A couple of notes about this piece: First, it is experimental satire. Second, it is intended to be read as a brochure. With thanks to Rowan, it appears as a brochure below in jpeg format (just imagine it printed front and back and then folded). Click on each image to enlarge. If the font is too tiny or you’re reading this from a mobile device, scroll down for the plain text version. Special thanks to my collaborators–Rowan, Silver Leaf, and Genna–for their sharp edits and suggestions. I was fortunate to work with these three generous souls through Yeah Write‘s “Silver Lounge Workshop” this summer.
You’re Getting Married!
Tips from Vanguard Patriarch Ministries on Being a Wife
Congratulations! When you walk down the aisle at Vanguard Patriarch Ministries, you will embrace a return to God’s love that places your Husband at the center of your household. You will be freed from all the daily decision-making; your Husband knows best what plans God has for your home. Your purpose in life, as we celebrate daily in our Church, is to raise a new army of believers—a quiver full of arrows—who will lead our Church in spiritual warfare.
As your new Husband carries you across the threshold and you awaken from your former lost, corrupt and lonely life to become a loving and deferential wife, here are some helpful tips to consider:
- Your body now belongs to God and your Husband. Ideally, you’ll come into your marriage a virgin. However, if you are recently born-again to Vanguard Patriarch Ministries we realize you probably engaged in fornication in your former life, so we remind you to throw out the contraceptives! Only God can determine when your womb opens and closes. And an open womb is a happy womb.
- Your Husband’s opinions, plans, household rules, and decisions are always right. Support him in whatever he says, no matter how you feel inside. Ask for God’s help if you feel yourself questioning your Husband. When in public, smile and say something encouraging when your husband speaks, although it is best to be silent.
- Your Husband knows best what you need. You may not realize how selfish you sound when you beg for ice cream, chocolate, or “your own space” in your Husband’s house, especially when your Husband is working all day for your benefit. Put another way, your Husband and God provide for you so that you may selflessly devote yourself to your family.
- Be fastidious and well mannered. It is a shame that “feminism” has prevented so many of our young women from polishing their manners in charm school, but the good news is that Vanguard Patriarch Ministries is planning a series of charm-school workshops, just for women like you!
- Know your enemy: feminists. Also: Liberals. Democrats. Miss Piggy. Massachusetts. If you must use the Internet, we encourage you to spread this message. For example, you can join thousands of women who have rightfully rejected feminism. Just post a picture of yourself with a sign saying why you don’t need feminism. Then post it here: http://womenagainstfeminism.tumblr.com/ One of our favorites: “Adam was born first!”
- Defer to your Husband on all political, financial, educational, societal, animal, vegetable, mineral, and church matters. If your Husband permits you to vote in political elections, be sure to fill out your ballot as he instructs, or better yet, simply sign the ballot he or your minister fills out for you! Do not respond to pollsters who call your house in the middle of the day. Do not sign petitions.
- Your place is in the home and the home belongs to your Husband. We’re not talking about keeping you “barefoot and pregnant” – no wife should walk around the house barefoot. It is slatternly and reflects badly on your Husband should he decide to bring a guest home to meet the children.
- “Be fruitful and multiply. Pregnancy is your gift to the Church.” That’s our motto. You are raising up an army of Christian soldiers who will one day take our country back. The more children we produce, the sooner we will return to a demographic majority and a God-centered constitution.
- Homeschool is how you train your army of little soldiers. Each morning after you don a snappy housecoat, iron your Husband’s shirt, take out the trash, fetch the newspaper, and make breakfast, you should gather your children around for reading, writing, arithmetic, and Bible studies unhampered by diversity or socialist state curriculum requirements. Vanguard Patriarch Ministries has an approved K-12 curriculum, and complementary textbooks.
- Develop a practical beauty routine. Being pregnant at all times will give your skin a healthy maternal glow. For those times in between pregnancies, the Vanguard Patriarch Ministries has a new line of conservative cosmetics: Vanguard for Her. All proceeds benefit the church.
- Cleanliness is godliness. Need we say more?
- Before your Husband returns home from work, make sure you have completed all of the tasks he assigned for the day. Then plan a nutritious, righteous meal and change into something more feminine, like a fetching shift and a pair of flattering pumps. A woman should not wear clothes designed for a man. Freshen up your makeup with Vanguard for Her.
- Show your Husband that you respect him by submitting to his leadership, especially in public. Submission may seem hard at first. Just remember that this is God’s way of settling conflict: He created women to be helpmates. Smile and place your hand in his as you walk together. If you feel there is nothing to respect, ask yourself what you’re doing wrong.
- Finally, before your wedding day, consider burning your books, especially the poetry, but keep this one line from Adrienne Rich’s “Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law” in your head: She shaves her legs until they gleam / like petrified mammoth-tusk. It will inspire you in days to come.
Good luck, young bride-to-be!
*SQUEEEEEEAL! This was wickedly good! Loved it and laughed the entire time. I should send a box of brochures to my home town. They wouldn’t even get the fact that it’s satire 😉
I’ve told you before, you have stories inside you dear Meg…I’m glad we met so I can read ’em as you print ’em. xo
Haaahaaa! Yes, I was inspired by my neighbors, the Nazarene Church. Glad you found it to be a hoot. It was fun (but HARD — I had no idea how hard satire is) to write. Thanks, Michelle! xoxo
I’m afraid writing satire is TOO easy for me. Not good–just easy. It’s my go-to when I have writer’s block. In fact, I started writing it when I did the “advice column” for our school newspaper (I was in third grade!)
The “editor” was a 6th grade boy who I thought walked on water with his wavy brown hair and beautiful eyes. He hated my responses and marked them as being too mean. He may have scarred me for life, but taught me an early lesson in being gently sarcastic vs hurtful. Writing satire is a delicate balance and you managed to do it so well!
So thrilled to have spent that week in the silver lounge with you. You’re just amazing and so is this! xo
I can’t thank you enough, Silverleaf. You, Genna and Rowan are co-writers on this. It was wonderful working with you. What a great group we had.
I laughed so hard at this! It sounds so familiar to a prior life of mine, and let me say, you nailed it!
So glad you were able to laugh (not that you might have actually experienced any of it)! Oh, how they hate Massachusetts. I have no idea if they hate Miss Piggy but the thought of it makes me laugh. Thanks for reading, Natalie! <3
Wow! This has come a long way from when I first saw it in the Bronze lounge. I’m so glad you stuck with it! What a fun piece, full of creative turns of phrase. I particularly liked: “Only God can determine when your womb opens and closes. And an open womb is a happy womb.” LORD!
Thanks so much, Lisa! It really came through because of editing help…lots of editing help…in the bronze lounge and then later in silver with Silverleaf, Genna and Rowan. It was a wonderful experience, and I almost gave up on it. Glad I didn’t.
This is amazing! You totally nailed it!
Thank you, Stacie! So good to see your smiley cartoon face!
So well done. I remember the draft you shared in the bronze lounge. This has come a long way – a consistent tone throughout really brings home the point. Brava!
Thanks, Cyn. As I’ve noted in comments above, it was thanks to the bronze and silver workshop folks! Really appreciate your kind words.
This is such a fantastic piece, may I reblog it to my followers?
Absolutely, you may! Thanks, Heather!
Reblogged this on Trials of a wanna-be-published writer and commented:
A tongue-in-cheek look at marriage from a fellow FFC52 participant. Meg is a fantastic talent, check her blog out if you haven’t already. I guarantee that you won’t regret it 🙂
Thanks so much, Heather!
You’re very welcome, it was an excellent post!