Tag Archives: jealous husband

Genevieve, Whose Husband was Domestic: 1909

evenings at home 1919

Genevieve Whose Husband Was Domestic.

“I have been home fully fifteen minutes, Genevieve,” growls James. “Fully fifteen minutes, and here it is after 5 o’clock and no sign of dinner. You just getting home, too! I should think the entire day to yourself, galivanting about  was enough without staying out to such an hour! Where have you been?”

“Why, James, after I got the work done, I had to go down town to get your shirts ordered and to see about the children’s underwear for winter. Then I got a pattern for Jimmy-boy’s little coat that I’m going to make out of your old one. I hurried all I could and there’s plenty of time to get dinner. I’m not—so—very–tired.”

Genevieve has been dragging about the shops all afternoon with two babies. She always does, because James is certain that a good mother and a truly domestic woman would prefer to take care of her own babies, so they never kept a maid. “Useless extravagance,” said James, and he was a well-paid man, too. So domestic was James, besides. Quite the beau ideal of all Genevieve’s friends whose husbands were so depraved as to belong to lodges and smoke cigars and commit such like atrocities.

“How on earth you women find amusement in that eternal shopping! There, there. Let it go, say no more about it! Just get dinner right away. I’m hungry.” Shopping! And she got the children’s winter flannels and ordered James’ shirts, and had to run in an itemized account of her wild expenditure! Um!

“No, no,” continued sweet James to Jimmy-boy, aged three years, “no, no. papa’s tired. Run on out into the kitchen to mamma!”

Well! Jimmy-boy had been toddling about after mamma all afternoon and he was tired, too! So was mamma.

“Wa-a-yah-ow!” remarks Jimmy-boy.

“Genevieve, take that child out into the kitchen and get his coat off. Can’t you see he’s tired to death? Some people have no consideration for children,” cooes James, the dear, domestic husband.

Genevieve was ever such a belle before her James came along and gurgled at her about the ideal married life. A happy little home and a dear little wife was his text. No scouting about town for him when he had such a sweet girl as Genevieve waiting at home for him. And Genevieve looked upon her friends’ husbands who stayed out to lodge meetings and asked her friends themselves how about it, and they all said with one voice, “Genevieve, there’s nothing so calculated to make a woman happy as a really, truly domestic husband.”

Mother said so, too. And father remarked that James was a man after his own heart. But father belonged to two lodges and the G. A. R., bless him, and Genevieve wondered a bit and sort of shied at acquiring a hubby so much superior to the beloved daddy of her childhood and the companionable, let’s-get-out-among-’em father of her later years who took her every single place she wanted to go when there was no one else interfering around.

But she thought it must be all right. And James adored her. She was not yet wise enough to see that James adoring her was not quite the same as James being adorable or their both adoring each other, and that those missing matters might become conspicuous by their absence in the strain and stress of wedded life.

Well! So Genevieve married James. And now there was a Jenny-girl, aged six, and a Jimmy-boy, aged three, and Genevieve did all the work, except the washing, and took care of the children evenings after James went to bed at 8 o’clock, and enjoyed a hilarious life in general.

“Where did you go this afternoon?” says James.

“To the Ladies’ Aid meeting, James,” murmurs Genevieve.

“Does that take all afternoon? Where else were you?”

“Why, I stopped at mother’s a few minutes on the way home,” murmurs Genevieve.

“John Handy said he saw you downtown without the children at about half-past 4?” And James gazed upon her with an inquiring frown.

“Yes, mother wanted me to do a little shopping for her and I left the children with her while I went.”

“What on earth did your mother want that she couldn’t get herself?” (Thoughtful husband!)

“Why, she could have got the things, but she thought I’d enjoy the walk by myself.”

“By yourself! Well, of all the unnatural ideas! A woman with her heart in the right place could not bear to be away from her babies like that!” sniffed James.

No, Genevieve does not throw the coffee pot at him. She has been trained by generations of domestic women and by a circle of domesticated friends to believe that a man who pays the bills and stays home nights is the ideal husband. It would be wrong to crack a perfectly good ideal with a coffee pot.

But some days when James inquires who it was bowed to her on the street at half past 3 o’clock that afternoon, and who she saw in the stores, and why she stopped to talk to that blessed preacher when she knew he was waiting for her to come and take care of the children so he could get his Sunday afternoon nap, and if she thinks anybody is going to look at her that she togs herself out in that silly style–some time, some time, something is going to happen to that dear, devoted husband, who never belonged to a naughty club in his life, never smoked, never drank, thinks games of chance are of the devil and stays at home every night of his life with his dear little wifie.

Because, dear little wifie is a natural born widow, anyway!

The Sunday Star [Washington DC] 21 November 1909, Part 4: p. 2

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire:  Mrs Daffodil has observed that the men who are most vigilant and suspicious (has James hired one of the Pinkertons to discover who bowed to Genevieve on the street at half past 3 o’clock?) are those who themselves have something to hide. Mrs Daffodil would not be surprised to find that the domestic paragon James is a good deal naughtier than he pretends, and, in fact, has installed another family in a happy little home in a nearby neighbourhood, where he is known as a hardware drummer who spends much of his time on the road.  Some time, something is going to happen, indeed….

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdote

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.

“Kiss My Wife or Fight Me”: 1862

Kiss My Wife or Fight Me.

There are few married men who are not averse to seeing their wives kissed, but an exchange relates the particulars of a case in which a newly wedded Benedict felt himself insulted because his wife wasn’t kissed. The bridegroom in question was a stalwart young rustic, who was known as a formidable operator in a free fight. His bride was a beautiful and blooming young girl, only sixteen years of age, and the twain were at a party, where a number of young folks were enjoying themselves in the good old fashioned pawn-playing style. Every girl in the room was called out and kissed, except B., the beautiful young bride aforesaid, and although there was not a youngster present who was not dying to taste her lips, they were restrained by the presence of her herculean husband who stood regarding the party with a sullen look of dissatisfaction. They mistook the cause, however, for suddenly he expressed himself.

Rolling up his sleeves he stepped into the middle of the room, and in a tone that secured marked attention, said: “Gentlemen, I have been noticing how things have been working for some time, and I ain’t half satisfied. I don’t want to raise a fuss, but—“

“What’s the matter, John?” inquired half a dozen voices. “What do you mean? Have I done anything to hurt your feelings?”

“Yes, you have; all of you have hurt my feelings, and I’ve just got this to say about it. Here’s every girl in the room has been kissed near a dozen times a piece, and there’s my wife, who I consider as likely as any of ‘em has not had a single one to-night; and I just tell you now, if she don’t get as many kisses the balance of the night as any gal in the room, the man that slights her has got me to fight—that’s all. Now go ahead with your play!”

If Mrs. B. was slighted during the balance of the evening, we did not know it. As for ourselves we know that John had no fault to find with us individually, for any neglect on our part.

Newark [NJ] Daily Advertiser 28 October 1862: p. 2

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Kissing games, with their delightful transgression of normal social restraint, were, as one might expect, exceedingly popular. In this case, a particularly mirthful frisson was added to the programme:

A new seaside sensation is the “kissing game,” in which a blindfolded gentleman is to be kissed by a lady, whose name he is to guess. The kissing, however, is done by a beardless gentleman, and when various ladies are named by the blinded victim as the authors of his felicity, the merriment naturally grows intense.

Mirror and Farmer [Manchester NH] 3 October 1874: p. 6

Things, of course, might go wrong with such a fraught frolic:  broken marriages, fatal transmission of smallpox and diphtheria, hat-pin stabbings, and clerical fisticuffs when objections were made to a kissing game at a church social: all are found in the historical record.  Mrs Daffodil was also struck by the extraordinary number of deaths associated with the entertainment and it is refreshing to find that Mr B. was not about to add to their number.

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.