Monday, June 28, 2010


  I have become sort of a Rachel Ray addict.  I'm a serious "foodie" among other things... she makes me laugh and those great recipes!  "Delish!"  If you have never seen her show, check it out.  Highly entertaining.

Rachael Ray


Last week... maybe Thursday... she had a doctor on who had written a couple of books on how to have a happy relationship... one for men and one for women.  However, the focus that day was on women who opt for the "traditional" relationship in these modern days.  Think June and Ward Cleaver.


 Ward comes home from a long day at work and June is there dressed to the nines in her pearls to greet him with a kiss, hand him a drink and keep the kids at bay while Ward unwinds.  She is the home-maker who takes care of all womanly tasks... the house, the kids, the laundry, PTA,  (a willing sex life any time, anywhere... ssshhh, this is the 60s!) etc.  Ward's job is to bring home the bacon, do the finances, take out the trash and keep the car and yard in good order.


The good doctor was fun and funny... imagine that!

They provided us with two couples who foster that traditional relationship with their personal testimonials.  They seemed like very happy people.


I was struck by a couple of thoughts.  First, that is the household that I grew up in with a tiny twist.  My mom also worked with my dad part time.  Otherwise, that was pretty much how our family functioned... until my mom went through menopause and went a bit, well, crazy.  Then she became something of a women's libber.


Which leads to my second thought on this issue.  My now dead as a door nail ex-marriage was influenced by my mother's temporary menopausal insanity.  I was a well formed free spirit and demanding individual.  I went into marriage with a total split it all down the middle attitude.  You pull  your weight dude!  


Must have been a shock for a guy reared by a lunatic woman who not only doted on her husband but also on her children.  She used to make him a Sunday diner style lunch and deliver it hot to him at work when we were newly married because my bologna or peanut butter and jam sandwiches were not good enough.  Sheesh!   She was something else.


My third thought was to have a good hard laugh at myself.  As I listened to these couples talking about their traditional relationship style choice, there it was, the truth about my current relationship, ringing like a bell.  I have turned into June Cleaver!  Except that sex is often talked about and it honestly is any time any where.  Oooh baby!


So here is the question... are you traditional or modern and why?  What modifications have you made or mixes of the two?  We all function differently and even evolve over the years, or in my case, devolve. 


On the issue of love, Randy does not like the words "I love you" that much.  He says "Actions are better.  Show me.  I'll show you."

I think that is what the traditional relationship style is all about... when you show someone how much you care, they feel good about themselves and you.  I did not get that a bazillion years ago when I married.  Not that I was a harpie or anything like that.  I was a good wife, but I didn't always take the time to show it on a daily basis.   For me, that's a lesson learned.  It may well be different for you in a way that works as good.


As for myself.  I like being June Cleaver.  I never saw that coming.


  1. The whole June Cleaver thing was a fantasy. And the rates of benzo and alcohol abuse among the women who stayed home was a problem. And there's a reason why the next generation of women rebelled. And it was a sociological blip, not "traditional" at all.

    A good relationship? It isn't about who does what chore or if one or both work. It's whether both people feel okay with their deal. In my clinical experience a wide array of working arrangements work, but only if both members of the couple (including same-sex couples) feel they have a full voice and an equal partnership.

  2. I think my marriage is going the same route yours did. My STBEx seems to be a "pull your own weight'er", but she's always believed it was about money. I don't really understand how staying at home and raising kids is not "pulling your own weight." I love hanging out with them and all, but doing it 24/7? I think women are especially equipped for that, with support from the husband, of course.

    My parents were 'mixed' as my mom always had a job outside the home. I think it worked pretty good for them and as far as I know, she never resented my dad for her 'having' to work, unlike my situation.

    I would have been happy (and have been to a certain extent) to mix the two, as far as duties were concerned, but according to your description of a traditional marriage being about showing the other that you love them, then I believe the only successful way is the traditional way.

    Good topic!

  3. secret agent woman-- Actually one of the happy "traditional" women said exactly that... that there has to be respect for each other and decisions are made together or it would not work.

    I think most folk have some sort of blend of traditional and modern. In a relationship, I agree, you need to have compromise. Everyone has to have a voice.

    I don't want a caveman. I want a partner. But I also like housework, which was not always true for me. I still have days when I do not do much of anything and Randy says... "Good for you, rest. It will keep." And really with no kids, there is not much to do.

  4. KenV! Great to hear from you. I really do think that is what they meant... you want to help the other person and be supportive... whatever that entails.

    Randy does whatever I ask him to do happily. I try not to ask because he has worked hard all day and I have not, since I have no kids to chase. It's about being considerate I think.

  5. I agree with KenV about this being a good topic.

    I came from a traditional family. Mr. Cube came from a family where mom worked outside the house, yet was expected to keep house, cook, etc.. I thought this arrangement was seriously flawed.

    Our marriage was more "equal" in the old days when I worked outside the house, with Mr. Cube taking on way more domestic duties than he does now. Because I now work at home, I'm expected to be super... mom/housekeeper/wife/resident genius because of my science background/accountant/dog trainer/receptionist/bookkeeper, et al. Oy, I can go on forever. I'd much rather work outside the house and share the house duties more equitably.

    My take on it is that IS mostly about money.

  6. Cube-- Money is a serious issue!

    I was super mom for a time and not that great at it. That is an exhausting job, especially running your own business too.

    I have such a lazy life right now that I feel guilty... but enjoy the heck out of it.

    I thought it was a very interesting topic. Lots of valid points here.

  7. I agree that the best relationships happen with a balance is struck and each partner feels that they are getting and giving what they need...and I think that those things change over time and need to be up for reevaluation at either partner's request.
    I could never be June Cleaver, because frankly, I am not that fond of housekeeping or cooking. When I stayed home when my kids were small, my ex hated it because I mostly just played and hung out with my kids. I was never very domestic.

  8. billy pilgrim-- Sorry, no pup yet. Still waiting dag nab it!

  9. laura b.-- I have never not worked before unless I was pregnant and they wouldn't let me.

    I understand what you are saying. I was not always a domestic goddess. Ask C4C. Depends on how happy I am. When I get depressed everything else falls to the way side.

  10. wow - june cleaver? really? i believe, especially since you have the sex thing going on, and quite well, i am sure, naked girl at the door! i do not know that june and ward got much, i really don't.

    i am not much of a domestic goddess. i loved being home with the kids, when i could - but i was always too busy making sure they didn't die, to be that great at taking care of the home.

    now that i am teaching, i do very little other than work during the school year, so my 2 1/2 months off, i dedicate to doing things around the house and yard that i should have been doing during the year.

    it works for me and mine!

  11. Well, I've had the traditional thing. I didn't start out wanting it, it just ended up that way. Now I see that it was a mistake. But that is the way we have lived all this time, and now I feel rather stuck with it.

    I just assumed that we would both work, at whatever jobs we could get, while we would look for eventually both having some M-F 9-5 thing, or close to it. Only, as it turns out, he wasn't the least bit interested in that. He had weird jobs at weird hours, and I would take whatever I could get. At some point he convinced me to give up even that. Back then I thought how nice it was that he wanted to take care of me and didn't care if I "pulled my own weight." Now I just see it as selfish, as he didn't want my schedule to interfere with whatever he wanted us to do during his time off. So most of this time I have been unemployed, except for either working at the same company with him or being his assistant or something.

    So I've never had a "career", which didn't bother me as I didn't want to be a lawyer or anything anyway. But I did want that M-F 9-5, so that I could come home and write and then have weekends off with my friends, and I never got it, cause I was too busy following him around doing whatever oddball thing he was doing.

    Then there is the thing that what if you get divorced or the spouse dies. Yes, you should get half if you get divorced. But if your spouse is a spoiled child who never saved anything, half of nothing is...nothing. Same if he dies. The insurance money will run out and there will be...nothing. So that bothers me.

    As for some people suddenly liking domestic stuff, I think there are a couple of factors there. I think it might be better with the one man who appreciates the effort rather than a house full of kids who just expect it. And also, if you really like your house, maybe you enjoy the housework more just cause you like taking care of the house better than you might have liked taking care of an apartment or a mobile home or a different house.

  12. C4C-- That was in the 60s and I bet you are right...little sex or if they did it was is secret. But maybe that gave it a little thrill?

    When I had kids... yeah, me too. Hell with the house... the bear was the Houdini of 3 year olds. House?
    What house? I could not take my eyes off that kid.

    There you have the exact point... "It works for me and mine". I think we adapt our relationships (if we are doing it right) and mix them into what is comfortable and good for us. If you are happy with it, then by golly, you are one of the lucky ones.

  13. laughing--An excellent observation about me and the interest in my house. I do love this house!

    Compared to where I was living, it is more on the economic level with where I grew up. My mother was a immaculate. God could have shown up Himself and my mother would not have had to worry about how the house looked... except for perhaps my bedroom. Hee hee. C4C can verify that.

    This house is a breeze... because 1) there are only 2 adults and 8 rooms not counting the 2 loos... space and storage galore. 2)the man is totally organized and very neat. 3) each item is assigned a place and is always put there. No mess exists outside the shop and that lasts only as long as the job...and the man cleans that space.

    You make a very good point on how we begin our relationships can set up expectations of us later on.
    I did that with my ex marriage with cooking. I got to where I hated to cook after about 10 years because he never would.

    Another great point is that getting respect and feed back on what you do matters. I think that is the difference between feeling like the hired help and feeling like you are valued and needed.

  14. ananda - i thought i wasn't allowed to talk about your bedroom ;-)

  15. C4C-- Hahaha. I'm not a scared. Much.

  16. A neat man is hard to find... or is that a hard man is neat to find? I forget ;-)

    At my house, we have NO neat people. None. It is non-stop chaos and pandemonium. Help!

  17. BTW I forgot to mention that I love Rachael Ray's cooking show, but I have never watched her talk show.

    Her recipe for Kale soup is one of Mr. Cube's all time favorites.

    Me, I'm all for cooking short cuts. Rachael is OK by me.

  18. ananda - i won't say anything - people don't remember return soda bottles, anyway!

    i'm with cube on both rachel ray and with the lack of neat people in my house. i guess the best advice on that is lower your expectations and insist on some things, like trash going out.

  19. Cube-- I think sometimes both kinds of men are ah... difficult to find.
    Hee hee.

    I also had zero neat people in my family with X. Not a one.

    I'm going to have to look that soup up... I have a feeling that Mr. Cube and I have very similar tastes.

  20. C4C-- Hahhahahaha on the return soda bottles. I was such a coke addict but you know that walk down stairs to the back porch was mighty long.

    Rachel Ray entertains the heck out of me. I can tell you this much... a neat man is a wonderful thing. He even empties his pockets before putting them in the hamper. My washer always seemed to have something in it with X and kiddos... rocks, coins, screws, nails and lots of paper to make things extra frustrating!

  21. Rachael's Kale soup recipe is definitely worth looking up on the Food Network site. I have modified it a bit using lots more broth (or water) and cooking it longer than 30 minutes. Good soup needs time. I also use the Spanish chorizo instead of the the Portugese crap, but that's a matter of preference.

    Beware. Everyone has their problems... even neat people. I'm used to the messy ones and would have to overhaul my life to live with one of the neat freaks.

    It's all about playing well with others...

  22. Cube-- Thanks for the tip on the soup. I will try it and let you know how it comes out.

    I will be careful. I'm sure you are correct... we all have flaws.

    As for living with a neat freak... growing up with my mom was heavy duty training. Ha. I think too that having a neat person motivates me better. Otherwise, I would tend to let a series of 1 minute jobs mass into an hour job.

  23. I'm a home body. I love to cook and garden...Not clean or organize so much. When my girls were little, I had a nice set-up. I stayed home with them all day and then worked at a coffee/sooup/ice cream shop at night, so I never felt isolated like some stay at home moms. Too bad, I married the wrong guy, or that would have all been perfect.