Marabel May, the narrator of The Complete Woman, is a character I was instantly addicted to and obsessed with. She’s a 1950’s housewife who talks dirty to her appliances, knits hats for her husband’s testicles, and makes to-do lists for herself that sound crazed, but still cheerful. She does it all in a Jackie-Kennedy-meets-Lucille-Ball voice that somehow conveys all of the absurdity of life as a woman in both the 1950’s and now and also makes you want to get real drunk on highballs with her. It normally takes me a little while to warm up to fiction podcasts like this, but just try and stop listening to Marabel narrate her day and give fake terrible advice on marriage, sex, relationships, and house cleaning. Then just try and describe her or get her out of your head.
The Complete Woman, Episode 1: Home is Where The Wife Is made me laugh out loud from somewhere deep inside of me that secretly thinks multiple times a day that being a housewife is the weirdest job I’ve ever had. I loud-snort-laughed on the drive to Target when she said, “As you can see from my story, it’s important to know yourself, but not too well. Stick to topics like your favorite color, or favorite flavor scone. Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself before you go to bed: What’s your favorite color? Do you like cake? What’s your favorite place to cry? How do you spell your first name?”
My car laugh in reaction to this podcast travelled through space and time, to the version of me that stayed up until midnight watching reruns of Leave it to Beaver and The Donna Reed Show on Nick At Night while my mother was driving home from her night classes for her graduate degree. I made her feel bad for being gone by staying up way past my bedtime on those nights, and she didn’t even have subversive, weird-dark-comedy podcasts to listen to and laugh at on her drive. She had NYPD Blue at 10 PM Eastern and freaking News Radio 88 all the way to Rutgers and back, and I was just being a little B.
This podcast might be perfect for you if:
- You’re having a weird day yourself, like one of those days when your kids managed to rip the air conditioner thermostat off the wall when it’s 97 degrees, you find out your husband has decided he’s really into trapeze porn and asks if you’d be into doing that, exclusively, and then some mom friend with a job that pays her money doesn’t call you back for three weeks and then posts a picture of herself with her coworkers on Instagram with one of those office-inside-jokes as a caption so you just want to barf.
- You need something to passively-aggressively recommend to a friend who has a kitchen island the size of your entire home and does everything Pinterest-perfectly and acts like it’s nbd. Blech.
- You like Amy Sedaris, ironically hate-watching The Real Housewives, you’ve read American Housewife by Helen Ellis ,or you follow her Twitter account, American Housewife.
- You’re a stay-at-home mom who sometimes narrates her day to herself or wonders what she’s done with her life, which, come on ladies, that’s all of us amiright?
- You’re actually doing household tasks if you want them to feel funny and hilarious, or a little weird.
- You watched Ali Wong’s stand-up and laugh-cried your way through it because you realized you’d never heard jokes like this before, like, ever.
- You’ve somehow read The Total Woman, the book this podcast apparently satirically references??? I sure know where I’m headed to snort-laugh next time I go to the library for another round of Pinkalicious books! Upstairs to nonfiction, kids, I have some 1950’s marriage advice to read!