Sunday, February 13, 2011

Just in Time for Valentines...

With Valentines Day looming around the corner and my romantic relationship in need of some sparkle, I was feeling the pressure. You know its bad when your significant other tells you that they want to stay home this Valentines because they just can't face sitting across from you for two hours, desperately trying to come up with things to say. So I knew I needed help......but where could I turn to?

I instinctively began organizing my bookshelf, for lack a better activity on a Friday afternoon.
Low and behold, my fingers brushed against the tattered and crusty cover of a long-coveted book...The Total Woman by Marabel Morgan.

I had forgotten about this gem of a book that I had purchased years ago at a second hand bookstore as a joke. I originally intended to give the book as a gift to someone I hated, but the priceless wisdom contained within its yellowed pages made it too invaluable to give up. So it has remained on my bookshelf all these years.

The cover promises that the book will show you "how to make your marriage come alive!" and the lobotomized gaze of the author smiling optimistically at me from the back cover made me feel hopeful, despite her horrific hair. If only I knew how to lobotomize myself, I thought, my relationship would be SO much better!

I hesitantly cracked the paperback open and inhaled that classic motel 6 smell (Lysol, semen and cigarette butts) that rose up from the pages. I casually flipped through the book and almost threw it across the room when I read, on page 96, "it is only when a woman surrenders her life to her husband, reveres and worships him, and is willing to serve him, that she becomes really beautiful to him. She becomes a priceless jewel, the glory of femininity, his queen!" This is followed up with some Biblical examples.

However, I thought I would give the book a chance. After all, of the many different ways to spice up my relationship, I had not yet tried losing all of my self respect. Since the lobotomy wasn't really an option, perhaps this was the next best thing!

So I read on....

I began with reading the chapter on "Supersex", which wasn't as exciting as I had hoped.
"For super sex tonight, respond eagerly to your husband's advances. Don't just endure."
Well, that's just unrealistic. This sex advice is then followed by more Bible quotes.
Marabel Morgan then tells me I must "be mentally and physically prepared for sex every night of the week" (Really, bitch?)
Anyhow, to give her credit, she does suggest pairing babydoll pajamas with hooker boots. Not bad advice.

My favorite part of the whole book is when Marabel reminds us that men get better looking with age, but women only look worse, so they must try super duper hard to make up for looking like shit.
"One of your husbands most basic needs is for you to be physically attractive to him" She tells us. Really? My man's most BASIC need is for me to look hot?Ms Morgan goes on to remind us that there are plenty of sexy secretaries flitting about his office wearing enticing perfume, while we are at home, "slumped over a coffee in grubby undies."
Is that stepford robot hiding under my sofa? I wonder. Although hot secretaries are a rare species these days, so she doesn't have me there.

And here is my favourite quote:

"Your husband wants the girl of his dreams to be feminine, soft and touchable when he comes home. Thats his need. If you are dumpy, stringy, or exhausted, he's sorry he came. That first look tells him your nerves are shot. His dinner is shot. And you'd both like to shoot the kids. Is it any wonder so many men come home late, if at all?"
(I just like this quote because of the child-murder reference which just comes out of left field)

Moving on....

I decide to give some of Marabel's suggestions a go. I only have my dignity and self-respect to lose, so why not?
I begin with following her advice to "be interested in his interests" and immediately make a bee line for my laptop to begin studying up on World of Warcraft and porn.
Marabel tells a story of how after reading up on football, she spent an entire day practicing saying a particular football players name so she could casually drop it during dinner conversation. Her husband Charlie was so excited, he responded by frantically dry humping her leg for forty minutes straight!
My reference to Guilds and ATM over Minestrone didn't get the same reaction.

Feeling a little crushed, I then applied another of Marabel's tactics - hero worship. This is where you emphasize your husband's most manly of features and wax poetic about how amazing he is - its ego stroking 101. Nothing wrong with that.

"The way you strut around this place in those Birkenstocks and socks really makes you seem dominant" I tell him. "And the way you place dirty cutlery in the sink after I have told you to put it in the cutlery container a thousand times makes you seem rebellious, like you are your own man. Its really hot."
Unfortunately he assumed I was mocking him and told me to "eat sh*t and die", which was horrible for me, since I was really making the effort to be more passive and agreeable.

I toyed with the idea of taking Marabel's advice regarding being sexually available 24-7 or her advice about agreeing with everything my man says and saying "yes!" to everything he suggests, but this all seemed rather tiresome. So instead I thought I would try her suggestion of being "pleasant to look at, be with and talk to. Walk your husband to his car each morning and wave until he's out of sight."

I normally wear grungy old jogging pants and grease stained t-shirts, accented with a wool cardigan around the house. I never wear makeup at home and rarely put on deoderant unless I'm going somewhere. That was all going to change! I got up extra early to shower and shave. Then I straightened my hair with a flat iron so I no longer had my usual "grizzled" look, as my significant other calls it. After applying perfume and makeup, I dressed in clothing that had a distinct non-hobo look to it. I was all set.

I greeted my man with the cheeriness and glee of a lobotomized housewife of the 1960's.
"Where are you going?" he asks, suspiciously.
"Nowhere!" I chirp, widening my eyes as I smile and try to look just like Marabel Morgan.

"I know - you're having an affair!"

Well, Marabel, I tried. I really did try. But it just didn't work out for me. I guess I am not a Total Woman after all. So perhaps instead I will order some crotchless panties from the Fredericks of Hollywood website and call it a day.

And really, I think Marabel would approve.

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