Reclaiming the Family – Part 6 – The Miracle of a Traditional Wife

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.

Reclaiming the Family – Part 5 – Reinvent the Matchmaker – First Thoughts

Two things are true about this particular item.  The first thing is I’m sure this is one of the most important aspects of trying to bring back family life.  The second thing I’m sure of is that I know almost nothing about how this would work.  I know almost nothing about women or dating or anything else having to do with human mating rituals.  I met Camera Girl by complete accident when we were both seventeen-year-old kids each separately skipping out on our separate schools and meeting at one of the most anonymous places in a city as large as New York.  It was at least a billion to one shot so no one should ever take relationship advice from me.

But I do know that kids these days and especially kids from whom their parents hope someday to receive grandchildren need a better way to find mates.  Sure, there are places like match.com and the like but this doesn’t seem to be getting the job done.  What is needed is some kind of sponsorship of social activities where the participants are vouched for by their families.  In other words, you want to keep the freaks out but still have a place for young people to meet.  Now this used to be taken care of by high schools and other teen age membership institutions.  But because college is the place where normalcy goes to die and because women now postpone marriage and childbearing until their mid-thirties, we’re in the place we’re in.  So, to my mind a new arrangement has to be formulated.  And the only ones who have the talent, the inclination and the opportunity are the mothers.  This brings to mind the scenes in Fiddler on the Roof where Tevye’s wife is trying to arrange a marriage for her oldest daughter through the village matchmaker and picks a terrible husband that luckily is sidetracked by a subterfuge by Tevye.  And of course, living in these liberated times no one is going to allow his parents to pick a wife for him and vice versa but setting up opportunities for young people to meet likely partners makes perfect sense.  I will have to consult with my daughters to see if this is an at all reasonable idea.  They both have children who one day (and in some cases soon) will be marriageable.  I am interested to know if they’ve thought of helping along the process by some discrete manipulations.

But one thing that would increase the chances for more women to find husbands is for them to look outside of the college pool.  A young woman right out of high school could do much worse than finding a young man in one of the trades, an electrician or a welder and setting up a home instead of wasting four or more of her most valuable years sitting around a college quadrangle watching the soy boys playing frisbee.

I really have to do more practical research on this and this is just an introductory post.  I am especially interested in getting the mother’s point of view on the practicality of trying to influence the courtship decisions of today’s youth.  But I’m convinced that this topic is of extreme importance in trying to somehow revive the traditional family from inside the modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah that we find ourselves trapped in.  Stay tuned for more on this.