Benjamin Franklin is given a lot of credit for helping promote the ideals of the middle class in the New World. These were ideals that he embodied as much as possible, and which he looked for in a spouse. Here comes Deborah Read. By most accounts, Deborah was not an exceptional beauty. There was not a lustful passion or physical attraction that drove them together. Rather, it was more a union of practicality. Deborah needed someone to take care of her, and Benjamin needed someone to take care of him. Benjamin Franklin was a very pragmatic person, you see. He didn’t like to get into things that had no practical application or benefit. That’s why he invented the lightning rod and bifocals and a weird stove and a bunch of other super practical stuff.
But I digress. I bring these things up to mention my House Husband motto: Frugal. Industrious. Resourceful. For these are things that Benjamin Franklin loved most about his Deborah. Not only did she clean the house, but she kept the finances for his printing business. Not only did she cook the meals, but she also helped to run the family business. When the people of Philadelphia mobbed their house on Market Street because they thought Benjamin to be a British loyalist, did Deborah grab a frying pan? No, she grabbed a rifle. And while I am wholly subscribed to pacifism and non-violent response, her resourcefulness cannot help but be admired.
Benjamin Franklin wrote and spoke in praise of these attributes of his wife often. Not only frugal, but also industrious. Not only industrious, but also resourceful.
As a House Husband, these words mean a lot to me. I keep track of our budget: frugal. I make the most of my time outside of my full-time job: industrious. I use what we already have to improve of our lot: resourceful. As a Hipster, these words give me license to do weird hipster things. I ride mopeds to save on gas: frugal. I make things by hand when they can easily be purchased: industrious. I repurpose trash into usable items: resourceful.
These words will come up often because I use them to help guide my days. They also make me look smart because I get to talk about Benjamin Franklin, a topic on which I am obviously very educated.