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Why housewives need soap operas.


Due to an illness, my wife has been out of action, and I have found myself in the role of home manager. I must admit, I never paid too much attention to what a wife did to maintain a house, and assumed that it was a snap compared to solving the Iraq-Iran war.

I am now realizing that there is more to housekeeping than the TV commercials would have us believe. Here are some of the things I discovered in my new consciousness-raising position:

A laundry hamper only holds dirty clothes. It does not wash them.

There is no such thing as an empty dishwasher.

Garbage-disposal units do not grind up steak bones, or forks and spoons.

Appliance repairmen all have answering services but never call them for their messages.

You cannot grow food in a refrigerator. You have to go to a supermarket and buy it. No matter what you buy for dinner, your bill always comes to $49.50.

Many varieties of food have to be cooked. This requires pots and pans. Fresh fish and meat do not come with instructions. Neither do fresh vegetables. Frozen meals taste just as good as frozen meals.

A person can overdose on hamburgers and scrambled eggs in less than five days.

Garbage has to be put out on the street once a week, or no one will take it away.

Grass has to be watered or it will turn brown.

After making up beds two days in a row, the thrill is gone.

A neighbor never congrulates you on your waxed floors.

Polyester-blend suits start to smell if you don't take them to a dry cleaner.

When a fuse blows in the house, it has to be replaced or the lights won't go back on.

United Parcel rings your bell only when it has a package for the person next door who isn't home.

The telephone rings only when you're in the bathroom, or outside watering plants.

You never have enough cord when you're vacuuming a rug. But you always have too much when you're trying to put it back in the closet.

People who live in glass houses have to wash their windows all the time.

The one item you need to complete a chore is downstairs when you are upstairs, and upstairs when you are downstairs.

Dogs and cats have to be fed or they'll turn on you.

The only serviceman who will come when you call him is the piano tuner.

The best way to clean up a son's room is to close the door and pretend it is not part of the house.

Taking a headache remedy does not necessarily mean there will be less dust in the living room.

No one gives you a bonus for getting a stain out of the sofa.

Illegal-alien housekeepers are better than no housekeepers at all.

It's amazing how little comfort you get out of hearing sympathetic friends tell you they know exactly what you're going through.

I discovered, admittedly late in the game, that there is no such thing as upward mobility in home management, no chance for advancement, and no opportunity for a wage increase. I now understand for the first time why wives need soap operas and the National Enquirer to get them through the day. It's their only link with reality. Somebody else' infidelity sure beats the heck out of getting grease off the stove with the perfect paper towel.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:columnist discovers the 'joys' of housekeeping
Author:Buchwald, Art
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Jul 1, 1986
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