November 14, 2006

Women: The only way to save your marriage is by being a fawning twit and good consumer!

Oh, the MSN Lifestyle site. It has all the eye-rolling ridiculousness of the supermarket checkout magazine display, but it's free! This time around, one Lisa Lombardi has decided women need to be incredibly anxious about their perfectly comfortable and healthy long-term relationships. Let's see what important tips she's suggesting!

1. Praise him like a kindergartener for doing simple household chores. You know, the stuff he wouldn't notice you doing.

Maybe you always say thanks when he does something huge, like backs up your computer files or cleans out the basement. But most days, we're guessing the ordinary contributions he makes barely register. "Over time, we stop noticing what our partner gives. His nice gestures become like wallpaper," says Levine. "We think, Of course he'll take the trash out. So we don't bother to say, 'Thank you.'"

2. Exploit underpaid Mexican immigrants to get some extra alone time.

"Buy some time together — literally," suggests Sanby. "Hire someone to take care of onerous tasks, like mowing the lawn."

3. Take two minutes every day to worship and adore him, and question whether you're being obsequitous enough.

Spend the time giving your man one good compliment ("Your new haircut makes you look hot") or sharing a moment that made you smile ("It was so sweet when you took Ethan out for a bike ride after dinner"). You can also use it as check in time: Ask him, "Anything you wish I were doing more of?"

4. If you don't spend lots of money trying to live up to a standard of beauty only achieved by anorexic teenagers with the help of Photoshop, you forfeit your sexuality.

By touching up those roots or slathering on a rich body lotion, "you stay connected to your sensual side" — meaning you'll stay connected to your sexual side, too, helping to keep up the intimacy and romance that makes love fun.

5. Women who criticize their men are unlovable shrews.

Viewing your love through a soft-focus lens, rather than one that plays up every last flaw, can have a magical effect on your relationship.

6. More fawning. I mean, really, go out of your way to give him everything he could possibly want, even if he doesn't actually want it.

We're talking really easy stuff: Buy his favorite kind of ice cream instead of the compromise flavor you usually drop in the cart. Offer him the extra pillow he always chivalrously gives you (yep, yank it out from under your head). Or, if you want to be even more generous, invite his crazy Aunt Maude over, because you know he loves the old nut.

7. Focus on what you would lose if you broke up. The answer is everything, because you're a helpless girl. While you're at it, evaluate your relationship in strictly utilitarian terms.

Just having a partner has so many perks — from the profound ones, like having someone to talk to late at night, to the practical ones, like having someone else to kill those water bugs late at night. By valuing those fringe benefits, you can't help but feel good about him.

8. As his live-in sexbot, your most important obligation is to make sure he gets laid every single night. Why else would he put up with your incredibly servile female inferiority?

If you want to show your guy how much you appreciate him, get hands on, advises marriage therapist Betsy Sanby. "Being touched makes men feel loved in a way that words can't," she explains.

Oh, I suppose I should've mentioned that those are my titles for the entries on the list.

There are actually some good bits here and there, but I guess "maintain intimacy, both physically and emotionally" is a little short, and doesn't put enough pressure on women to carefully compare themselves to the patriarchy-approved fawning sexbot and good consumer standard.


MosBen said...

Truth be told, I didn't think most of those suggestions were so horribly bad if applied to both genders. I mean, "Don't take nice things for granted by saying thank you" is a pretty good thing for everyone in a relationship to remember.

So, I guess the question is, if we take as a given that this is mostly advice that both genders can benefit from , is it patently offensive to skew the article to a female audience? A male writer might similarly write an article targeted at men. Because the sugestions tend to focus on traditionally female expectated behaviors, is writing an article suggesting such action automatically offensive?

Anonymous said...

The base of the suggestions aren't bad, but I think that the problem is more that they are NOT applied to both genders. It looks at the health of a long-term relationship and seems to imply that the responsibility for the overall health of the relationship ought to lie solely with the woman -- and what she's not doing for her very worthy man.
Because clearly all men are worthy. (although one would hope that, given a long-term relationship, the man would be at least a little worthy.)


Anonymous said...

Oh grow up. You might even land a man, finally.