Wednesday, January 18, 2006

"Keep Husband Around" Campaign

It occurred to me one day that, from time to time, we all feel underappreciated. This can especially happen if there are tasks in a marriage that fall primarily on one spouse or the other (lawn, cleaning, etc.)

So, since this is the USA and there is an instant fix for every problem (no matter how trivial), I propose the "Keep Husband Around" campaign. Not propaganda per se, but rather a proper allocation of credit, these signs can be left wherever a task has been accomplished that otherwise might go unnoticed. Here is an example of the understated design.

Of course for every task there should be a specific sign. To wit:


Jana Riess said...

I must say I bust my gut laughing when I returned home from a business trip on Monday and found this sign taped to our microwave.

Phil fixes lots of things around the house that I don't notice until HE goes on a business trip. I used to think that whenever he was away, the fates would conspire to make everything break at the same time. But then one day I realized that things are actually breaking every day. It's just that I don't notice it, since he quietly putters around and fixes them.

So I have no problem with the KHA propaganda campaign. However, I do have a quibble with the idea that you might fill my car with gas, Phil. You NEVER fill my car with gas. Come to think of it, you never fill YOUR car with gas. You are anti-gas. Or anti-planning. And somehow, it always seems to work out.

Love, Jana

Debra Rienstra said...


A great idea! I wonder, are you worried that women everywhere are going to start booting their husbands out because of Maureen Dowd's new book, Are Men Necessary?? Not a likely outcome.

Anyway, I can see two applications of the idea in our household. The first application would be a kind of quickly escalating, furious sign war, in which Ron and I compete to see who can paste up the most signs in a day. We could use color-coding for this: one color for the KHA signs and another for the KWA signs.

Second, I would like to have signs that read "Appreciate Your Parents," aimed at my children. "This meal brought to you, as usual, by your parents." "This ride to soccer practice courtesy of YOUR PARENTS." "These school supplies, magically appearing on your bed because YOUR PARENTS took a whole hour of their precious work time while you were at school to run ridiculous errands in LA traffic because they are YOUR PARENTS!"

Oh yeah. I know about feeling underappreciated...

Phil Smith said...

Thanks Deb, I hadn't heard about that book yet, so I guess we need signage now more than ever!

Parental appreciation is nice too, Jerusha has actually told us at bedtime of things she needed for school. At the moment we are doing the legwork for her birthday party this weekend, a complicated event at a local indoor pool with pizza, cake, etc., provided by, you guessed it, elves!

Dawn B said...

Too funny!
It suggests yet another campaign--the KPA campaign:
--This worship service brought to you by . . .your pastors.
Of course, many of the signs for the KPA campaign would have to be hung on people, which would become more problematic:
--This person's crisis discussed at length and prayed for by . . .your pastors.
(Was that the sound of a trumpet being blown?)

Andrew Burnett said...

This is fantastic, Phil! I know you're probably attached to engineering and all, but this could be the kind of pop-culture sensation you could retire early on. This could be the next Sudoku, or at least the next "Baby on Board."
Anybody else remember "Can-o-Man" from the Mad Scientists' Convention episode of the Tick? The spray can dispenses a hunk resembling the Brawny paper towel guy who can take care of any man-appropriate task and then evaporates, leaving only a piney scent. Now there would be some serious competition for Husband...

Ron Rienstra said...

Pop-culture sensation indeed! I am actually today working on personalizing the signs so that each member of the family has a stash of them to pull out when feeling unappreciated. We've been using the signs verbally for a couple weeks now, and the kids requested we have actual color-coded pieces of paper for them to use to draw attention to all they do around the house.

"These personalized signs brought to you by YOUR FATHER. Keep Dad Around campaign."