The Perfect Gift



The book pictured above


The Perfect Hostess by Rose Henniker Heaton


was given to us

by my aunt

whose father

Alfred E. Taylor

illustrated it

it is a humorous guide

for women

who are entering into married life

and may have that curious ambition

and aesthetic

known as

wanting to be the perfect wife

my aunt

felt that it was

the perfect gift


donate to the newly engaged couple

that we were

shortly afterwards

when we tied the knot which binds

she gave us a beautiful bowl

which did not survive the years

of our marriage

as the book has done

some things last

while others pass

like years…

on your fifth year

Happy Anniversary

the traditional gift

you’re supposed to offer

your significant other



which is

one of

the greatest substances in the world

soft and hard

flexible and inflexible

able to change form

and provide your marital home

with many wonderful things

like furniture

cooking utensils

a fire on the hearth

the structure which keeps a roof over your head

the flooring beneath your pattering feet



also known as

the greatest adventures in the world

held in your hands

as you sit in a rocking chair

in the kitchen

by the fire

waiting for your biscuits to burn




3 thoughts on “The Perfect Gift

  1. Oh my. This reminds me of a book I also received from an aunt as an engagement present. But there was no humor intended. She was dead serious. The book was dead serious. (It might as well have been The Handmaid’s Tale or the Stepford Wives)

    It was called Fascinating Womanhood and I was supposed to adhere to it religiously if I wnted to “keep my man”. I was also supposed to take the classes at the local “ward”.

    Here’s the Wikipedia page on it…


    • Thank you for sharing!

      I find it interesting that the Wiki page for that book states that the author was inspired to write it when “she felt her own marriage wasn’t the romantic love affair she had dreamed of”. It sounds as though she couldn’t accept the relationship as it was, let it evolve on its own, and wanted to find a way to manipulate and control it, make it become what she dreamed of it being. So many relationship books aimed at women seem to be about ‘how to be a puppetmaster’ rather than how to go with the flow.

      The best relationship advice I ever got came from a dream which told me to ignore the advice, interference and gossip of others.

      Liked by 1 person

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