I was on Facebook yesterday—not to brag, but I use Facebook pretty much every day—and after browsing friends' posts about everything from sea bunny slugs (OMG!) to rum-centric plans for POG juice, I spotted the following from my friend Chelsea:
Surely it is, Chelsea, I thought. Even a publication with a name that has always made my domestically challenged heart sink every time I look at it must have a sense of satire, and this must be an example of it, right?
I mean, what contemporary women's publication would sincerely tell you what not to do in the presence of a man who, despite loving you enough to marry you, will question that love if, as the thumbnail implies, you pop a zit within eyeshot?
Good Housekeeping would, apparently.
I clicked through to find a slightly more lenient headline. And by that, I mean there were still 15 things you shouldn't do, but now you shouldn't do them in front of your significant other. That significant other is definitely still male, though, as the only pronoun used for the potentially offended partner throughout the gif-filled listicle is "he."
As I read it, I got really confused. Some of the things you shouldn't do in front of your hubnificant othsband are things you probably wouldn't do at all, ever, if you're a decent, considerate person; others are things that, while they may not be behaviors everyone would feel comfortable doing around their partner, some definitely would, and it's just plain strange to me (and Chelsea, and Chelsea's fiancé, and everyone else who commented in disbelief when Chelsea shared the link) that this kind of advice would be given to women across the board for the sake of keeping their relationship as perfect as possible.
I almost have to wonder, after the attention O magazine's crop-top dictate received, if Good Housekeeping is trolling us for the sake of getting some press—in which case, they got me hook, line and sinker.
However, even with the attempts at (not particularly humorous) humor, there seems to be a sincere sense of old-fashioned how-to-keep-your-man-by-bowdlerizing-yourself advice-giving in this list.
So I challenge those of you who identify as women and are in serious relationships with men to actually do all 15 things Good Housekeeping says you should never do in front of them, just to toy with the nation's divorce rate. Here's what those 15 things are.
1. Put on Spanx.
Good Housekeeping's reason: "Some things just can't be unseen."
Reason you should, though: Even though GH believes that the sight of you putting on Spanx will burn a scar-like memory into your man's brain, I think any guy that appreciates science would be impressed with seeing shapewear technology in action, and it's also a perfect time to discuss powerful female entrepreneurs like Spanx founder Sarah Blakely, the world's youngest self-made billionaire.
2. Facebook stalk an ex.
Good Housekeeping's reason: "You're basically saying: 'Never break up with me or I'll haunt you forever.'"
Reason you should, though: You're also basically saying you may not be over your ex, and that's something you might want to consider talking openly and honestly about. Doing this could trigger an important conversation about the current state and future of your relationship, as opposed to allowing you to continue pretending you love your current dude as much as your last one.
3. Be rude to a waiter.
Good Housekeeping's reason: "Nothing screams 'terrible person' like a bad tipper who's impolite to a server, bartender, or other service staff."
Reason you should, though: If you're a terrible person, he should probably find out sooner rather than later.
4. Drink from the carton.
Good Housekeeping's reason: "'Don't ask, don't tell' seems to be the best policy here."
Reason you should, though: I mean, you're presumably doing much more scandalous things to each other with your respective mouths. I'm not saying you should drink from the carton right after a BJ, but what's the big deal if you're already intimate? And it's not even that GH is saying you shouldn't do it at all; they're saying do it if you do it, just not in front of him, because letting him think you don't do things you actually do is a totes healthy way to have a relationship.
Good Housekeeping's reason: "Are you at a sports game? No? Then, let's use our inside voices."
Reason you should, though: I can think of hundreds of non "sports game" reasons to yell. Maybe he's in another room and you need him to help you do something that men are better at, for example; how will he hear you if you're trying to protect his sensitive man ears by maintaining a ladylike volume at all times?
Also, better advice: Never say "sports game."
6. Eat a Chipotle burrito.
Good Housekeeping's reason: "Oh, the lime rice. The back-for-good (we hope!) carnitas. The distended cheeks."
Reason you should, though: Because you're allowed to enjoy some fucking food in front of a fucking man, Yeezus Feist. Distended cheeks? Heaven forbid they're filled with yummy, life-sustaining foodstuff that you're in the middle of chewing in order to not choke—must keep the face looking slim at all times!
Also, Chipotle burritos make great jerk filters.
7. Mock a child.
Good Housekeeping's reason: "Nobody likes a meanie."
Reason you should, though: See #3.
8. Trim (or bite!) your toenails on the sofa.
Good Housekeeping's reason: "Just. Ew."
Reason you should, though: This kind of thing does skeeve out a lot of people on a visceral level, so you may want to ask your partner if it bothers Him, just out of considerateness. However, if you're comfortable with each other, and especially if he does it, too, there's no reason not to enjoy chewing on your own foot on your own sofa if that's what you're into.
9. Talk badly about how he was raised.
Good Housekeeping's reason: "You or his mom? Guess who wins."
Reason you should, though: Again, see #3. (But seriously, do people do this?)
10. Leave the bathroom door open.
Good Housekeeping's reason: "Pretty much everything that's meant to happen in there—using the toilet, putting in tampons, etc.—should probably stay in there."
Reason you should, though: Personally, I close the bathroom door even though I live alone. But like #8, this boils down to personal comfort and consideration. And come to think of it, it might boil down to paraphilia, too. Talk about it—things could get interesting.
11. Be a [drunken] mess.
Good Housekeeping's reason: "He's probably OK to take care of you, but don't push it."
Reason you should, though: It's kind of romantic when a guy holds your hair back as you puke...?
12. Floss your teeth outside the bathroom.
Good Housekeeping's reason: "Imagine if those tiny flecks of food get stuck around the house. [shudders]"
Reason you should, though: Listen, if you're flossing, you're ahead of the dental game. Your dentist would be so proud of you! Maybe you should marry your dentist instead. Anyway, clean up the food flecks and you're good.
13. Forget to say "excuse me."
Good Housekeeping's reason: "Sure, belching and passing gas may be unavoidable. But manners, manners!"
Reason you sh... OK, just STFU with this one, GH.
14. Flirt with someone else.
Good Housekeeping's reason: "Whether you're just having fun or trying to make someone jealous, it's never cool."
Reason you should, though: Flirting is subjective. Some guys will see it as flirting if you confirm with the male Rite Aid cashier that you want cash back during a debit purchase. And hey, the paraphilia thing applies here, too; some guys are super-into cuckolding. Have a conversation.
15. Drop hints through YouTube.
Good Housekeeping's reason: Following a gif of a puppy trying to play with an infant: "Want a baby or a puppy that bad? Have an actual conversation."
Reason you should, though: If you can find a YouTube video about "having an actual conversation," like GH says here and like I've been suggesting with various things on this list, definitely send him that one. If someone has made it to "significant other" level, you should be able to talk about pretty much anything, including how ridiculous so many of these Good Housekeeping suggestions are.
And if he doesn't want to see you eating a burrito, I can recommend a good divorce attorney.