Advice for the bride-to-be

‘Tis the season for weddings, of course, and that often means a wedding shower or two to go along with it. I went to one on Saturday, a very nice morning affair with many good wishes, lots of smiles, good food, and lovely gifts. I don’t know what else is needed for a successful shower.

The wedding shower of days past had all those elements, too; they just came in a different package. Take shower gifts. It used to be that one option for the perfect present was to stop in at the local gift shop or hardware store and leave off a dollar for a present, often something like an iron or a toaster.

When the bride-to-be opened the card with that gift, there was a whole list of names signed on it. I figure that the whole process was good for small-town business and made things easy for the gift giver. As far as I know, this was way before the days of the gift registry that is such a common feature of weddings now. Sometimes I use the bridal registry to select a gift, but other times I just want to give a gift that I choose.

Usually a wedding shower has some kind of program – music, perhaps, a poem or a reading, maybe some games. We played several simple games on Saturday. I think my favorite part of the program, though, was something read by a sister of the bride. It was an article from a women’s magazine of the 1950s, titled “Advice for All Wives: Tips for a Happy Marriage” that drew many laughs from the guests and the bride. Highlights included:

Make sure dinner is ready and the table is set when he gets home from work.

Refresh your appearance before he gets home. And groom your children like the little treasures they are.

Tidy up the house.

Greet him with a warm smile. Let him talk first. Remember that his topics of conversation are more important than yours. Don’t mention your thoughts.

Make him comfortable. Have a cocktail ready for him. Catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

Compare that to this 2013 version that was offered up:

When he arrives home from work, hand him one or two children, stating firmly “Your turn!”

Freshen up. Wipe everyone’s noses.

Tidy up. Wipe the crayon off the wall. Hide the wine bottles.

Don’t mention your thoughts because he won’t listen anyway. Have a cocktail ready. After you give him the kids, drink the cocktail.

And remember, she told the bride, a good wife always knows her place. And that is the nearest day spa.