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Tales From Days Of ‘The Little Woman’

A friend faxed us something titled: “How to be a good wife” and the source is allegedly a 1950s high school home-economics textbook. Hold on to your hats and gloves as you read on:

“Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before to have a delicious meal on the table. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him. Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so that you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has been with a lot of work-weary people.

“Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces, comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing voice. Allow him to relax and unwind. You may have a dozen things to tell him but let him talk first. Make the evening his. Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner.”

So women and men out there, some questions prompted by the above. Were things ever really like this? Even in the ‘50s? Do any wives treat their husbands like this? We’re looking forward to your answers.

How far have we come? Consider: White men are 47 percent of the work force (41 percent of the population), own 64 percent of the nation’s businesses and have most of America’s high-paying jobs.

Some examples:

70 percent of judges

71 percent of air traffic controllers

73 percent of lawyers

75 percent of police detectives and supervisors

84 percent of construction supervisors

89 percent of U.S. senators

94 percent of fire company supervisors

95 percent of senior managers.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, The Congressional Record and the Glass Ceiling Commission

Payback: Sometimes it takes years to see the ripple effect of the community work that people do. Susan Cairy and Colleen Smith of Spokane County Juvenile Court volunteer services faxed us this note recently.

“Are you ready to hear about personal responsibility? Can you stand an example of human integrity? Lisa got in trouble as a juvenile many years ago. She was charged with taking a motor vehicle and intimidation with a weapon. To avoid going to detention, Lisa signed a court order agreeing to do community service and pay restitution. Lisa never did either. She turned 18 and moved on.

“None of us ever knew where Lisa moved. We recently got a check from Lisa for more than $100 and verification of 165 community service hours. She said she had lied when she signed the order and wanted to make up for the lie. She’d had a terrible drinking problem but she’d become a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and wanted to make up for her mistakes. Lisa is 31 years old now. She and her husband own their own business. She feels lucky to have survived her teen years, because she knows a lot of kids don’t.”

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