October 28, 2009

Review: Confessions of a Slacker Wife

Confessions of a Slacker Wife
by Muffy Mead-Ferro

It's kinda funny how I came to read Slacker Wife. It was at DogEar Diary that I heard about Mead-Ferro's book Confessions of a Slacker Mom. Jeane made it sound like a book that would affirm, in part, what I try to do with my family. It was so appealing that I went straight to my library's website and reserved a copy. But when I picked it up, the cover was slightly different. It took me a couple of days before I realized this was not Slacker Mom but Slacker Wife. Oops! No biggie. I'll read this one while I wait for Slacker Mom to come in. But when I went back to the library website to request it it said that I already had a copy of Slacker Mom, not a copy of Slacker Wife. It's a clerical error. It was their mistake, not mine.

Okay, so maybe you had to be there.

Anyway, my household runs rather traditional. He brings home the bacon and I fry it. For the most part I like it that way. So I was a little nervous that this would be a treatise on women's liberation from housework or something like that. "Let him wash his own damn underwear," and all that but it wasn't. I'd call Mead-Ferro an equalist, if that's a word. She does challenge the traditionally held ideals but only in the sense that they often go unquestioned. Don't just do things this way because mom did; do it because it works for you. She admits that in her marriage she does the laundry while he does the minor home repair but it's because that's where their talents lay. I like that idea.

Slacker Wife reads like Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman, sort of. It's like a collection of Mead-Ferro's thinking processes about various issues that relate to marriage. Everything from body image to child rearing to s*x is discussed. It doesn't come across as a woman holding herself up as some kind of expert out to teach the women of the world how to chill. It's more like chatting with a friend and learning a few things based on her experiences that are different than my own.

I do disagree with one part of her book. I think showering ought to be a daily activity for all people. I don't care if other countries aren't as hung up on cleanliness as the US is. It's not the germs I care about. I'm not overly occupied by antibacterial disinfectants. I eat food that's fallen on the floor. Shoot, I used to chew my mom's ABC gum(already been chewed). I'm not the Queen of Lysol. But a daily shower is a necessity, for me and for you too please. When I've had a shower I feel better and you don't have to find subtle ways to plug your nose in my presence. Seriously, consider those around you. Shower. Daily.

So the book was fun. Nothing really new but a nice reminder to give yourself a break. Everything doesn't have to be perfect all the time. In fact, it never will be. I think that Slacker Mom will be even better. If only I can figure out how to get the right one from the library. Maybe I should request Slacker Wife and see what shows up.


Jeane said...

Okay, now I was to read Slacker Wife, too! How funny that you requested one book and got the other. You should point it out to the library clerk, so someone can fix that!

bermudaonion said...

Why does she say you shouldn't bathe daily? I can't imagine not doing that especially since I've lived somewhere where they don't.

Petunia said...

Jeane-I know. Kinda weird but it worked out in the end.

BermudaOnion-This a quote from chapter 2, "...I didn't take a shower today. Whether or not I showered yesterday is probably not even worth mentioning since I know I already crossed a line...But clean is a relative term, and by my own standards I'm clean." She makes a great point about consumerism and the world of advertising in influencing our ideas about cleanliness. I'm just saying daily showers have nothing to do with commerce and everything to do with not offending others with BO.

Zibilee said...

It sounds like the author and I run things around our houses basically the same way (except the bathing). I really think that this would be an entertaining read for me. Too bad you got the wrong book, but at least this one was interesting as well! Maybe the library will get it together and bring you the correct book soon!

Anonymous said...

I don't shower daily...and I'm pretty sure my [brutally honest] husband would let me know if I should be. Not everyone has the same level of B.O.-producing-hormones (or whatever causes B.O.). Some people I know have to shower twice daily, but they aren't disgusted by people who only shower once a day.

Just food for thought. ;)

Petunia said...

I know several people who don't shower everyday, some in my family, and they are fine but I have met far too many more who should and don't. As for myself, I think I smell myself before anyone else, at least that's what my friends tell me. But I come from smelly stock (thanks Dad!) so I guess I'm sensative about it. That, and one of my favorite smells is a clean body. Mine, my kiddos, my hubby, the cat. It makes me happy.