not require high powered college credentials.
But however you find one, if she has all the qualifications I mentioned in my intro then marry her and never let her work a day of her life outside of the home. Have a passel of kids and enjoy every day of it for as long as you both shall live. Raising a family is a challenging and sometimes a confusing task but as you get older, you’ll find that it really is the only meaningful thing that most human beings ever accomplish. Ray Bradbury wrote a story called the Happiness Machine. In it an inventor tried to make a machine that would make a person happy if he sat in it. It had all the sights and sounds that he imagined could make a person happy. Music, exotic vistas, delicious aromas, everything he thought he would want. But by the end of the story, he discovers the truth when he looks into the window of his own house and sees his family, his wife and his children, performing their routine daily activities together in his own home. That is the true happiness machine. And if a man can’t find happiness in that then maybe he never will.