My department, being somewhat old-school, relies a lot on the "faculty wives" to coordinate the more social events associated with normal department function. They do things like arrange tables for dinner meetings, bake things for events, etc. I find this reliance very weird, though I understand how this worked, a million years ago. These "faculty wives" belong to the oldest members of the department, and to an almost bygone era.
It recently came to my attention that some of the "faculty wives" have been pointing out that it's time for some of the younger wives to get involved, and I find this both sad and funny. Certainly the services these women have provided to the department have been valuable and much appreciated, but it's just not realistic in today's world to expect the same level of participation or co-dependency. Wives have their own jobs, events, etc. to try to coordinate. PLUS, allow me to point out the obvious: not all the faculty are men. Ain't no way my husband is baking some fancy breads for my departmental meeting, nor getting together with all the ladies to discuss whether we should have off-white napkins or gold ones at the upcoming breakfast.
I'm sure we can do without the niceties once all those ladies are gone. At the same time, it does make the job just a little colder. It's been pleasant with somebody thinking about the napkins.
3 hours ago