In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.
Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at email@example.com
Find more columns by Palmer here.
Note: Last week I wrote a hypothetical help-wanted ad in search of the need for “the perfect ’50s-style wife.” I got enough positive feedback on it that I decided, to be fair, to write about the perfect husband.
Help wanted: Hardworking couple in search of an old-fashioned ’50s-style husband.
Must have a sincere, serious work ethic and happily bring home the bacon in the form of a large paycheck. That way, we can stay home and greet you warmly at the end of the day. We will be so rested and happy to meet you at the door with a martini and your slippers. After you’ve had nine minutes to unwind and catch your breath, you will be expected to pitch in with the children’s homework, have the energy to play catch with the children, help with homework or rebuild the car engine with Junior.
House projects: Must know the difference between a drill bit and a diaper. Absolutely must come equipped with a tool belt and a full set of tools. The thought of house projects will energize you, and you will do them without complaint or spending more than the national deficit on the tools necessary to complete the project. Will be a self-starter and take initiative.
Bonus points for painting, caulking the bathtub and unclogging a drain.
Expect overtime during holiday periods when toys and train tracks will need “some assembly.”
Other duties: Wash and wax the car on a regular basis.
Be well-mannered. Open doors, help us on and off with our coats and be unfailingly polite.
You will excel at carving at holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Carving must be conducted with a flourish such as sharpening the knife and waving it around before you commence.
Must discipline the children and break up arguments without raising your voice. Think about the TV show “Father Knows Best” before you begin.
No snoring, no snoring, no snoring!
You will be ahead of your time. You must be willing to time travel briefly in order to commit to memory the 16 phrases that Mr. Wonderful, a 12-inch talking toy doll, speaks. (Yes, there is a doll you can buy that will speak most of the phrases listed below when you squeeze its hand):
Thinking of you is the best part of my whole day.
This evening, let’s just lie in bed and talk all night.
You’re perfect just the way you are.
I wouldn’t change one thing.
You know, honey, why don’t you just relax and let me make dinner tonight?
The ball game isn’t really that important, I’d rather spend time with you.
Why don’t we go to the mall; didn’t you want some new shoes?
You know, I think it’s really important that we talk about our relationship.
You’ve been on my mind all day. That’s why I bought you these flowers.
Here, you take the remote. As long as I’m with you, I don’t care what we watch. (OK, remotes did not exist in the 1950s, so he would say, “I’ll flip the channels and adjust the rabbit ears until we find something you would like to watch.”)
I could only find 10 examples online of what Mr. Wonderful says, but I will use my imagination and come up with six other recommended phrases for him.
Wow, have you lost weight?
Let’s sit down and plan a date night.
I’ll walk the dog tonight.
You are a wonderful mother.
Your mother is coming? Terrific!
To heck with the budget. Let’s go to Paris for a week.
Bonus comment: You are a fabulous driver. I love the way you parallel park.
Compensation: This is position is unpaid, and you will have our undying love and devotion.