How to keep your man

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Wants to know why dinner isn’t ready yet

As part of our ongoing quest to explain to Mrs Dodgy Perth how she can become a better wife, we have started leaving clippings from old newspapers around the house.

Newspapers in the past regularly contained advice to wives, to new brides, and to women in general. Unlike a modern Cosmo article (1000 Ways to Drive Him Wild Tonight), the historic hints and tips were a little more focused on the domestic.

So, let’s find out how to keep your man, courtesy of 1933.

Firstly, learn from the sad tale of a young man who broke off the engagement because she kept asking “Do you love me? Are you sure?”

Girls, don’t do this!

It is wrong to quiz a man, or to find out why he loves you. Men, you see, are secretive by nature. The best you’ll get is “I love you because of the colour of your eyes”, or “The twist of your smile.” That’s the kind of cryptic answer you’ll get. Just live with it and stop asking.

Speaking of interrogation, another way to lose a man’s love is to ask him anything at all. There is nothing a husband hates so much as either of these fatal questions: “Why are you home late?” and “What have you been doing all day?”

No man should ever be required to give an account of his activity. In any case, even if he answers honestly, chances are the suspicious wife won’t believe him anyway.

Also, ladies, never mention any of your past love affairs. Men are simple creatures, and once they have decided on a life partner they never want to hear anything about how she once had a choice of lovers.

Girls, he will never bore you with his emotional past, so do not, under any circumstances, mention yours.

Speaking of things that annoy men, you know that thing you do when you tidy up? Of course it is only right that the little woman should keep the house in order, but do not touch a man’s things.

If we leave our slippers by the coal scuttle, that is where we expect to find them. If we leave our pipe on the mantelpiece, for heaven’s sake do not return it to the pipe rack.

Just leave all of the male things alone!

Finally, don’t ever mention another woman in a positive light. If you say “So and so cooks better than me” or “I wish I had her figure” your husband will agree and run off with the better woman.

So, don’t ask if you’re loved. In fact, don’t ask any questions at all. Do not speak of emotions or the past. Do not move a man’s possessions. Do not like other woman.

Obey these few simple rules and we’ll get along just fine.

Stocking up for Xmas

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She’s got legs, she knows how to use them

There is a silly media cliché that men are useless at shopping for presents, and usually leave it until 4.30pm on Christmas Eve to start. Unfortunately, the men in the Dodgy Perth office are living examples of this cliché. There is nothing more they would like than a 1930s “office girl” to send out into the hell that is the shopping mall at this time of year.

Speaking of men and shopping, in 1938 the newspapers were full of advice on how to make life easier for the hairier sex.

Christmas comes but once a year—thank heaven! Such is the sentiment of the average man when faced with the annual problem of buying something for ‘her’.

At this time of year miserable specimens wander helplessly among the stocking, handkerchief, perfume and novelty counters, desperately in search of appropriate gifts for women folk. Having failed they either send their office girl out for “anything” or simply buy a couple of pairs of stockings—“you know the sort that women wear nowadays—from a sympathetic saleswoman.

As any woman will tell you, no one can have too many stockings, but there perhaps this year it is time for something different. Something she wouldn’t buy for herself. To our great surprise in this office, it turns out that shops have so many things other than stockings for sale…

not even a mere man should be stumped for ideas this Christmas.

Perth has jewellery counters where you can buy something for even the “most fastidious of wives”. Would you prefer imitation gems or just severely plain? A string of synthetic pearls would make any woman squeal with delight. If not jewellery, how about a dainty evening bag or a handbag in one of the smart new shapes?

Fortunately for us muddle-headed males of the species, it was slowly explained that shops have something called an “assistant” who could aid in the choice of such a gift.

Now, where’s that office girl?