Thursday, August 19, 2010

Real Housewives

A few years ago, my brother Tucker and his wife lived close to us in Utah.  She was working, he was going to school to be a pilot and worked part time at an airport "park and ride".  His job was to provide valet parking and drive the shuttle to and from the airport terminal.  The joke we always passed around was that he was a "professional driver".  After all, he DID drive for a living.  Okay, so hold that ties in.

{My brother, Tucker, with a fellow professional driver in Panama City.}

There I was folding my laundry and watching some show on tv just to pass the time when a commercial came on for the "Real Housewives of ..."  who knows where.  Two smartly-dressed women (who I'm sure have their charming moments) were at lunch together and one of them was in the process of telling the other "I called you garbage because that what you are...garbage."  ew.

I've seen the listings for the "Real Housewives" shows before but have never ever watched one.  Don't know why I ever would.  The whole concept is so unappealing to me.  A bunch of spoiled, bratty women getting into fights about petty things.  Sounds like high school in Beverley Hills.  No thank you.  Plus, am I the only one who thinks it's about the most ironic thing that it's called the "REAL" housewives??  Really?  Can my brother really call himself a professional driver?  Not if he wants anyone to take him seriously.  If I were to re-name the show I think I would call it the "Fake Housewives" at the very least or "Pretend Housewives" or "Women Who Happened to be Married to Men Who Provide For Them, but Who Don't Act Like Wives at All, Not to Mention 'Housewives'".

I don't know, maybe things are different in New Jersey and New York and Washington D.C....I seriously doubt it.

I don't know who I feel worse for, the women who embarrass themselves on the show (even the commercials are embarrassing), their husbands, their families or any single man or woman who watches the show and thinks that's what "real" housewives are like. It is mostly to those who might be confused that I would like to direct this post.  That is most certainly NOT what real housewives are like.  Trust me, I know lots of them.

Being a housewife is so much more than staying at home because your husband can support you.  My mother-in-law works 10-12 hours a day outside of her home to support her family and is one thousand times the "housewife" of any "Real Housewife of New Jersey".

{Dan and LaNae...Jeff's -incredible- mom and dad}

I mean I guess it doesn't take much to be able to call yourself a wife.  A couple of court documents can do that, but really.  To me being a wife is much more, being a housewife is much MUCH more.  The real housewives I know are good women who encourage and lift the people around them, they are nurturing to their husbands and to their children, they honor their families, themselves and their homes, they are selfless and kind and well...maybe some examples would serve us well here.

I know a woman whose husband lost his job and his means of supporting their family.  He was out of a job for almost a year.  He searched and searched for work and couldn't find any.  She was frustrated, but understood that he was frustrated.  She held her tongue when she wanted to scream.  She didn't cry and throw fits to him.  She cried in the shower when she couldn't hold it in anymore.  She took walks to re-group before saying anything she might regret.  She kissed him and smiled at him and loved him when she didn't understand how he could relax at home instead of continuing his search.  She let him work through it.  She trusted that he would.  She knew that what was hard for her to go through was a million times worse for him.  She dressed her 2 children in the most adorable used clothing she could find, instead of the new clothes she was used to buying for them.  She made the best of it all, and I don't think her husband will ever EVER doubt that she loves, supports and trusts him.  I can look up to a woman like that.

I know a woman who left her job, her parents and siblings, and the life she knew to support her husband in a new job across the country.  A job that would last a mere 2 years.  Her teenagers argued, the younger ones said it wasn't fair.  She did it anyway.  She followed him lovingly and trustingly and showed her children (and more importantly her husband) that while dad could support the family financially from across the country, he could not do all the other important things dads and husbands do every day.  They needed to be together.  He will always remember that, and will always love her for standing by him.  I love her for that.

My dad's mom, Grandma Boyd, is gone now, but she is a woman who always had hot breakfast on the table for her husband and children...every morning at 6am they gathered to eat together.  Dinner was at 6pm when she had the table set with lovely dishes and delicious food.  She honored her family by serving them and making them her priority.  Thinking outwardly instead of inwardly...what a godly attribute.

My mom's mom always vacuumed the house and put on lipstick before my grandpa got home from work.  Grandpa's retired now, but grandma still does all she can to look her very best for him.  Talk about honoring her husband and showing him that after 55 years of marriage she still loves him and wants to please him.

I have an aunt who nursed her husband and stood by his side after a brain injury left him angry, mean, cold and depressed.  She loved him when she didn't recognize him, she forgave him when he treated her like he she didn't matter.  She looked past his actions to the sickness that robbed both of them of their beautiful life together.  She loved him anyway.  One day at a time for 5 years she loved him, until his recovery was complete.  Their marriage has now bloomed and blossomed like nothing you've ever seen.  It is breath-takingly beautiful.

My mom, knowing that my dad feels best when things are clean and tidy makes sure everything is in order before he gets home from work.  My dad also likes to eat dinner at 5, when he gets home, so guess what?  Dinner is always ready at 5.

These, to me, are real houswives and now that I've gone back and re-read what I wrote, I didn't even give many examples about a cleaning schedule or meal planning or any of those other things.  So the point there is forget about real 'house' me, you start by being a real wife, then work on the rest of the duties a housewife takes care of - caring for her home, loving and teaching her children, honoring her family, taking care of herself so she can take care of all those things.

I guess in the end, I feel like the "Real Housewives of wherever" are fakes (or at least they are portrayed that way in the commercials.  Like I said - never watched the show).  And I feel like anyone who watches that show and ones like it and believe that REAL housewives are like that are being cheated and tricked into thinking that housewives are rude and petty and care more about taking care of themselves than they do about taking care of anyone else.  They're not and they don't.

Call me old-fashioned.  I might even be flattered if you did.  I really don't believe any kind of happiness comes from acting like a "Real Housewife of wherever".  June Cleaver is closer to the secret to a happy, blissful life.  I know I'm not the only one who believes the way I do.  I've met too many women who believe like I do.  Too bad they're not the ones on tv to prove it to least not anymore.


Christine said...

Well said!

ej said...

That was beautifully written. I wish everyone who watches the "real" housewives could read it too!

Betsey said...

I am a real housewife. Thanks for reminding us all that it matters.

And We Sailed On said...

Lovely post. With you 100% . You are one too darling, the good real kind.

Elena Lai Etcheverry said...

I love this post Kallie! You are a real woman with real thoughts that are based in reality. I love that about you girl!

Lori Smith said...

Wow...This is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you for reminding me of what is important in this life. I love you beautiful girl!

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