Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
For this current Millenial generation, there is now a new phase of life most young women will experience. There is adolescence, then college, then there is dating losers, till finally we reach adulthood. I know some of the most accomplished, beautiful, smart, compassionate women and yet so many of them had these starter boyfriends in their early twenties, it can’t be a fluke. Some of them are married now, some are still single, but regardless we all seem to be asking ourselves the same question, how did we date those guys for so long? I’m not talking about men who weren’t right for us – I’m talking about genuine losers. Guys that were jobless and mooched off us and took us for granted and never lifted one finger for our relationship and depended on our social life and didn’t realize what they had.
Why did we put up with so much? One friend of mine was waitressing at two different restaurants to support herself and her boyfriend so he could run the business they were starting. This may have started out like an equal division of labor but by the time I met the two of them, she was declaring him on her income taxes and he was drinking, playing soccer with his friends, and later we found out cheating on her. She’s a smart girl and now she’s dating a guy a thousand times more worthy of her but how did she get there? How did I get there? Why did we put up with these total losers?
Another friend of mine wasn’t allowed to acknowledge their relationship publicly on facebook so no one would knew they were a couple (he also was determined later to be a cheater). Another girl dated a wannabee actor who was so poor, she was paying for most of his food, then she finally got him a bartending job where he promptly spent all his time getting wasted at the bar with his new friends and developed an adderall addiction. Another friend was constantly complaining about her boyfriend who she didn’t think was very smart and would publicly embarrass her by saying crass idiotic things in front of her co-workers, yet she stayed with him for four years.
And then there’s me. I too was in love with a loser once. Of course, at the time I didn’t think he was a loser. I thought he had promise and was about to make it big and was cute if you looked at him from the right angle and my personal favorite: he’s just smart in a different way than I’m smart. Once I got out of that relationship and became alerted to the coterie of men that were out there to date in comparison, I slowly realized the truth. I too, had been dating a loser. But that’s the thing about love. It doesn’t just blind us to our partners. It blinds us to what we should expect from any partner.
I know there’s a temptation to use a bit of revisionist history when analyzing past relationships that didn’t work out. So if it were just one or two of my friends, I’d be hesitant to make this blanket statement. But it’s true for so many women, it seems to be a legitimate phase that most women in their late twenties or thirties have gone through. I think a lot of us girls were struggling in our own careers or even struggling to understand what we wanted out of life after college, so perhaps a lot of what now makes them a loser at the time seemed to make them struggling actors/entrepreneurs/musicians. But now, I know where some of those guys are, and none of them seemed to have really achieved the level of success where we thought they were heading. But many of us are now dating men who are treat us well and prioritize us and gainfully employed. So why did we put up with it?
Perhaps, this is because many of us had our first serious relationship after college. For the baby boomers, relationships got serious in college. For my generation, hook-ups were serious in college. College is not conducive to relationships. You move in a circle of friends and most men want to play the field and there aren’t that many serious relationships around you. So you sort of quasi-date, but for many of my friends, our first serious relationship and the first man to truly impact us emotionally, came along in our early twenties. The first time you fall in love is monumental. It rocks your world and shakes you to the core and you become addicted to the feelings love and intimacy provide. So for the first time in our lives, we were in love and we kept those guys around because it’s hard to break-up with someone you still love. Why didn’t we realize nine months into the relationship that these slackers were lame and dump them right then and there?
Perhaps some of it was fear of being alone or a fear of not doing better. But the fact that I personally know hundreds of women who went through this phase, it seems to me it was more generational. Perhaps as we came out of college, also insecure about our own career plans or life decisions, we chose to be more conservative in our relationships. We all had big dreams and big plans and were making big daring decisions that our parents had not made. And so the one place we chose not to be daring was boyfriends. We were brave enough to move to New York or the Phillipines, brave enough to pursue filmmaking or investigative journalism, brave enough to take assistant jobs that paid nothing and didn’t give us health insurance, brave enough to travel the world or become a ski instructor for a year while we figured it out…but we weren’t brave enough to do it alone. At least not right away. None of my close friends are still dating the loser guys they dated in their early twenties. And it taught us all valuable lessons – I appreciate all the little ways my boyfriend is thoughtful now even more because I was in a relationship with someone who wasn’t nearly as thoughtful. Every time Mr. Dreamboat takes me to dinner now, it’s not just being taken to dinner that I appreciate; I appreciate that he remembered the day before to make reservations because for years I dated someone who didn’t even care enough to make reservations on my birthday. So can I really regret dating a loser in my early twenties? It’s hard to say I have any regrets when I’m so happy with where I am now. But then again, I wonder if someone had said to me a year in, wake up, you’re dating a loser and not all men are like this, if it might have saved me the headache of the next two years of my life in a relationship with a guy that was living off of his parent’s allowance.
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September 28, 2011 | 11:00 am
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
Mindy Kaling (aka Kelly from The Office and whom I love) has a great piece in the New Yorker about the classic types of female roles in romantic comedies. These include the Klutz, Ethereal Weirdo, the Sassy Best Friend, and so much more and you should definitely read her piece.
Of course what she hopes for is more multi-dimensional complicated fleshed-out female roles that don’t pander to some male fantasy. And this is a complaint that has been heard around Hollywood for years. I too would like to see more films with women who have a range of emotions and sides to them and are strong and funny and overcome real challenges that women can relate to. But even then, although the roles would be better for actresses, they wouldn’t really be closer to life. Even movies with great heroines, like Out Of Africa, Fatal Attraction, or Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which clearly have incredible female roles light years more interesting to watch than Katherine Heigl’s latest character, even these roles are not any closer to realistic than the perfect gorgeous skinny art gallery owner who’s fatal flaw is that she eats too much.
But this got me thinking…what if we went for those more realistic roles in romantic comedies? What would a rom com look like with archetypes that are just more based on real life? Maybe I should start pitching these story ideas…
Maybe Kaling’s Ethereal Weirdo a la the manic pixie dreamgirl (see Garden State) is just so weird she ends up in an asylum. And no one falls in love with her.
Maybe the Beautiful Klutz who’s perfect but clumsy could fall in love but then just bump into a wall at her wedding and fall down stairs and die.
For the Woman Who Is Obsessed With Her Career and No Fun at All, maybe she could just be so obsessed with her career that she never gets married or has kids and after turning forty, spends her entire life regretting her choices.
Instead of the Woman Who Works in an Art Gallery, the heroine is a tired fifty year old mom who only ever wears a bathrobe and looks older than she really is and can’t get her ex to pay child support and hates her life. She drives her kids to carpool, meets a guy online and doesn’t really love him but she is desperate so keeps seeing him. He’s embarrassed by her face but needs someone to take care of him so they got married.
Instead of the Skinny Girl who’s fatal flaw is being gluttonous and liking cheesecake, she could instead be the fat girl who eats too much and falls in love with a handsome too good for her hunk. He never loves her back and makes fun of her to his friends. Forever.
Or what about a woman who falls in love and then you time lapse fifteen years later. The husband works so much he barely ever sees his wife and when they do see each other, they barely speak, drudging along in a sexless marriage where they both constantly dream about divorce but are too lazy to do anything about it.
Or even start with the familiar set-up of the unassuming wife who finds out she got cheated on and her whole world is destroyed. But then, she takes him back, gets so depressed she has to check-in to a hospital and their kids get permanently screwed up by their parents and develop drug addictions.
Where’s Gary Marshall when you need him?
September 27, 2011 | 2:00 pm
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
This weekend, the NY Post reported that the price of sex has dropped to record lows. Women are having sex sooner and have virtually stopped asking men to do anything in order to get it. The two most shocking statistics to me were that 25% of all women have sex with a man within the first week and then 30% of men report having sex with a woman without having to do anything to get it – as in not even a text message or phone call, let alone a full on date. This wouldn’t be a problem if this was what women want but the research points to the opposite. Women feel pressure to have sex earlier and earlier because they know it’s so easy for a man to get it from someone else. And men feel entitled to expect it because there are so many opportunities for them to have it. We all like to think we’re worth the wait of course but after one date can you expect a guy to realize you’re worth it? Especially when he can get a younger version of you with a great job and a banging body for practically free?
Well, I for one am sick of this. This is not men’s fault. This is a simple matter of the law of supply and demand. If there’s an oversupply of luxury goods that drives the price down, do we blame consumers for buying the goods at discount rates? Of course not. The only fix to the problem is to restrict supply. Luxury retailers consistently refuse to allow their products to be sold from certain big box stores in order to perpetuate the mystique and expensive aura that surrounds the product. So girls, I propose we do the same thing. Collectively.
I would like to propose No-HoVember. No-HoVember will drive back up the price of sex. We can model it after Movember which encourages men to grow mustaches for the month of November in an effort to raise money and awareness for prostate and other cancers that effect men and which has been wildly successful in just a few years. No-HoVember will insist that for the month of November, women refuse to sleep with someone NEW. So if he’s your husband or you’ve already slept with him before, the jig is up. But if you’ve never slept with him before, whether you’ve been on a few dates or you just meet him that night, don’t go home with him! And watch what happens when he has nowhere else to turn to get it. We can set up a webpage where you can register and pledge not to be a Ho for one month!
Imagine a world where for month, no single man could find a girl to have sex with. How many more girls do you think will get a returned phone call? How many more girls will be taken on a proper date? (Maybe we’ll even help the economy and boost the sales of flower retailers or restaurants!) I know this may be hard for some of you, but it can be done if we all band together! In Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata, women withhold sex until their husbands end a war and all I’m suggesting you wait for is a couple of dates! When did we start saying I’m not even worth a $10.99 dinner at Sizzler? I know the economy is really bad, but come on, you gotta think you’re worth at least one cheap date? If you’ve already been on a few dates and are really having trouble resisting, you can just tell him it’s for a good cause that you’ve pledged to support. After all, if you’re supporting his handlebar mustache for men’s health issues, he can support your efforts to help women’s issues. If you’re a person that has trouble resisting temptation, maybe No-HoVember could be a month you also grow out some…uhm…hair that you too normally might be trimming.
So who’s with me? Who will join me so we can watch the price of sex skyrocket? Who will join me in turning November into a month free of Hos?! If we don’t do something to stop the firesale on sex, soon we’re going to have to be giving it out in order to have a strange man hold the door open for us. Seriously, either all single women become hos or we do something to stop the falling prices. So this November, as our counterparts are growing out their facial hair to show solidarity against cancer, we too can be growing our own hair out to stand united against universal Hodom. As Ludacris so eloquently said “Who’s a Ho?” Take a good look in the mirror girls, because if you keep giving out those one night stands, “you the ho!” I choose No-Hodom. Will you? Answer the call, girls! Email, forward, register, and let’s get the message out that even in tough times, our dignity is not on sale! At least not during the one month of No-HoVember!
September 26, 2011 | 2:50 pm
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
There are a lot of unfortunate sentiments that have come from the Republican Party of late – Santorum’s rebuke of a gay soldier, Perry’s love affair with the death penalty, Romney’s cowardice on healthcare. But none will have the lasting impact that Congressman Michele Bachmann’s idiocy will have on the plight of women in politics. Bachmann is pretty and feminine and running for President. She is similar to Sarah Palin of course in that way – they are unmistakably womanly. It’s easy to imagine them taking care of their kids, laughing with friends, or even getting frisky in the bedroom. They dress well and aren’t afraid to wear a lot of pink tops, red lipstick, or knee-high black boots. And yet, they both just say the stupidest things. Normally, when members of the GOP dig themselves into a hole I wouldn’t be one to complain, but Michele Bachmann, like Palin is giving women a bad name – women like me. And I’m really annoyed about it all. Because I’m not going to change and I deserve to be taken just as seriously.
There have been incredible female American politicians: Hilary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Senators Feinstein and Boxer, Geraldine Ferraro, Congresswomen Pelosi, I even thought pretty highly of Meg Whitman though I didn’t vote for her. But none of these women are fun and flirty. Not that I think that’s something any candidate needs to be. Of course, all candidates should be judged on much more important things like their abilities, positions, character, etc. And I would never suggest that the incredibly accomplished aforementioned women should be anything they are not or change in any way. But let’s say that you are not a hard-nosed, austere, hard-hitting woman who exudes masculine energy. Let’s say you are fun and flirty or pretty and like four inch heels; well, this kind of woman also shouldn’t have to change. She should also be judged on her knowledge of the issues and positions and character.
Which brings me back to Bachmann and Palin. They have or least had the potential to break the mold. They are the first women on the national political scene that have remained womanly. They exude softness and femininity instead of projecting a tough masculine persona. I am in no way suggesting one is better than the other. But women should have the freedom to be whatever kind of woman they want and still pursue whatever they want to do. Women shouldn’t have to become like men to compete equally with men. Feminism for me is not about allowing women to become more and more like men. I don’t think women will truly be equal with men till we can compete equally while still feeling girly if we want.
Bachmann really had the potential to break through this glass ceiling. People were taking her seriously as the potential GOP nominee. So it pains me, every time I hear another stupid thing she says because she is setting back women – specifically the type of woman I am and likely will continue to be. And it’s especially heartbreaking because if Palin really was the first woman to attempt this cross-over and Bachmann is the second, I’m worried that a pattern is emerging. If all the hot womanly politicians are idiots who think homosexuality is bondage and exploit people’s fear about safe vaccinations that prevent cancer and that carbon dioxide is not a harmful gas, then the American public is going to continue to perpetuate the stereotype that feminine women are ditzy and the only women we can take seriously in politics are that ones that have short hair and wouldn’t even wear a low-cut shirt to bed.
The rest of the world doesn’t seem to have this problem. There are hot female politicians all over the world, none of them seem to need to write notes on their hand and seem of them seem to have topless photos floating around the internet to boot! So I’m taking Michele Bachmann’s stupidity very personally right now. How are we ever going to get a woman that looks like her to be taken seriously when the only examples so far are so close to lunacy, most of the country will never take them seriously? At this point, I just want her gone - off the political stage so that we still leave some room for a similar type of woman to be taken seriously in politics. My dream isn’t just to have a woman in the White House one day. It’s to have a woman in Louboutin heels standing in the White House.
September 23, 2011 | 11:00 am
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
I heard this really interesting story on NPR yesterday about how obesity can affect one’s sexual health. In light of some of the friction my earlier pieces on weight have caused, I thought this was an interesting perspective to add to the mix. Read or listen to it here.
September 22, 2011 | 4:58 pm
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
In the dating world, girls spend a lot of time trying to interpret men. And way too much of that time in my opinion is spent going over what he said. Does he not want me to come him with to the company party? Does that mean his mom just thinks I’m a friend? Does he think she’s prettier than me? Does that mean we’re over or he’s going to call in two days? I kind of think the answer to all these questions is guys just say a lot of dumb gibberish a lot of the time. I don’t mean any disrespect to men but they don’t seem to put as much meaning or thought into every word the way girls do when talking about dating stuff. But we transpose our way of communicating on to them and so we’re constantly imbuing every word he said with more meaning than Shakespearian dialogue. Just accept that we live in a casual society where people play fast and loose with their words and men especially say a lot of things they don’t really mean.
Back in February, on my second date with Mr. Dreamboat, when I was in a very vulnerable place figuratively and literally, Mr. DB told me he didn’t want to be in a relationship. I was silent and I remained motionless on his bed, afraid that if I moved my face would reveal my shock and hurt. He went on to say that he had just gotten out of a relationship (I would find out later, that literally the week in between our first conversation and our first date was when he ended it) and he just wanted to be upfront and honest with me. I was fuming inside but didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of knowing that, so I said something like ok sure and he took me home soon after. I kissed him goodnight and genuinely thanked him for a great evening so that he wouldn’t get a whiff of any caring inside me whatsoever. I went into my apartment and promptly deleted his phone number from my phone.
Who the hell does he think he is? How dare he say that to me? Anyone would be lucky to have me deign to be in a relationship with them!
I was hurt. We had only been out twice but I knew I liked him and instead of admitting he had the power to hurt me, I chose outrage. And I really lived it up.
I called all my girlfriends the next day. Can you believe this? In the history of my storied dating career, not one single man has ever said that to me! The nerve of this guy!
And why would he assume I want a relationship? I never said I did! I couldn’t possibly have time for a relationship now anyway! I really believed this when I said it because it was bad timing for me and I was so busy but let’s face it, that wouldn’t have mattered if the right guy came along.
One thing I notice about girlfriend advice is whenever it’s being given in a situation like this, we all give the hard line female empowerment rules. We could practically punctuate each sentence with girl power! All my friends did exactly what I would have done in their shoes, saying I should forget him, look for a man that really deserves me, move on, don’t waste my time with a guy that doesn’t treat me right, blah blah blah. Yet, none of us ever live out these girl-powered ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ fantasies. We break our own rules all the time, we just hate to admit it. When was the last time someone said to you, he probably isn’t good enough for you, and you’re just going to get hurt, but give him another chance? And so I must admit, despite my pledge to never speak to him again I saw him the next weekend.
And to what do I attribute this change in heart when he texted me a few days later? My dad. Yeah, it’s surprising to me too.
My dad and I never talked about dating. About once a year he would ask if I was seeing someone and I would answer “no one special” and then we’d talk politics. It just so happened that two days after I deleted Mr. DB’s number, I met my dad for dinner and he asked me his annual if I was dating anyone question. I said that I had met someone that I really liked but I wasn’t sure if I was going to see him again. My dad was surprised to hear that I actually liked anyone and so he asked what had happened and I uncomfortably admitted the truth, he said he doesn’t want to be in a relationship.
Tamara! No man wants to be in a relationship. Until, one day they’re just in one. And especially no 28 year old man wants to be in one. Maybe this is obvious to you, but to me it was kind of shocking. I was going out with 28 year old men all the time - and none of them wanted to be in a relationship? This turned out to be sage advice as four weeks later, Mr. DB was the one saying to me I have no problem committing to a relationship and by the way can I take you to Mexico next weekend?
But at the time, I was really torn – was I just being used by a guy who was clearly telling me he didn’t want a relationship or did I just have to give him a chance and trust that if he really liked me, he’d step up to the plate. The next few weeks were hard. I expended way too much mental energy analyzing it all. Looking back, I wonder if I also was a bit excited by the challenge of it all. Sort of like, he thinks he doesn’t want a relationship, oh I’ll show him. But mostly, I just felt embarrassed about it all.
I reported back to my friends on my dad’s advice. Beth said I don’t believe that. Some men do want a relationship and those are the ones you should be focusing on. But my gay friend Sal was on my dad’s side. Sometimes men just say words that don’t mean anything and girls pay to much attention to them. Maybe this was the key. For the next four weeks, I held onto the advice I had gotten from the men in my life and ignored my girl-power urges. I could feel us getting closer, and our relationship deepening, and I could even feel how much he liked me. I wanted to trust what I felt but everyone kept reminding that if I got hurt it would be my own fault. He warned you he didn’t want a relationship. But maybe he was just being too honest. Maybe on our second date he didn’t think he wanted a relationship but maybe he was just waiting for the right person.
It was hard and it hurt my pride. But it made me realize something about the fundamental differences in the way men and women communicate. Communication doesn’t come as naturally to men as it does to women. So in this world where we keep coaching men to talk more and communicate more, some men communicate by over-communicating. In other words, by getting it all out there, he will get his point across eventually and no one can say he wasn’t honest. Women’s words in a relationship are motivated by feelings and we usually have a clear purpose for saying what we do. Men are more ready to just let words out without thinking about them. Unfortunately, that’s why sometimes when they say they’re going to call, they don’t mean it. It’s just easier to let those words roll off their tongue than explain why they’re not going to call. So cut them some slack. Stop analyzing what they said. And thank god men don’t spend the same time trying to figure out what we really mean when we say it only cost around 100$ or you’re only my third or I used to date him but it was never that serious. Some words are just better left unexplored.
September 21, 2011 | 3:07 pm
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
About a month ago, my friend Dominique had an informal housewarming party. She had just moved into a great new house with her boyfriend and we were all christening the backyard patio area with some light fun. She and her boyfriend had been dating for a year and half and seemed like they could not be happier about the move. At some point, I got into a conversation with four other girls, all of whom I’ve written about it here, about whether or not you should live with someone before getting engaged. They were evenly divided: two of them thought it was absolutely necessary to live with someone first and they would never want to marry someone they hadn’t worked out the day-to-day kinks with. Two of them thought they would never move in with someone without a ring on their finger because a guy just puts off marriage if he’s living with a girl and they didn’t want to wake up one day in their late thirties five years into a relationship realizing they were dating someone who was afraid of commitment. The argument got pretty heated and eventually we all had to abruptly change the subject because we realized we might as well be arguing over whose religion was better. No one was going to convert anyone that night and apparently people feel pretty passionately about the subject.
My opinion on the subject has softened over the years but I have always leaned more towards the idea that living together is not a prerequisite for me to get engaged. I used to be of the hardcore I-will-never-live-with-someone-till-I-have-a-ring ilk. Some of this is a result of my mother’s years of proselytizing that living together first is a bad idea. In the words of my Minnesotan college roommate why buy the cow when you’re gettin’ the milk for free? Some of this is a result of my first long term relationship. I thought he needed goading to get over his fear of commitment and if I stuck to my guns one day he’d propose. Now, I’m glad I didn’t give in and move in with him because it just would have been a more prolonged complicated break-up if I had. I fear that relationship made me a pessimist on the subject so that now I think all men need a little motivation to get married instead of putting it off. But nonetheless, that rule served me well early on in life because it was the reason I didn’t move in with him and thank god for that.
Over time though, I started to realize that maybe that one ex had left me jaded. Maybe the rule was totally obsolete if I was with the right guy. I still believed in true love, whatever that means, and so I started to think isn’t there a guy out there who wants to propose to me because he loves me and not because he’s sick of coming to my place?
My friends who were fans of the cohabitation stage made some really good points. Beth said that when you move in with anyone there are going to be some natural wrinkles in the path and she’d prefer to iron those out before the marriage stage so that after the wedding it could be smooth sailing. Dominique said what I’ve heard a lot of people say – that you can’t really know someone till you live with them. Plus, marriage is such a gamble anyway why not give yourself the chance to be a little bit more sure. And only after living together will you really know if you can deal with each other at their worst. 60 to 70% of couples nowadays will live together before marriage and yet the overwhelming majority of research suggests that living together before engagement leads to a higher divorce rate.
The other side said that any issue in living together could be worked out if you valued the relationship enough to compromise on some little things. Plus, if you’ve been dating for long enough or traveled together you get to see the bad sides without mixing furniture. And who wants to rush into living with the person you have to live with for the next fifty years of your life? Why not enjoy that extra year or so with girlfriends or by yourself?
All the girls there that night were late twenties/early thirties and I definitely got the sense that part of the reason the anti-cohabiting girls felt the way they did is they were scared about a guy wasting their time. None of us are married and we all want to have kids before we’re at the age where you have to have a bunch of extra tests run during your pregnancy because you’re at that age. The thought of living with someone who you don’t end up marrying just seems like a bigger waste of time than simply a failed relationship and we’re all aware that our time is not limitless.
I’m still confused about where I fall on all of this. If my beau was moving to London in a few months and asked me to go with him, I’d say yes without expecting anything more. It feels too soon for anything more. And yet at the same time, there is something I don’t like about just being a couple that shares an apartment.
I hold marriage in very high estimation – probably too high in some regards but I can’t stop thinking about it as a holy union. It’s all still very romantic to me. And because it’s so special for me, I always imagined this grand line of demarcation on the timeline of my life. Once, I cross that line, I will have joined with this person to walk the rest of life with, together. And I want my life to feel different once I pledge myself to someone that way. I want life after marriage to be different spiritually from the way it was before. And I’m worried that if we live together for a year beforehand, the union that our marriage creates will cease to be as important. And so what to do?
I’m really curious to hear what you all think on the subject. Is cohabitation the way to go?
September 20, 2011 | 9:23 pm
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
In case you were interested in some burning man pics, one of the friends I went with has posted some pics of our trip on her blog www.taryncoxthewife.com One of my personal favorites is the picture she took of a wedding dress hanging in the temple which had I Vow to Love Myself First written on it. Taryn writes a great blog about the art of being a good wife or wife to be. She has great tips on everything from style trends, to entertaining, to cooking, and much more. Some of my personal favorites include her posts on etiquette which you can get to here. I can also personally vouch for her cooking. I had some of her strawberry-rhubarb jam bars last week and they were simply delectable.
I consider myself a feminist, career-oriented, and ambitious but one day I also want to be a good wife. I love that someone of my generation has embraced the idea that being a good wife is still important. Enjoy her blog!