“No house husband can ever be fully satisfied until he has done everything he can in service of his matron.” - Madame Bursage
House Husbands are often misunderstood by the people of other islands, assuming the position is similar to that of a butler, maid, or estate manager.
They are never given charge over the financial affairs of the estate, and while domesticity and comestible artistry is expected of any house-husband, his central duty is always the well-being and comfort of his matron.
Precise duties will vary greatly depending on the size of the household. Large and affluent houses will possess hundreds of males as part of their estate, allowing the House-Husband to dedicate his time fully to his matron. Meanwhile, in smaller families, the House-Husband will take over a larger share of the cleaning, dining, and landscaping duties as needed.
Managing the well-being of a matron is akin to playing a fine instrument. Each instrument is distinct and nuanced and must be understood intimately by the artist in order to reach its full potential.
Experience, observation, and time are the best resources to use when arranging the environment to suit a matron's current needs. While there are several schools of thought on the matter, the most commonly accepted methodology to environment tailoring, is known as the:
PLANTS is a mnemonic device that stands for Perfume, Light, Also Nutrition, Temperature, and Sound.
A matron's sense of smell is far more sensitive than a man's and is intimately connected to her perception of her surroundings.
It is not sufficient to merely remove offensive odors. The skillful use of incense will tailor the aromas to suit her current mental state. When your matron is feeling happy and confident, enhance the sensation of grapefruit, lemon, ylang-ylang, bay laurel, cypress or rosemary.
When your matron requires her memory, focus, and concentration to be at their peak, always use basil, rosemary, hyssop or peppermint.
If your matron is feeling anxiety, stress, or panic, use frankincense, patchouli, rose or Clary sage to help alleviate it.
If your matron is feeling sadness or depression, use bergamot, grapefruit, geranium, jasmine, lavender or orange as a way to boost her mood.
If your matron is feeling insecure and fearful, cedarwood, vetiver, sandalwood or neroli to help lessen thoughts of inadequacy and self-doubt.
A matron's eyes are sensitive to high light levels, causing discomfort, while low light levels will make her feel drowsy. Not only must the intensity of light be controlled, but also its duration. While each matron's body is different, generally 9 hours of indirect sunlight daily is ideal for emotional balance.
In the winter months when the days are shorter the use of a crystal light box should be used in the early morning to reach the required levels.
In the summer months, shade should be introduced in the early afternoon to avoid excess.
No other topic is more controversial than this, as it involves the careful balancing of two opposing principals neither of which can ever be fully ignored. Maintaining balanced nourishment is essential to your matron's health and liveliness, and must be managed carefully. At the same time dining is a social and personal experience, and you must allow your matron the freedom to follow her cravings and impulses, and provide a varied and vibrant experience for her.
If your matron is feeling stress or anxiety, increasing the allocation of bread, pasta, and fruit can help alleviate it.
If your matron is feeling sadness or depression, include extra portions of nuts, seeds, and gourds to boost her mood. Please Note: It is never necessary to offer sweets, cremes, and chocolates, your matron will ask for them without any prompting from you.
If your matron is feeling fatigued, expand her intake of legumes, poultry, eggs, and milk to increase her energy levels.
Matrons have a slower metabolic rate than men do. While this conserves energy and means that they require less food, it also means that they can become cold much easier then men do.
It has often been stated that a matron can freeze to death at room temperature, and while this is technically true clearly the fault lies with the room and not the matron.
If your matron wants you to sit on the couch next to her so she can place her frozen feet underneath your bottom, you should allow her to do so for as long as she requires. Please Note: Complaining about this habit is not permitted, no matter how uncomfortable it might make you feel.
The best solution is to preempt temperature drops so that she is never cold in the first place.
Fireplaces should be stoked and ready at least half an hour before your matron arises in the morning, and within ten minutes of dusk at night.
Controlling the noise levels is an important part of creating a pleasant and relaxing environment for your matron. This applies to both active noises and ambient background noises as well.
Matrons are particularly sensitive to the sound of children crying and will be woken from even a deep sleep very quickly if they do not perceive that the problem is being rectified. While this is beneficial when the children belong to your matron, it can cause a problem if the child belongs to a neighbor.
The most secure way to alleviate this problem is to place your bed in the same room as your matron, and at the first sign of a neighbor child crying, you must immediately get up and leave the room. This will prevent your matron from waking fully as her subconscious assumes that you are correcting the problem. Be sure to return to your bed within five minutes, so that you may get up again as many times as is necessary during the night.
Advice for Young House-Husbands
There is nothing more precious that you will ever care for than the heart of a Matron. Nothing you ever hold will be as strong, as delicate, as beautiful, and as mysterious. Always remember, your duty is not to understand, your duty is to love and cherish, to love and accept, to abide and sustain.
Of all the gifts of Milia, gratitude is the most beautiful. It enlivens the heart, awakens the senses, brightens the mind, and focuses the heart. Water your matron with appreciation, fill her heart with your gratitude, and it will bloom into the most lovely of all harvests.
Thank her for her presence, her loyalty, her wisdom. Show it with words, say it with posture, and express it with promptness. A wise house-husband will wield sincerity like satin, never like steel.
The soil of a woman’s heart requires trust to nourish it. Practice speaking the truth, even when you are ashamed, even when you are disappointed, and especially when you are hurt. If she cannot trust you to be forthright when it is difficult to say, she cannot fully trust your words when they are easy to say. Truth is not a blade, it is a path. Stay on it, never deviating, and she will walk that path with you until the end of time. Never use truth as an excuse to be harsh, cruel, or demeaning. Even the hardest words can be made soft with tone and intent. If your heart brims with love for her, so will your words also.
Always Present Yourself Well
A woman of Wysteria is the most refined, elegant, and proper soul one can attain in mortality. You do not have to possess exceptional looks or physique to present yourself in a handsome and comely manner. Never place your matron in a position where she might feel the need to apologize for your appearance. Be mindful to schedule duties and chores in such a way as to give yourself ample time to bathe and readjust your clothes should the need to entertain guests present itself.
Encourage Her to Foster Meaningful Friendships
While the bonds of family and friendship provide the most fulfilling and sacred feelings in life, a women’s heart requires the loving support of extended family and friends. Their occasional contact enriches the depts and breadth of her experiences, providing a support network essential for her emotional and financial health, as well as safeguarding against the ever-present threat of monotony and over-repetition. Like the cycle of the seasons, encourage her to meet new people, experience new things, visit new places, that she may appreciate what she has and glorify in the blessing of Milia in her life.
Mind Your Words
Beware hyperbole. If you find yourself about to say "You always..." or "You never..." such a phrase is almost certainly to be false. Always measure twice and cut once, for a stroke cannot be recalled once loosed. Even more so with the tongue, measure thrice before you cut. Consider the impact your words will have, and measure them against the virtue of silence. If once measured they are found wanting, leave them be and move on immediately.
Follow the Current of the River
Only death is consistent and unchanging. Your matron emotions will have peaks and valleys, rapids and swells, stillness and swiftness. You may find that one day she cannot bear to part with you for even a moment, her eyes tearfully pleading for you to remain with her for even a moment longer, while the next day she cannot stand the sight of you. Remember the peaks when you are in the valleys, remember the stillness when the currents become swift. When winter comes, await the spring, which will come as inevitably as the rising of the sun, and be grateful for it when it arrives.
All too often, we find ourselves taking advantage of those closest to us because we believe that the consequences will be lessened. We fear the approbate of strangers, so we treat them more kindly than we do those we care most about. Work to reverse this trend. The opinion of strangers has the least influence on our lives, so it should be weighed accordingly. Begin your day by asking "What can I do today to make my matron happy?" And do accordingly.
Know When to do Nothing
It is our first instinct as men to desire to fix whatever problem ails our matron. This is commendable, but not always proper. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, doing nothing is often exactly what you should do. Listening is doing. Listening is fixing. There are fears, anger, resentments, desires, and frustrations that she can voice to none other but you. When this happens, consider it a mark of respect, for she is trusting you with her most vulnerable self, her most delicate layer. Listen carefully, try to understand how she is feeling, and express your understanding, then stop, and allow her to continue.
Let Her Fly
No one is in a better position than you are to help your matron achieve her dreams. Kindle her aspirations, stoke her passions, encourage her ardor. Believe in her, for she is a manifestation of Milia’s divinity. Trust in her, for her capability is limitless. Support her, for your backing, can be the very thing that lifts her up enough for the wind to catch her wings and let her soar. And as you watch her fly, thank the goddess in your heart that you were privileged enough to witness something so glorious.