The sun is setting and if you aren’t tucked safely inside the home of your husband, parents, or great-male-relative-of-some-sort who reluctantly agreed at your father’s dying breath to become your negligent yet domineering custodian, run! Get inside, you dastardly girl! Nighttime is upon us and we shan’t have you womenfolk scampering about, tempting perverts, phantoms, or gentlemen in general with your feminal vapors.
Plus, a very involved nighttime routine awaits, for ladies must assure their youth is preserved at whatever time cost, energy loss, or blood sacrifice. Now stop fiddling about with this hedonistic “reading of novels” – I’ll have you know plenty of girls have been placed in asylums for that very reason.
Be sure to follow these routines with the utmost care. Now, off to bed!
Remember to abstain from ingesting food after 6 o’clock in the evening to prevent puffing of the face, public flatulence, and private flatulence (the Lord is always watching). If hunger pains put one at risk of a fainting spell, it is permitted to masticate and then spit out three rye crackers, or chew on the knowledge that even though marriage is an arcane system that undermines equality, you will be judged harshly if you remain unwed at age 30.
Under no circumstance shall you obtain an axe or poison to hide under your pillow. You cannot inherit the family fortune nor gain independence by means of homicide, maniacal or otherwise.
Upon retiring to your room, face your mirror and stare at your reflection for a full minute. Do not move! It is vital for ladies to have a meditative moment; stillness replenishes the skin after a full day of smiling at men’s “jokes” or fighting the urge to give everyone a piece of your mind. Don’t be so presumptuous – when were you allowed a mind?
Standing before a mirror also serves as effective demon detection: did you suddenly twitch, or shudder from the memory of a rape joke? Wash that arrogance away, with haste! The countertop should be well-stocked with rose water (for everyday use), holy water (for those pesky mirror apparition days), and a vial of your own tears (for when you’re menstruating). Use appropriately when cleansing.
Procure a tissue and expel excess mucus. Throw the tissue on the floor. Any person or thing that dares enter your private quarters during the night shall slip and fall, giving you enough time to scream “Lord, someone help me!” right before you hogtie them/it with the ligatures that you fashioned from the drapes (you’ve been practicing — idle hands are the devil’s tools after all). If you want something done, the Lord is busy, so do it thyself!
At the far corner of the room you will find a permanent blanket fort. Crawl into the fort, assure no light touches your skin, and undress. This is the only suitable environment for bearing your complete nudity. Do not overindulge in this moment of liberation, for soon you’ll attract profane notions regarding the Popular vote and the Equal Rights Amendment. Dress into your bedgown at once!
After exiting the Fortress of Nudity, it’s time for a nightcap – hands off the bourbon! Indeed, being a woman can be quite stifling, so these frenzied night terrors are a necessary evil for screaming off steam. However, to prevent those tresses from matting after hours of tossing and turning, a silk hat is to be worn. Covering your entire head with an old sweater will suffice as well.
Imagine that you are a slice of bread, and fire is aging. What gets burned first? The edges, of course. Or, if found reading those books again, all of you will be burned. Hopefully this analogy did not arouse an appetite because, and I’m appalled how many times this bears repeating – no food! Drink some herbal tea and cease that unseemly stomach gurgling! Extend your extremities and anything outside your bedgown receives the lotion treatment. For propriety’s sake, the only sections that should be exposed are from knee to toe, elbow to fingers, and collar-bone to brow; you must remain dry with stoic abstinence everywhere else. Lather the approved sections with a concentrated moisturizer. Shea butter works wonders, as well as Vaseline-based creams, though the rendered fat of an unrequited love lifts the spirits as well as one’s complexion.
Electricity usage is absolutely forbidden after 8 o’clock in the evening, for blue light impedes beauty sleep. Considering the copious cups of tea you swigged (very unladylike behavior, might I add), there is a high likelihood that you’ll feel the urge to tinkle in the wee hours, therefore, keep a lighted candle on a nightstand.
If without a nightstand, conjure an incubus to hold it, “A little higher – HIGHER! Now don’t move, and don’t blow out that flame with all your incessant sexual panting!” Though unable to keep a human male interested long enough for wedlock, your incubus will appear night after night with high hopes. Expectations are easily managed with mention that you’ve a headache.