How to keep your man

lose man

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.

Drinking in the men’s room

Women listening as men discuss manly things

Women listening as men discuss manly things, like hair-dos

Is it acceptable for women to down a schooner in a public bar? Or should the fair sex be confined to the lounge bar? In Brisbane fifty years ago, activists Rosalie Bogner and Merle Thornton had to chain themselves to a foot rail just to get served.

We were a bit more progressive that that in the 1950s and ’60s. Unlike Brisbane, it was not illegal for a woman to have a beer in a saloon. But most publicans did not approve. Men needed their own space, somewhere men could be men.

In 1953 the Sunday Times asked if lasses should enter such a testosterone-rich environment. The journalist noted that most women did not want to prop up a bar, even though drinks were more expensive in the lounge. (When did this practice of different pricing stop?)

In the summer, one Cottesloe hotel usually had representatives of the fair sex drinking in the saloon bar. But this was the exception, rather than the rule for most hotels. Unless you lived in Armadale. Nobody had the nerve to tell Armadale women where they should drink.

For most Perth hotels, though, publicans said they would object if a lady invaded the men’s space, and she would be directed to the special place set aside for women to drink in.

We’d like to see some landlord try that one with Mrs Dodgy Perth.