Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day in the Life, Part 2

“Keeping it going, staying steady and maintaining devotion day after day-- that is the struggle.”
—Eosuchus, author of “Beneath Her Hem,” commenting on the value of a rigorous daily regimen for a wife-worshipping househusband.

Here, for example, is a typical day-in-the as described by my first mentor in this lifestyle, Au876 (from Lady Misato’s original Wife Worship forum):

Yesterday was a typical day. We got up about 6pm. I brought my wife some coffee. While she took over the bathroom I made the bed, ironed the blouse she was wearing to work (she told me to). She went down to read the paper while I had the bathroom. Before I left, I cleaned her hairbrush, wiped down the vanity, her mirror and made sure the bathroom was clean. I served her breakfast and cleaned up. We went to work.

I got home before she did and had dinner on the stove when she came in. She had a glass of wine while I finished dinner. We ate together and talked about our day. After dinner I washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen. She sat at the table and we continued talking while I did this. We went for a walk. Back from that she took a shower (yes, I brought her a warm towel to dry off with). Then I took a shower, cleaned the bathroom, hung up her clothes and got my pedicure equipment. She watched TV while I gave her a pedicure and rubbed her feet. When we went to bed she allowed me to perform oral sex on her for a goodly period of time. She did not allow me to have sex but said she may in a week or two. It just depends on how I behave. All of this is so routine it hardly seems worthwhile mentioning. It is a beautiful rut to be in.

And, in brief, here is a day in the life of husband John as described by Mistress Kathy of the increasingly popular femdom101 blog:

Saturday is John's primary house-cleaning day. This is the day he cleans house, top to bottom, changes the sheets on our bed, run errands, and washes my car. This used to be his golfing day….

In one of my favorite exchange postings on the old Spouseclub message board (archived on this site), “Mr. Lynda” and “Mr. Lisa” compare their days, sounding like a pair of 1950s housewives swapping recipes and household tips:

MR. LYNDA: How does my typical day compare with your typical day? I am up quite earlier than Lynda. I prepare the coffee and do whatever baking is needed for the morning. (I have a batter prepared for muffins. If a muffin is what Lynda wants, I will finish the preparation and bake several muffins for us.) If not, I shower and shave. I finish preparing breakfast. Most of the time, it is toast, fruit plate, yogurt. Sometimes I prepare an eggbake of some kind or fix eggs, etc. I bring her coffee in bed. Sometimes I make her morning coffee more erotic by serving her on my knees and kissing her feet and legs while she has her coffee. I make sure that her clothes are pressed. (This is difficult for me. I am going to have to take classes in ironing.)

She comes to the breakfast table and we have breakfast together. After she leaves, I do the dishes and prepare to leave for my work. (At the present time, work is a class for lifeguards. I will be working at the pool this summer.)
I arrive home at about 4:15 p.m. and begin to prepare for supper. (Sometimes I prepare a supper as chosen by Lynda. Sometimes I have to prepare it using my own thought… Lynda does not always have the time to make these decisions.

I begin to prepare supper. I take a quick shower and change into clothes for the evening. I get the table ready and finish supper. Lynda arrives home at about 5:45 p.m. I meet her at the door with the newspaper and a cold drink. She lounges while I do the last minute preparations. She may go upstairs and take a quick shower or bath to relax. I serve supper and sit down with her. After we have eaten, she goes into the living room, den, or
library while I clean up… She is not expected to lift a finger. I bring in a plate of cookies, some coffee, tea, or Perrier and we spend some time in conversation. (Sometimes, she was work to continue. I find something else to do. However, I am always on call.)

We have decided to wait until we are married until we have intercourse. However, she may want me to go down on her while she relaxes. Before bed, we may go for a walk or I may spend some further time pleasing her. She goes to bed first, and I straighten up the living area. I go up to the bedroom. We may have a little more fun. Sometimes, she has me do a striptease for her. We are ready for another day.

MR. LISA: My typical day is much like yours. I get up first, make coffee, sit down and have a cup while reading the paper. Lisa gets up, I get her coffee, then I get her breakfast which is usually just cereal or fruit. As she eats her breakfast, I make sure she has towels for her shower, and that she has all of her hair and body care products ready. As she showers, I get her clothes ready, making sure they are pressed (you will get the hang of ironing, it’s not hard). I lay her clothes on the bed. As she is a fanatic about shoes, I also usually shine the pair she has selected for the day, if they need it. As she dresses, I clean up the kitchen, she gives me a list of errands she needs done (she usually writes them out for me so I don’t forget) and she leaves for work.

My day then consists of typical househusband duties, cleaning, laundry, ironing, grocery shopping, cooking, and running Lisa's errands. Typical errands include shopping for any items she may need, getting her car washed, picking up her dry cleaning, etc. As far as meals, since I know what Lisa likes, I plan all of the meals…

When Lisa gets home, I serve her dinner, we eat and talk. Lisa and I constantly communicate with each other, and if there is a problem she will listen to my side. She has the final decision, but she does not ignore my input. After dinner I clean up while Lisa relaxes with a cup of tea or a glass of wine. She is usually on the phone for a while taking care of business.

Since she has so little time, I take care of a lot of her personal needs such as manicures, pedicures, and facials, and as I said I’ve attended schools to learn these things. Manicures are usually once a
week, same for pedicures, although I also usually do a polish change for her in between. I give her various massages to relax her, I've also learned facials and other skin care. All of these things give us a lot of time to talk and communicate. As Lynda advances in her career, you will find that you will be doing more and more for her, simply because she just will not have the time. But then again, that's what househusbands are for.

Some readers may be skeptical that such letters are real. What self-respecting male would submit himself to such a humiliating regimen, day after day? But if you seek out such testimonials, you’ll discover that these husbands are amply rewarded for their domestic devotion to their wives, with large measures of joy and fulfillment and, yes, even erotic thrills. A case in point:

MISTRESS LAURA'S BOY: A typical day these days for us goes like this: I wake up around 5:30 AM, slipping out of bed as noiselessly as possible so that Mistress can remain asleep. Next, I exercise. Every weekday, I do weights followed by varying intensities on the treadmill or elliptical; on the weekends I skip the weights and go for a longer and less intense cardio session (sometimes a run, sometimes a long walk, other times I bike).

After this, I take a quick rinse, dry off, then start making breakfast for Mistress Laura. Most of the time, it's something warm (eggs, hash browns, etc). She usually tells me what she wants the night before. When breakfast is ready, I go back to the bedroom and put the plates on the side table and kneel on the floor by the side of the bed. Slowly and gently, I massage Mistress's feet till she wakes up and I serve her breakfast. While she is eating, we chat. I am usually kneeling or sitting on the floor and she is dressed in her nightgown, sitting on the bed. More often than not, my head swims in a mixture of adoration and lust.

When she is finished with breakfast, she moves into her office and I ma
ke the bed. Sometimes I vacuum the bedroom (it only takes a few minutes). I clean up the dishes and clean up the breakfast mess in the kitchen…

When I get home [after work], more often than not Mistress is still working. I go around the house and do a little bit of cleaning, a bit of laundry, and start cooking dinner. Mistress arrives home to find the dinner that she wanted ready, the plates set, and her drink set up exactly where she wants it. We greet each other and she lets me sit while we eat and talk.

After dinner, I clean up. Sometimes she sits at the kitchen table and watches and teases me while I clean dishes (I love that!); at other times, she goes back into her office and I go and kneel by her when I am done with cleanup. Later in the evening, Mistress likes to watch TV. I sit at her feet while she sits in the comfortable easychair…

When we are done with the TV, Mistress sends me ahead to turn down the bed and kneel by the side of the bed, waiting for her. It's usually a bit before midnight at this time. She sits at the edge of the bed and we do our usual ritual: I kiss her feet, then I massage them, putting hand-lotion on her feet. Sometimes she has me give her a backrub till she falls asleep… Sometimes (not often enough for my tastes!) she has me lick and kiss her and give her an orgasm.

This late night ritual only very rarely ends in sexual release for me, but I am ecstatically happy whenever I get to give her pleasure… When femaleness fills the air, watch out, for good things are about to happen!

And what of the wives? Do they remain austere, aloof and demanding throughout? Not hardly. An alternate acronym for FLR is LFA, remember; and a typical loving, female authoritarian is likely to take vast pride in her husband’s domestic devotion, as in this wife’s note to Elise Sutton:

A typical day for him starts at around 6 a.m. as gets his early chores done and then at whatever time I have indicated he wakes me with breakfast of toast fruit and coffee in bed. Whilst I am eating breakfast, he prepares the shower and ensures there is a warm towel waiting. He lays out the clothes I have indicated I’m wearing for the day and then goes to get my car out and to check that everything is tidy for me. When I am ready, he serves me more coffee downstairs and I run through any errands, phone calls or extra chores that I require for the day while he takes notes.

While I am away working, shopping or meeting with friends he spends the day cleaning, washing, ironing and household-shopping, making sure that everything is sparkling for when I return. He has a routine now for making sure that the house is properly cleaned from top to bottom every week and that things are checked and ‘topped up’ every day. When I come home he has coffee or a glass of wine waiting, depending on the time. In the evenings, while I read, listen to music or watch TV, he cooks my evening meal and then bustles around waiting on me and ensuring I have everything I need.
And, because she says it better than I could, let me conclude by quoting Elise Sutton’s reply to another husband’s day-in-the-life testimonial:

A typical day will present a man with scores of opportunities to make a woman’s life better. It all comes down to awareness and focus. Where is the male’s mind? Is it on his hobbies? Is it on his own selfish needs and desires? Or is it attuned to the woman he serves and is it focused on meeting her needs?

I am sure the feeling you felt as your wife drove away warm and dry could not be matched with any kind of selfish pursuit. You made her day and, in the process, you made your day. Keep it up and God bless.

End, Part 2

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day in the Life, Part 1

Three years back I had a post comparing short stories by John D. MacDonald and a writer pseudonymed Eosuchus (also the scientific name of an extinct crocodile).

This post was inspired by another Eosuchus story, “Beneath Her Hem” (Copyright Permian Systems 1997). There seems to be no active link to the entire story, so I can only encourage the author to republish it on his own weblog or elsewhere.

Eosuchus calls it “a litehearted fantasy of daily life in an idealized FDFS household.” But his fantasy, with its minute-by-minute account of a typical day in the life of a wife-worshipping, service-oriented househusband with a dominant breadwinner wife and two teen-age daughters bears no small resemblance to the journal jottings of many actual househusbands in wife-led marriages. Which I will show…

And these accounts, whether fictionalized or , actual diary entries, offer a clear lesson to all would-be wife worshippers (and stealth submittres), whose devotion peters out after a few hours, or days, or weeks of in-service drudgery.

“It took years of dedication to housework, child rearing and pampering without any thought of reward,” my old friend and mentor, fdhousehusband, once told me in an email. I did the chores cheerfully and enthusiastically. I convinced [my wife] that this was my life, Ii was happy in that role and I didn't want anything in return. Yet each time I failed and became lazy I felt that I took several steps backward for both of us. I was moving from one equilibrium to another and I needed to be perfect, not anything in between, not just sometimes.”

That kind of dedication is evident in the hero of Eosuchus’ tale as he goes this his daily “complex ballet” of meeting the needs and meshing with the schedules of his wife and two daughters, cleaning the house, doing laundry, shopping, cooking, preparing meals, driving the girls to and from school and after-school activities. His own Spartan needs—eating, reading headlines on the Web, working out to keep in trim, showering—are sandwiched between chores.

And, of course, we understand that, at the end of this exhausting (but instructive) narrative, it must all be done again the next day. A small sampling:

At nine thirty Elinor would take her first calls. Until then Steve would perform his secretarial role. Promptly at nine the calls began. Steve took calls while he cleaned up everyone's breakfast things and tidied up the kitchen and finished the shopping list.

When Elinor entered the office, Steve went upstairs and broke down the big bed, in which they
slept as man and wife… He pulled out the sheets and dropped them in the plastic laundry hamper he now carried from room to room. He gathered underwear, socks, t-shirts, sweats, towels, shirts, pantyhose and bore it away to the basement. He sorted it and began a complex wash cycle.

Upstairs he checked on the dishwasher, emptied it and went over the kitchen with an eagle eye. Crumbs were lurking behind the counter stool. He whistled as he dusted them up and put them carefully into the garbage bin. One more careful check. Elinor might come into the kitchen at any time from about this moment on. Elinor had better not find anything at all to be critical of in the kitchen.

He went up to the bedrooms again and remade the big double bed. The girls got clean sheets twice a week and they weren't due for a change yet. He went over the bedroom carefully, with duster and damp cloth. It was time to vacuum…

The intricate, h
igh-speed drudgery is only occasionally relieved by an erotic interlude, like this one during lunch, which, of course, he fixes for her:

She was going to sit in the kitchen and eat while she watched him work. Steve put on an apron and cleaned up the mess from making her sandwich and salad. He put some toast down for himself and filled a very small bowl with walnuts and cashews. He drank a glass of water and then did little odd jobs, cleaning around the kitchen while Elinor watched him.

"Steve, take off your shirt and pants," she said. Steve felt himself getting excited. He did as he was told, of
course and put his clothes out of sight in a cupboard. Elinor ordered a very small glass of white wine from the chiller. When he brought it for her she squeezed and pinched his ass.

"I see a spot down ther
e on the floor," she announced pointing to the tile right beside her stool. He got down on his knees to wipe the floor for her. By the time he'd finished that to her satisfaction she was pointing her foot at him for his kiss…

The long day ends with Steve “cuddling his wife and ruler as she slipped happily into sleep, served and serviced to the absolute limit of a man's ability.”

A happy ending, if I ever read one. Though this won’t be understood by those hard-boiled males who occasionally leave comments like, “You guys are hopeless wusses!” We KNOW that okay? Well, wusses maybe, but not hopeless. We live in perpetual hope. We relish the power imbalance, the daily rituals of ultra-romantic courtship where the woman is idealized and idolized. Not for everyguy, that’s fine.

Now, as promised, here are some non–fictional “days in the life”:

Fdhousehusband, previously mentioned, kept a running journal of his domestic activities on various websites. You can select any excerpt at random to see the kind of nonstop dedication he summoned to maintain his high level of service. In the following paragraphs, his wife had just assigned him to put on a dinner party for her and several business associates:

The problem with planning and executing an important dinner party is that the day-to-day requirements of serving my wife don't disappear. Two days ago, I awoke and scurried downstairs to do my morning chores. I fetched the paper, emptied the dishwasher, prepared the coffee for my wife and served her breakfast when she came downstairs. I then ran upstairs to make the bed, got breakfast for the girls [he also had two teen-aged daughters at this time] and saw them off to school.

Because Mistress's car was in the shop, I would need to drive her to work and pi
ck her up afterward. Normally, I love being her little chauffeur, but with time tight this week, I needed every second to prepare for the dinner party on Saturday. Nonetheless, I waited dutifully while she prepared herself for work. Although the time seemed to be evaporating before my eyes, I held my tongue.

After I dropped Her off at work, I realized that I needed at least two full days to clean and cook for the party…

[Later] After we arrived home, my wife went to relax in her favorite chair and watch the election returns while I went to prepare dinner. Donning my apron, I quickly sauteed the sausage and chicken and put them into the jambalaya mix to cook. I set the table and knelt in front of my wife. I removed her pumps and massaged her feet through her pantyhose as he watched the tele

Having exchanged many emails and message board posts with Fd in previous years, I can confidently attest that the foregoing is no fabrication. Rather it is a pretty “Day in the Life” for him. The man went the extra mile and then some for his beloved wife—and still does, I am sure, though he has withdrawn his blog and has not posted under that name for several years now.

I cannot similarly vouch for the following wife-led “Day in the Life” account, taken from the book, Empress Arises by Ivy and Bobbi Rigger, originally, but no longer available through Lulu.com:

At five-thirty, Robert (Bobbi) gets up while Ivy stays in bed for a few more minutes snooze... He slips on a light robe and heads for the kitchen.

There, he checks to make sure everything is ready. The coffee is brewin
g. Breakfast fixings are ready. Ivy likes a single poached egg in the morning, and a slice of toast. It’ll be ready when she comes to the table.

He made her lunch the night before but now he checks to make certain it is prepared properly. She likes to take a sandwich rather than eat out for her lunches. It gives
her more time to work at her desk.

Then, Bobbi checks the time. He still has a few minutes. So he sits down at the kitchen table for a preparatory cup of coffee before the day. At ten till six, Bobbi gets busy. He st
ands and begins boiling the egg. He also pours a cup of coffee and takes it to Ivy Ann where she is just now waking up. He speaks softly, “It’s almost six, Lady mine.” She stirs and slowly sits up in the bed. He gives her the coffee. She takes it and mumbles, “Christ…”

He smiles and heads back to the kitchen… He sets the table and waits until he hear
s the shower go on. Then he starts boiling the egg.

When she comes dressed to the table a few minutes later, everything is set. The egg waits for her, as does a glass of fresh orange juice. She sits and he pours her coffee. She thanks him. He stands attentively. She sips the juice and, after a second, nods. He slides into the chair across from her.

He smiles and sits quietly, only speaking when she speaks to him, or when he feels that a well formed question or comment will show he is
paying attention…

She may also give a few quick instructions for the day. “Remember to put those checks in the bank,” she says. “And. the car needs an oil change." He nods at each instruction. Then, she pauses, thinks for a bit and adds, “Oh, and for your special treat, I have some underwear that needs to be hand washed."

After her breakfast, she rises. It’s time for her to leave. She wants to be in the office at seven thirty. While she brushes her teeth and makes a few last minute changes to her hair, he collects her brief case and stands waiting for her by the door. She appears shortly after that. She looks him up and down then taps her foot once. He drops instantly to his knees, leans forward to grovel before her, and put his head on the top of her shoe.

They wait for a long moment. Finally, she raises the toe of her shoe. He rolls back up to his knees, but remains kneeling. She pets his head and says, “Good boy.” He sta
ys on the floor, with his eyes down and not looking at her until she leaves.
When he hears her car door close, he stands and begins his day...

As soon as she is out of the house, he quickly fixes himself a light breakfast and then gets to work. First, he washes the dishes and straightens up the kitchen. Then, he hurriedly does any outstanding housework that needs to be done. He vacuums the front room, makes the bed, puts a load of laundry in the washer, and so on…

Then, the “special treat.” He finds the underwear she mentioned. She has left th
em in a separate hamper in the bedroom. There are red panties, black panties, and white cotton panties. These he takes to the downstairs laundry sink and carefully, lovingly washes by hand…

And, because I particularly enjoy and collect these recitations, I’m going to offer several more in a follow-up posting. Stay tuned.

End of Part One.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Modern Galahad

Back in the fall of last year, I ran a couple of guest posts on “Female Superiority & Wife Worship” by “Beckie Sue.”

These posts generated more comments, pro and con, than any appearing here before or since.

There were many more bouquets than brickbats thrown, but the latter certainly stirred the pot. Some of the objections I anticipated, but I was a little surprised when several readers took exception with Beckie’s statement regarding the military traditions of chivalry: “In the military, men have been trained and are willing to suffer painful death to protect all females. The military teaches men how to honor and respect women.”

One online friend, Obedient husband, wrote, “All I remember is extensive training that focused on staying alive and protecting your fellow soldiers… the only training I ever got regarding women revolved around avoiding STD's and (later in my career) avoiding sexual harassment type trouble.”

Reader Allen rallied to Beckie’s defense: “My father fought in WWII, in the Pacific. He faced many horrors that affected him emotionally for life, many he will not talk about. Among some of the ones he has told are what the Japanese did to women in occupied lands. We visited him this weekend and kind of asked him about what Beckie said. He is 90 but still has a sharp mind. He stated without hesitation that he and every man he served with would have given their life to protect any woman, they were trained that way both in the home and in the military.”

I echoed Allen: “I, too, formed the definite impression that Beckie was referring to these traditions, which seem to hearken all the way back to the medieval institution of knighthood (the word ‘chivalry’ derives from ‘chevalier’) and courtly love. Your story about your father’s private soldier’s code was especially poignant. Knighthood, chivalry and courtly love are all cornerstones of Wife Worship, at least as set forth by Lady Misato, and in everything I have written on the topic.”

A more passionate statement of this warrior code is quoted in my book (p. 69) from an anonymous wife-worshipper: “I think it is part of male genetics to want to be brave for the ones we love. Powerful hormones course through our systems, and we are ready to give our all to serve and defend these beautiful, nurturing, challenging, life-giving, playful, wondrous women.”

This accords perfectly with viewing marriage as “perpetual courtship,” with the husband as chivalrous suitor of his wife’s favors. But the truth is, when I think of a super-chivalrous knight errant, it is not Sir Walter Raleigh whom I conjure, nor Galahad nor Lancelot, nor Superman or Spiderman. No, the man I think of as the embodiment of the modern chivalric warrior is George S. Patton.

I offer in evidence the following anecdote from the 1920s, featuring Patton as a dashing young major and a highly decorated hero fresh from his exploits in World War I:

“[Patton] had an opportunity to combine pleasure with a little heroics when his attendance at a horse show led to an act of chivalry. On a summer night in 1922, while driving his roadster from [a] horse show to his hotel in Garden City, [Long Island], he spotted three rough-looking hombres with a damsel in apparent distress. They seemed to be pushing the girl into the back of a truck. Patton stopped his car, jumped out and forced the men at gunpoint to release the young woman. Then it developed that the girl was the fiancée of one of the men, who merely were helping her to climb into the truck.

“The incident was reminiscent of Don Quixote’s encounter with the six merchants of Toledo on the road to Murcia and his spirited defense of Dulcinea’s unquestioned virtue.”*

It was no accident that the young major was armed. “I always carry a pistol,” Patton explained later, “ even when I’m dressed in white tie and tails.”

Nor was his knight-errant-to-the-rescue act an aberration. Back in 1912, a twenty-seven-year-old Patton competed in the Stockholm Olympics in the modern pentathlon, which had been expressly created by the International Olympic Committee as a tournament for modern knights. According to the IOC, “This 20th century cavalier must be able to overcome all obstacles that may confront him in carrying out his knightly mission. With the pistol or dueling sword he engages in personal combat; with any available horse he swiftly rides across country; the unfordable stream he swims; and he finishes on foot.”

Patton entered the modern pentathlon with little training and no sponsorship, paying his own way to and from Stockholm, and placed fifth in the competition.

I'm not saying, mind you, that Patton would agree to expand the definition of chivalrous endeavor to include the kind of daily domestic dragon-slaying practiced by contemporary, service-oriented wife worshippers--e.g., washing and ironing, dusting and vacuuming, as well as offering milady more intimate services. He might even wax profane on the matter. But he and we can certainly close ranks on the subject of the exaltation and protection of womanhood.

* From Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by Ladislas Farrago. NY: Dell, 1963, p. 106. This is the book that Francis Ford Coppola adapted for his Oscar-winning screenplay, Patton.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Why All Decisions Pass Through Her

A recent example out of so many of how things get done at our house. And why I have to check with the boss on any big stuff. And, if I’m smart, small stuff too.

The top slide-out basket in our dishwasher came off the rails. That’s what I thought, anyway, but I couldn’t seem to get it back on track. I tried and tried. My wife took a look and saw that it wasn’t just off track – a little flange or thing-a-ma-bob had snapped off.

So she told me to call this guy she’d bought it from, who also did repairs. I did. He was having eye problems and couldn’t come out, but based on my description of the problem and then my reading him off the serial and model number, he did some research and said we’d have to replace the entire basket -- for, get ready, about $280.

Or we could get a new dishwasher for around $800.

I swallowed and, aware that I was exceeding my authority here, told him to go ahead and order the basket.(I mean, there were no other options, right? The guy told me so.) Then I told my wife what I’d done when she called. She told me to call him right back and cancel the order, that she’d take another look when she got home.

She did. She pulled the tray out, squatted and squinted. Then she had me get some super glue, and in five minutes had fixed the problem for maybe around thirty cents worth of glue. Not $280, not $800, but thirty cents, maybe less. Just a squirt.

That was a couple weeks ago. The tray is sliding fine, holding the weight fully laden. But, hey, I contributed. What I did is, I held the two parts together when my wife told me to, and I kept doing that until she told me to let go.

It’s called the division of labor.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Car Shopping, Then and Now

My father loved shopping for cars—walking the hot asphalt lot, kicking tires, looking under the hood (all for show, he wasn’t in the least mechanical), even locking horns with the sales manager in his sweatbox office.

Back then, that was what men did—make the big-ticket decisions on make, model and price, while wives might offer hesitant input on paintjob and trim packages.

My, how things have changed—in our wife-led marriage, and so many others where the wife is empowered to exercise her superior judgment in all matters.

My wife decides if and when we will buy a car, whether new or used, what make and model, from whom and for how much. Like “The Little Woman” of yore, I may be asked my opinion on various matters, but there is no slightest pretense that I will have any real say-so on the final decision. She also knows that I will completely support whatever she decides.

But it goes farther. Before our last car purchase, at a dinner party with friends she had announced, “I’m shopping for a Ford Explorer” (let’s say) and asked what people thought of it. There were several couples present--and me, of course. Note that my wife didn’t say, “Mark and I are shopping for…” or “We’re shopping for…” Didn’t say “Mark thinks this or that.”

She offered the same conversational gambit to other people in my presence. She then made calls to several private party sellers and arranged for us, as a family, to see and test drive one. The man met us in front of his apartment, and my wife did all the talking, again using “I…” not “We.”

So when he asked, “Do you want to take it for a spin?” it was directly to my wife, and she said yes. So she did, with the man sitting beside her in front, me alone in the second seat, and the kids on the rear foldout bench. We drove around his neighborhood, with the man and my wife carrying on a lively conversation about the car’s features. The kids said a few things, but I kept quiet. I certainly didn’t want to interrupt my wife’s conversation with the seller.

We returned to his apartment house and we all got out, and the man asked my wife how she liked it. There were a few more exchanges between them and then, when we were about to walk away, she turned to me and asked, as an afterthought, if I wanted to sit in the front—not drive it, mind you, just sit behind the wheel. And I said quickly and pleasantly, “No, that’s fine.” And my wife concluded with the man, telling him that we’d be in touch. (If I had been doing the talking, I would have hemmed and hawed and maybe ended up buying the darned thing, because I’m such an impulsive and erratic shopper, afraid to say no.)

And, of course, when my wife next began visiting dealerships, I went along and was relegated to the showroom couch with the kids, while she dealt with the various salespeople. All the eventual financial discussions were made between my wife and the sales manager, with me waiting outside the office. (She did ask me later which of two colors I preferred, and scolded me when I hedged. “Give me your opinion!” she said sharply, so I did. I was flattered to see that she had already made the same choice.)

Did I feel relegated to second-class status by all this? Did I feel, oh, you know, emasculated?

I guess maybe so, compared to The Way Things Were with my mom and dad (he would have been outraged by this spousal switcheroo). But their marriage went belly up, and our wife-led marriage is doing just fine, thank you. They argued, bitterly; we don’t. (Against the rulres, don’tcha know.)

Mainly what it felt like, with my wife in charge, was right and natural. I should be the subordinate partner. My wife is a vastly better shopper, bargainer and negotiator, budgeter and planner. And her social skills are light years ahead of mine. Too often I pipe up when I should be piping down. But I’m learning.

And I’m not alone. More and more wives are kicking the tires while having hubby mind the kids and wait for her to make up her mind and close the deal. Here are a few samples, starting with Fumika Misato’s recommendations for big-ticket purchases in wife worship marriages:

“As head of the household, you control the family finances. He is required to justify his expenses to you. But there is absolutely no need for you to explain anything whatsoever about the family finances to him… For example, if you want to buy a new car, that is your decision alone, but if he wants to purchase a new shirt he must seek your permission.”

This is precisely what a current FLR blogger, Ms. Marie, did recently:

“Last weekend I took [my husband] car shopping. In the past, he would decide if and when we needed a car. He would decide on the make and model, he would decide on the budget, he would test drive, etc. This time, I told him we were going to some dealers. I told him what I wanted, I spoke with the salespeople, I did all the test driving and I had final say. And he is happy and so am I.”

A similar outing was described by this wife-led husband in a letter to Elise Sutton: “[My wife] recently decided we needed to sell our SUV and buy a minivan. We went to a dealership where one of her female friends works, and while I looked after the kids on the showroom floor, she talked business with her friend & arrived at a deal completely independent of me, which of course was fine.”

Here’s a slight variation, with older wife and younger husband: “[My husband] was fresh out of college when we became engaged. Because of this he doesn't even have credit established as he found out when I told him he could get himself a car. He was ready to sign the papers when he was told that due to the way our finances are set up I would have to co-sign the loan in order for him to be approved. He was so humiliated when I walked into the dealership and sent him out to my car to wait while I handled the details. The female car salesperson and I sat down to finish the deal. She was so impressed with the control that I have over my husband that she gave me an extra two hundred off on the car and I signed for the loan. I had the car placed in my name. He still can't buy anything without my permission.”

Years after my own car-shopping experience related above, I came across this posting in the old Spousechat message board, which I could have written myself:

“Recently, we needed to purchase a new car for her. She said that she ‘is taking the lead on this’ and that I am only to support her when asked. I said OK since I'm open for her to have more control, or so I thought. Before test-driving new cars, the saleswoman asked for both of our driver licenses. In front of the saleswoman my wife told me to put mine away since I won't be driving any cars. The saleswoman seemed to enjoy this smackdown, and, from that point on, would only smile at me but direct all conversation to my wife. I felt like the woman in the relationship. The saleswoman would open the door for me as I sat in the back seat. They would talk about anything and everything while I was silent in back. At one point, my wife told me to walk across the street to a restaurant, while she discussed the car purchase with the saleswoman. While filling out the paperwork, my wife decided to remove me from the registration. The only paperwork I signed was to trade-in our old car. I was caught off-guard but complied. Once we got home, she had me restock her new car with the stuff from her old one, then told me to stay home, do some laundry while she showed her new car to her family and friends.”

Here’s a hubby whose wife overruled his choice of colors (or “colours”) for his company car: “Quite recently I was picking out the colours for my new car which comes with my job. I wanted a beige interior and black exterior while my wife wanted other colours. I tried to explain that, since it's a car I use all day, I may as well pick the colours. She didin’t see it that way. She ordered me to my knees and, as I was looking up at her, told me what colours I'd be getting. I happily complied. Now, every time I look at the car and see the colours she chose, I am reminded who’s the boss in our home, which is exactly what my wife intended.”

Who would dare argue that women aren’t the best shoppers? Why should car-buying be any different? And I'm talking about women of any age. For instance, I know of a woman in her upper-80s who was taken car shopping by her 40-year-old grandson. She liked a big new GM car every three years or so, and she would pay cash for it. But her grandson dragged out this particular purchase, making her wait in the hot son while he dickered on the deal and various packages of extras.

Finally she’d had enough and yelled out at him, “Vern, just give the man the money, so I can drive my new car home!”

I’ll wind this up with a final anecdote, recently sent to me by a dear “e-migo” who happily yields all decision-making to his adored and adoring matriarch wife. What is particularly noteworthy in his account, I think, is the “ordinariness” of it. It’s just the Way Things Are Now in wife-led marriages, now that wives have come such a long way from the Way Things Were:
About three years ago Lisa told me one morning over breakfast that she needed a new car. She began to shop online, without keeping me in the loop. She did tell me that she liked the idea of a used, BMW. When she learned that a local BMW dealer had two she liked, she told the dealership we’d be dropping by, then told me she wanted me to accompany her. She told me to drop what I was doing (housework) and come along.

At the dealership, Lisa spoke with a saleswoman named Kayla, while I tagged quietly along behind. The woman acknowledged me, then turned her attention back to Lisa. While they discussed the purchase options, I remained quiet. When they went out to test drive two of the vehicles, I remained in the showroom. When a salesman asked if he could help me, I explained that my wife was test driving a car.

When the two women returned, they began to talk business, and, naturally, I tuned out, but Lisa handed me the keys to her old car and told me to check to make sure she’d left nothing personal in it, while she completed the transaction. I went out and looked in the trunk, glove compartment and back seat and found a few items, which I brought in. In the meantime, Lisa had signed over her old car (she was sole owner) as her trade-in and was completing the purchase of the BMW. As she wrote the check, I could tell that the saleswoman noticed that only my wife’s name was on the check (it is after, all her, account). Lisa glanced up and told me “Sweetie, run out and wait for me in the car.” I replied, “Yes, dear,” and did as told, waiting perhaps another quarter-hour in the passenger seat while my wife and the saleswoman concluded their business and, perhaps, chatted a bit more.

When Lisa drove off, she thanked me for being a good husband and not involving myself in her purchase. She said she thought she might need me there to sign something, but, as it turned out, she only used me to run that one errand.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Topsy-Turvy World

The other day, dining out with my wife, I was surprised when the server set the bill down in front of me, instead of my wife across the table. In fact, I was every bit as surprised as, say, a 1950s’ housewife would have been to have a restaurant check presented to her instead of to her husband.

Just for a moment, my world had turned upside down.

So firmly entrenched is our matrimonial role reversal as we go about our activities that most restaurant servers and hotel clerks and salespeople automatically gravitate to my wife and give her all the appropriate attention and deference. When we walk in to a store, or sit down at a table, it’s like I don’t exist. They always address their questions to her, as they should. I assist them in their perceptions of power, I’m sure, by default. I emit absolutely no pay-attention-to-me, head-of-household, decision-maker vibes. This is not by design, but by long practice. It simply never occurs to me. I don’t look up expectantly at approaching waiters or waitresses. If they look at me or address me, I’m not impolite, but rather than respond directly, I defer to her. Without thinking. It is almost automatic that I look at my wife when a question is asked of me.

Occasionally, if I’m feeling frisky, I may answer, proudly and cheerfully, “My wife makes the decisions.”

Frankly, I don’t think of the way we are as role-reversal or topsy-turvy. I used to, but not for years now. I think in terms of normalcy, the way things are and ought to be. Where the woman rules and the man obeys. I can’t imagine it otherwise.

And it is comforting when the world agrees with my reality, as it so often does. When she is addressed with deference, and I am ignored, all is right with my world.

It would be even more pleasing, someday, if I could experience the same harmonious feedback among married couple friends, at dinner parties and barbecues, say, or soccer games. Automatic subservience to the wives by all the husbands, with the men keeping silent but attentive when the women were talking among themselves, but always ready to respond supportively when prompted.

In fact, it is always jarring to me in social settings to see a husband question his wife’s authority, or make some macho remark, to dare to contradict her or to sound off on any subject whatever. Or actually to put her down. And I don’t need to tell you, all this happens frequently.

And when it does, it’s like being instantly transported to an alternate universe, where males are allowed to act like grown-up hooligans, much like the “Pleasure Island’ sequence in Walt Disney’s Pinocchio. I find myself looking at the wife and wondering, “Why do you put up with that moron?”

What used to seem normal now seems like Mondo Bizarro. “Curioser and curioser,” as Alice described the obvious absurdities of Wonderland.

In other words, to me it’s a life NOT lived under fully acknowledged female authority that constitutes the real role reversal, the real topsy-turvydom.

I can only take so much of this before I’m desperate to get back to reality—and my well-ordered, normal, natural, female-led and female-centric life.

Making role-reversal into the default dynamic of a marriage, of course, takes time and determination. But the reward for achieving it is the happy-ever-aftering of the storybook romance.

Ms. Lynda (of Spouseclub renown) was determined to settle for nothing less. And, so, she delighted in private and public displays of her role-reversal relationship with her fiancé (later her husband), whom she inevitably addressed and referred to as “Mr. Lynda.”

As more and more women take an active role in family leadership, she felt there should and would be more and more traditions to demonstrate women in charge. Her desire was to set an example, with appropriate public displays, of just how “woman-focused a marriage can be.”

“Has [your wife] ever made you call her Ma'am or such in public?” she asked a male Spousechatter. “I want to do that to Mr. Lynda during our [honeymoon] cruise so that everyone will know who the boss is at our house… As you know, it is often necessary for a woman to humiliate her man so he is reminded of who is in charge.”

She did exactly that, as she later recounts:

“On our honeymoon, we had some ‘antique’ pictures taken. In olden times, you could tell that the man was in charge because he was always seated. His wife stood behind or beside him. My husband and I reversed it. I sat and he stood. It is a subtle thing, but, it was not missed on us and some of our friends.

"Secondly, we took a busy and full bus into a resort town off the cruise ship. I made him sit. As head of the family, I must protect him and his honor. This reversal was noticed by several people. Finally, all reservations are made in my name and I produce the credit card. This is not so unusual because women carry purses. However, several hosts remarked on the reservation being made in my name. My husband was only too happy to inform them that I was head of the family, the breadwinner, and that he had taken my name in marriage. I do not know what they thought or said behind our backs, but they all treated us with respect and said our decision was cool.”

Some additional glimpses into Ms. and Mr. Lynda’s domestic arrangements:

“I do not lift a finger at home. I lounge around while Mr. Lynda does all the work. For the fun of it, I have had him serve me while he was completely naked. He is so handsome. A naked man can be a real turn-on. I love to see him grovel before me, kiss my feet and other parts of my body. It makes me feel so powerful.”

“I never want to hurt or abuse him, but, I do enjoy letting other people know that I am the boss. Is it wrong to want people to know that Mr. Lynda took my name in marriage? Of all the lovely things Mr. Lynda has done for me, this is the greatest because it tells the world that he sees me as the head.”

She counseled “Charles,” who described his own matriarchal marriage, to change his name to “Mr. Lisa,” then (with Ms. Lisa’s permission, of course) to order stationery reflecting the change:, “Ms. and Mr. Lisa Lastname.” Which he promptly did.

“I always love when my boyfriend does something that makes a very public statement of his subservience to me. I love to walk with him when he is wearing one of his matriarchal t-shirts. He has one that says, ‘I Belong to Her,’ and another that says, ‘Don't ask me. She's the Boss.’”

“It would be a real learning experience for men to have to live in a woman's world for just a few hours. It might truly change some minds if men had to identify themselves only by their wife's name (‘This is Mr. Susan Brown’).”

“My husband will be allowed to keep his masculine name forever. However, I do intend to always address him as Mr. Lynda in public. Someone must begin to set some new standards.”

A playful, fun-loving vixen, Ms. Lynda. Also a true believer and passionate advocate, who never backed down an inch from her strong views. As she signed one of her postings, in all caps like waving a banner at the barricades, “LONG LIVE THE SISTERHOOD OF WOMEN IN CHARGE!”

My question is, How is it with you? Does it seem jarring and discordant when you see husbands acting like it was 1955? Or wives deferring to them, or putting up with secondary status? Like me, are you slightly taken aback when you hear a wife respond to an invitation with “Of course, I’ll have to ask Bob.” On the other hand, my response of “I’ll have to ask my wife” is taken for granted. So much so, in fact, that friends rarely ask my consent or opinion; they know to bypass me and ask her. And they know that her powers are plenipotentiary powers, that she never has to say, “I’ll check with Mark first.”

Anyway, this is the blessed matriarchal universe that I inhabit, which completely encompasses my thoughts and feelings, hopes and dreams, and She is the radiant and powerful sun around whom I and the kids orbit, day and night. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.