Today the Los Angeles Times explores the "trend" of women who blog about being the perfect wife. They're like Mommy bloggers, but, well, even worse? And quite creepy! Let's figure this thing out together.
Sometimes it's best when a trauma, like reading this article, happens, to go back and tell the story of exactly what occurred. So let's do that:
There was an article that started out:
"Wouldn't it be easier to stop the juggling act and be a housewife and a helpmate?"
Cue the stay-at-home Moms, snarling "No, it would absolutely not 'be easier'! Cue the working Moms, shouting "Maybe, but I have to make money!" And, seriously, cue the child-free career chicks, who respond "Yes, and wouldn't it be easier to just completely give up?" (Oh, and cue the copyeditors, who point out that the word is actually "helpmeet.")
And then it went on to say:
"After all, the much watched women of Wisteria Lane seem to be more interested in "feminine arts" such as gossiping and scheming than in holding down a corporate gig."
Yes, that show Desperate Housewives accurately reflects the reality in which we all live, and "gossiping and scheming" are feminine arts WHAT? It's a TV show that, frankly, isn't even "much watched" anymore. And it's a TV show!
And then we met the women shaping the new reality we live in. There was Kathi Browne of Maryville, Tenn, who started a website called wingspouse.com, which inexplicably uses an illustration of Amelia Earhart as its mascot and bears the tagline "For the spouse who never leaves a partner flying solo." A variation on the concept of the "wingman," a "wingspouse" is like an unpaid personal assistant to her "executive." Kind of like Pepper Potts is to Tony Stark:
"A wingspouse can help analyze an executive's ideas without fear of reprisals - or theft. A wingspouse might accompany his or her partner to a speaking event and help work the room - or simply stand back and read people to see if the message is getting across. Or provide comfort on the home front. "Another wingspouse shared her secret to making her husband feel settled sooner," Browne blogged last December. "She hangs the same plaque in the front entrance of every home they move to."
Oh, if only we could know what that plaque says! That "wives, submit to your husbands" Bible verse, maybe? Or maybe something whimsical, punny, and Southern, like that picture of a sheep with the caption "Ewe's Not Fat, Ewe's Just Fluffy." Or maybe "Footprints"! It has to be "Footprints," right? Oh, who are we kidding, we all know it's a framed certificate from the executive's office from when he got Executive of the Month that one month, or whatever vague "Executives" get rewarded with other than money. (Or maybe a picture that the Executive colored all by himself! He helped!)
And then there was another wife blogger: Mrs. Lilien, who blogs from Montclair, NJ, refers to herself in the third person always as "The Mrs," and seems to have a blog entirely devoted to Things The Mrs. Has Recently Purchased (and staged photos of herself looking "fabulous.") Mrs. Lilien is available for "home styling" and other paid gigs (clearly the point of the website) and describes her site (or "styling house") this way: "Mrs. Lilien styling house applauds luxury, swears by playful sophistication, adores visual drama and delights in the good life - because it's just better!" Yeah, there's this thing called the recession? So, like, fuck you? Moving on.
And then there was the very very worst wife-blogger of all. This one was the one that crossed all cultural lines and united us forever as people who have survived this traumatic trend piece: the wife blogger who merely aspires to wifehood: Taryn Cox, who blogs at TarynCoxTheWife.com, despite having never been married:
"Her blog, where the word "wife" is written in capital letters, includes rules for domestic bliss (WIFE rule No. 17: "The perfect WIFE should shave her legs every day or every other day." WIFE rule No. 14: "The perfect WIFE should have the most beautiful and neat handwriting. This always comes in handy when writing Thank You notes, Addressing Cards, and Sharing Recipes").
Taryn also used to be Lindsay Lohan's personal assistant. I found another post on her blog about being The Perfect Wife (illustrated with a picture of John F. and Jackie Kennedy, you know, of the Perfect Marriage) and she also says this:
"The perfect wife wakes in the middle of the night to toss the covers back onto her husband because she wants him to stay warm. She doesn't sit up and wonder why she had to marry someone that thrashes about and snores so loudly. The perfect wife cherishes the quiet moments when she can watch her husband sleeping peacefully. Deep down she knows that one day her bed will be empty because she has become a widower. (sic)"
I'm not completely certain that Taryn Cox isn't just fucking with us.
So now that we've gone through this shudder-inducing article together, and all of us, be we married, single, engaged, or whatever, have joined a sisterhood of the Totally Creeped Out — the way little girls bond over ghost stories at slumber parties! — we have come to the very most important part of the whole entire article:
"While Cox and the other bloggers haven't exactly hit the mainstream tipping point - their comparatively small number of monthly page views keeps them off the radar at ComScore, an Internet marketing research company..."
Ohhhhh. False alarm. "Wife-Bloggers" aren't even a real trend at all! Oh well. At least we've discovered some new terrible blogs with which to amuse ourselves while we work at our jobs.
Hits and Mrs. [Los Angeles Times]