I might as well be honest with my readers right from the beginning of our relationship.
I have a major bone to pick with Dr. Laura. I could pick many reasons to be irritated by her, and a few to be horrified, but I have – in the context of this blog – one major objection to one tiny little bullet point in one of her books.
I’m in two book clubs (just one would not be good enough for such a high achiever, not to mention social butterfly). One forced me to read “The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands” by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. (I must REALLY love those girls to agree to spend my time on that one, right?) Now, here in Santa Barbara, we have the privilege of having Dr. Laura not only as a neighbor, but also as a regularly featured columnist in our very popular Santa Barbara News-Press (which, for attorney-client confidentiality reasons, I cannot comment about here but a google search on the paper’s name should suffice if you’re looking for dirt about journalistic ethics).
So, before I get to the part of the book that turned me off, I will happily acknowledge some general principles I agreed with:
1. Be nice to your husband and he will be nice to you.
2. A husband does appreciate coming home from work to relative calmness in the house, a nice meal ready, and a wife who does not look like a total schlubb.
3. She’s right about guys needing regular sex and not caring nearly as much about your cellulite as you do.
And that, ladies, is where she had me. I was actually thinking, “Ok, I know where she’s going with this. It’s about respect and peace and enjoying your time together and not seeng your husband as a competitor.”
But then, starting at the very bottom of page 76, she totally lost me. Forever.
And I quote:
The man should be the major breadwinner in the family. Every man needs a battle or war to win to prove to himself that he is strong and capable of conquering any and all dragons that life throws his way. Taking care of his family by working and providing are his battles.
I graduated magna cum laude from law school and the best argument I can come up with against this statement is, “Is she kidding me with this?” It’s just wrong on so many levels.
I promise, Husband Extraordinaire feels like a man every time he fetches a piece of jewelry from the sink drain, unclogs the disposal, and lugs the recycling up our ridiculously steep driveway. I also believe he feels like a man as he watches football with a beautiful two year old wrapped into his arms, takes his wife out for a weekly date night (which we can afford because of our joint earnings), eats at our all-time favorite restaurant, buys a second home in Palm Springs, and vacations in Maui for a week every year.
Really, Dr. Laura, I think his job as a litigation attorney gives him plenty of dragons to slay. And, because I don’t have to ask permission every time I buy myself a treat or justify every frivilous expense, there are no battles for him to fight at home. Everyone is happy. And that should be good enough for Dr. Laura. But, it’s ok if it’s not. It’s good enough for me, and for my husband.