The Alabama Housewife

The Alabama Housewife

Words by Mary Alayne B. Long
Illustration by Nathalie Maxey

What should you do if you are at a seated luncheon or supper and you’re served a meal you don’t like or can’t eat? I feel like it is rude to simply sit there not eating. 
You are correct—that would be very rude indeed. If you find yourself in front of a plate filled with things you dislike (for whatever reason) the polite thing to do is to cut your food up and move it around on your plate acting as though you are actually eating. Hopefully you will find a bite or two that you can get down to perfect your charade. The main goal is to be sure your host or hostess does not feel uncomfortable for including you and then serving a meal you can’t take part in. 

What do you think about the Covid-19 vaccine? Will you get one? 
My husband likes to say I’m a witchdoctor because I do all I can to avoid commercial pharmaceutical medications. However, when I need them, I take them. Sometimes there’s no other good remedy. Regarding the vaccine, I will first say it should be a personal choice. Not a government requirement. And I think it is very wrong to require it for travel, school or work. I will also tell you to do your own research. Read the vaccine inserts and learn about how they affect each person differently. Decide for yourself what’s best for your personal health and don’t let anyone else sway you—not even me. Personally, I have only seen reasons to avoid it so for now, it’s a big fat no for me. 

Is it okay to use labels on your wedding invitations? My sister had some printed for me but I’m against it. 
Your sister is very sweet to want to help you with your wedding, but we need to find her another job. Wedding invitations should be hand addressed and labels are not appropriate. You don’t have to spend money on a professional calligrapher; nice, neat handwriting is perfectly fine. If it’s too big of a job to tackle on your own, round up some friends and family who have lovely handwriting and ask them over for an afternoon of envelopes and hors d’oeuvres.

My husband was married to his childhood sweetheart right out of high school. It lasted two years, they had no children and there were no hard feelings. We have been happily married for 23 years and have three children and all these years later he still mentions his ex wife from time to time in conversations with others. It makes me crazy, and he knows it. How can I finally get him to stop? 
I don’t even know your husband and I want to punch him in the throat. I also want to pinch you on the back of the arm for letting this go on so long. YOU have the power to stop this and you know it. You might find it a bit inconvenient or unpleasant, but you—and only you—can bring this behavior to a close. Find something he can’t do without, take it away from him, and don’t let him have it back until he learns how to act. You know better than I do what that might be. 

As a recent college graduate, applying for jobs looks different than I expected. How should I prepare for a Zoom interview?
Regardless of whether you’re interviewing in person or through a zoom call, you still need to look your best. A nice outfit, neat hair and nails and of course, your best smile. When it comes to zoom calls, take a minute to make sure your surroundings are neat as well. A messy, cluttered space in the background will not speak well for you. Even if you have to carve out a corner and set the scene, make sure you do. Turn off your phone and the television, and put your pets in another room. And for goodness sake be certain you have good lighting. If you are across the desk from a prospective employer or across the city, it won’t matter as long as your personality still shines through.