Happy Wife, Happy Life, Happy Meals

by Kevin Burton

   The happy whirring has begun.

   I meant the whirring from our brand new purchased-on-sale, matches-the-oven, shiny, silver refrigerator.  My wife may be whirring happily too, not sure.

    I told the story of our kitchen appliance upgrade last week (“So Long Old Fridge, Good Riddance,” June 1).

   I said that the stork brings not just babies, but kitchen appliances too.  I thought I was kidding about the stork/blessed event part until I saw how happy Jeannette got.

   OK, wait. That wasn’t whirring from Jeannette, it was singing.

   “I am just ex-ciii-ted,” Jeannette crooned.  “Meat, deli, produce! Meat, deli produce!”

  Those are the settings near the bottom of the refrigerator section. 

   Sadly, the guys who brought in the new and took away the old fridge refused my kind offer of a free piano, even though they had plenty of room on their truck. That was the lone sour note struck Wednesday.

   They used their hauler tools and picked up the old fridge the way I pick up Jeannette’s portable heater, so I didn’t argue with them. 

   On the good side though, I was trusted, even encouraged, to touch the new fridge right away…..with a washcloth.

   The new refrigerator beeped at me when I had the doors wide open standing there wiping it down.  Yes, I know, the doors are open. It’s a modern fridge, made this millennium, unlike the old one.

   So I purposely left a door open slightly to see if it would beep then. It did not. That would be helpful, to hear a beeping warning when I haven’t quite closed the door. There should also be an alarm that goes off after two helpings of leftovers.

    One other thing. I’m thinking about the practical here as a cat daddy.

   The new fridge is maybe two inches thinner than the old one. The oven is to the left of the fridge. I tried to position the two appliances in such a way that Gabbie, the small cat can not get between them and thus behind them.

   No worries about Ronnie, the big cat, fat chance she could ever fit.

   Jeannette said the best part about the new fridge is she can see everything. This is true. We will probably waste a lot less food now. We plan to call this weekend to set up a time to have the ice maker and water dispenser hooked up.

   I love to make my wife happy whenever I can. So today’s headline came easily, “Happy wife, happy life.” But where did that phrase come from?

   We get help, of sorts, from www.theidioms.com. Their listing includes the variant, “Happy spouse, happy house.”   

   It goes on to say, “To have a good life you need to have a good wife. When the wife in the family is happy she can help her husband in their home to be satisfied.”

   “If a wife is happy in her marriage, the husband is also happy and consequently has a delighted life.”

   “I’ve heard it said this way,” Jeannette said. “If the wife’s not happy, noooobody’s happy.”

   “Happy wife, happy life” is an “if clause,” even though the word if does not appear in it.  Trust me.

   The idioms website traces the phrase back to 1903 and the last verse of a bit of doggerel called “The work and wages party.”

  It reads: “I’m a work and wages party man, I say that’s what I am. You’ll find me true and hearty man for that is what I am.”

   “Now let’s rejoice to end the strife with all the kids in clover. A Happy wife, a happy life and a jolly good turn over.”

   “Many people also think that the phrase started in a series of real estate ads in 1958 in Abilene Texas,” the website claims.

   “Attention Mr. Abilene, Happy wife, happy life,” reads the ad. “Heap-o-livin’, 1358 Leggett Drive, two-bedroom, deck, plus every luxury in the book. Come by, take a look and make an offer.”

   The idioms website is one a blogger should become familiar with, but excuse me, nobody believes happy wife, happy life started with that ad. Nobody.

   So we haven’t gotten to the bottom of the phrase’s origin. But we have gotten to the bottom of this post. 

   I must be going now to see to the continuance of Happy wife, happy life.

   The real estate ad makes reference to a deck and that’s where the focus goes now.

   The deck we have is an eyesore and a danger we have to warn people about.  One wrong step and you could fall through. 

   So I’ll make a note to call contractors and hang the note on our wonderful new fridge.

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1 Comment

  1. “If Mama’s not happy, no one’s happy.” That’s what I’ve always heard. My experience though is that this applies heavily to “Daddy” as well. In fact, in my house it was certainly more of a family disruption if “Daddy” wasn’t happy. Watch out world! (Just saying)

    Tracy Duffy tlduffy1962@gmail.com



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