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The secret is good public relations. It can be difficult to present a well kempt hobo as a citizen of value.

Real Women Versus The Secrets of Happily Married Women

There are married women who have chosen to stay home with no job/volunteer work, no child(ren), and no college. They may have attended school at one time, but for them it’s a thing of the past.

For whatever reason, their husbands are okay with this. They are called “stay-at-home wives,” and they successfully avoided my radar until I heard one of them complain about being asked, “What do you do all day?” (Cry me a river. You have the time.) Then I stumbled across an article about their public relations man.

Dr. Scott Haltzman is the author of The Secrets of Happily Married Women — as if the rest of us were only one book away from knowing how to secure happiness by living off of another adult. (One wonders if he advises men to quit their jobs and live off their wives in his book, The Secrets of Happily Married Men.)

Haltzman says, “One of the realities is that few men appreciate the scope and difficulties of managing a household.” Are you kidding me?

It doesn’t matter what their husbands think. It matters what these women think of themselves. What’s the difference between these women and an unemployed graduate with any empty planner who lives with his/her parent(s)? Don’t stress yourselves, Haltzman fans. There is no difference.

Running a household sans children and/or outside work is about as difficult as thumbing through the phone book looking for a decent Mediterranean restaurant. Every parent on this planet knows the household is the easy part, even when finances are severely stressed. Without children and/or outside work, life gets so easy so quickly that boredom sets in before the coffee is done brewing.

Sorry, Haltzman (and fans), it’s no secret why you’re happy. The question is why aren’t you bored? I’m gonna go out on a limb and call it the Hilton Syndrome. The only difference between a woman who allows herself to be kept by a man and Paris Hilton is the amount of money in their respective checking accounts. I’ll leave analysis of the husbands to the Freudians.

“Don't be too quick to judge,” says Haltzman. “Women might give up a job to focus on an advanced degree, pursue artistic or creative goals, or deal with health issues.”

What freakin’ ever. The phrase “pursue artistic or creative goals” is lazy-speak for “play.” Want to be thought of as an adult? Try acting like one. To give up a job in exchange for doing nothing is every teen’s dream. Good going, ladies. You married your dads – and we don’t need Freud for that.

Dealing with health issues is not a lifestyle choice, it’s a necessity – assuming you mean an actual physical malady, and not the self-imposed restrictions of plastic surgery or a diet and exercise regime that a job or child(ren) just wouldn’t accommodate.

Pursuing an education is itself a job. Hell, I’ve often thought people should get paid just for successfully completing their FAFSA the first time around. Attending college is hardly in keeping with the whole stay-at-home formula and would surely interfere with all that artistic and creative endeavor.

Give real women a break, ladies. You’re not fooling anyone. At the very least, stop complaining about the bedsores. I spent my stay-at-home days with my children, not my inner children. If you’re unemployed, not enrolled, and have no children or health problems, then “What do you do all day?” is a valid question. If the color of your parachute is see-through, it’s time to call it a day and get a life.

I’ll give it to Haltzman, though. He’s making good money as the PR guy for the animal kingdom’s newest discovery: the ten-toed sloth.

About Diana Hartman

Diana is a USMC (ret.) spouse, mother of three and a Wichita, Kansas native. She is back in the United States after 10 years in Germany. She is a contributing author to Holiday Writes. She hates liver & motivational speakers. She loves science & naps.

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