Portman Doe’s tips for a relaxing holiday weekend

Dear Housewives,

On this holiday weekend, I’m sure that you, like me, are taking time to relax and, therefore, are deep cleaning your home. Nothing calms one’s soul like Lysol and a sponge. To help you through your holiday housewifery, I’ve come up with five rules for a better cleaning experience. All of these were inspired by our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

1.  Always wear gloves.

A housewife should never expose her hands to chemicals. It will damage one’s skin and ruin a good manicure. Plus, rubber gloves are great for foreplay.

2. Raccoons are for outside.

I didn’t think I’d need to state this guideline, but after seeing the state of an acquaintance’s kitchen, I realize that’s it’s a must. Clearly, the only possible explanation for such disarray was a gaze of raccoons holding a late night cocktail party.

3. Never mix ammonia and bleach.

Sure, from time to time, we all violate the Geneva Convention, but it’s best not to do so in our daily cleaning rituals.

4. Dust your chair rungs.

What are you? A domestic heathen? It’s Canada Day weekend for goodness’ sakes.

5. Always press your French maid’s outfit before cleaning.

You never know where a good spit and polish might lead.


Portman Doe

I scream! You scream! We all scream the Night Scream!

Dear Housewives,

I just had the oddest conversation with my wife Kit. We were listing off all the things that were popular when we when we were growing up, like pogo balls, the colour teal, and Designing Women. Then I brought up the Night Scream.

In my family you never knew who was going to come around which dark corner, pop out of which dark room. The long corridor upstairs that ran half the length of the house and led to the bathroom and the children’s bedrooms was perfect for scaring the bejesus out of people. It was a long, dimly lit hallway, with many darkened doorways. There I would be, walking down the hall to the bathroom, and suddenly my mother would jump out of the doorway to my brother’s room yelling, “Boo!” Consequently, I now have a bladder of steel.

The walk-in closets were also excellent hiding places, where one could hide away behind the rows of clothing, leaving the closet door open several inches. Your family member could easily go to bed without knowledge of your presence. And there you’d wait until the time was right. The light would turn off and from the closet you’d begin to make strange clicking sounds with your tongue until they peeked inside the closet. You’d then scream as you tore yourself from the racks of pressed shirts and stored winter coats, lunging toward your victim, arms outstretched like a zombie. But, of course, this is chid’s play. This is not the Night Scream.

In the late 80s/early 90s when the Night Scream craze took over North America, I was the first in my family to threaten to use it. After all, it was a perfect fit for a family who enjoyed scaring the shit out of each other. “You’d better watch out! You’ll wake up to the Night Scream!” I’d taunt. Immediately, it was a running joke with all of us. “Oh, would you like a Night Scream tonight?!”  “Nooooooo!” was always the answer. Finally, I gave my sister the Night Scream. It was tremendous. Her need for therapy is not related to this incident.

Kit remained confused so I had to explain. I realize this explanation may vary from how your family conducted the Night Scream. I know there are regional differences:

Wait until your victim is sound asleep. Come out of your hiding place or very quietly enter their room. Ideally, they will be sleeping on their back, but it’s not necessary. It is safer for you if they are on their side. Take a deep breath and hold it. Very, very slowly and quietly get your face within an inch of their face. Eye to eye, nose to nose. Open your eyes as wide as possible and keep your face in position. Then scream with everything you have within you.

Kit still had no idea what I was talking about. I suppose though it might be the kind of thing you do when you grow up outside of the city on a bit of acreage, where stately homes are separately by pool houses, stables, and thick hedges. In that environment, with everyone screaming in general, it’s just part of the background noise.


Portman Doe

Real Housewives of Park Slope

Dear Housewives,

I’ve received a deluge of emails all asking when the Queer Housewifery blog will be optioned for the screen. I am thrilled to announce that we are currently in negotiations to make a small screen adaptation. Given the success of TV adaptations like S#*! my dad says and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Kit and I are pretty stoked.

To fit within entertainment trends, Portman Doe will be a half-hour (22 minute) single-camera mockumentary-style situation-comedy shot in real time.  It will be set in 1980s Park Slope, Brooklyn, at the height of the AIDS scare, just to add some humour. Of course, to suit that setting, queer housewifery will have to become lesbian housewifery, but that’s not in the title anyway. The soundtrack will be full of Madonna, Cher, Kylie Minogue, and Cyndi Lauper.

The producers don’t want the queerness to be too authentic and scare folks off, but they want it to feel authentic so a general audience will love it.  To accomplish this authenticity, they’ll be casting two straight cisgender male actors in drag in the lead role of Portman and the supporting role of Kit. It’s gonna be so real, housewives.

Obviously, Matthew McConaughey is my number one choice to portray the role of Portman. I feel that McConaughey’s grit and depth of character in True Detective demonstrate his understanding of the plight of the queer housewife. For the role of Kit, we’re hoping to sign Channing Tatum. Kit’s level of hotness is equal to Mr. Tatum’s so that’s common sense casting. However, the production company is looking at Tom Hanks and Dave Coulier for Portman and Kit, respectively. Ellen DeGeneres might guest star as their, get this, homophobic next-door neighbour!

Whatever happens, someone’s definitely getting a Primetime Emmy and a Golden Globe.


Portman Doe

Resolute for the New Year

Dear Housewives,

Thank goodness the chaos of the holidays and the New Year is behind us. Running into acquaintances in January inevitably leads to questions about New Year’s resolutions, and I, frankly, housewives, have had enough of those questions. Isn’t December’s gauntlet of baking, gift-wrapping and one-upmanship enough? In fact, this year I was so busy that I forgot to make New Year’s resolutions. That said, after being asked so many times about my resolutions I decided that perhaps goal-setting is important, and, in an act of socio-cultural compliance, I am making some resolutions.  I want to make sure that these resolutions are ones that I need to work at– not like last year when I promised myself that I would focus on self-improvement. Really, why mess with perfection?

These are my resolutions for 2016:

1. Read more.

So far I’m off to a running start with this one. We haven’t gotten to the end of February, and I’m finishing my fifty-seventh book. I don’t want to brag or anything, but I haven’t slept since 2015.

2. Use the word &*$# more often.

I rarely use the word &*$#. It’s possible that I didn’t use the word &*$# at all last year or the year before. This is a shame because several of our friends have toddlers, and now is the moment to enhance their ever-expanding vocabularies. Besides, one of our friends has a five-year-old who is a total &*$#, and it’s about time that little &*$# learned to self-identify.

3. Practice spit-takes.

Who doesn’t find spit-takes entertaining? Particularly if they look effortless and realistic. This is a helpful skill for parties being held at frenemies’ homes. Pro-tip: practice outside.

4. Rewatch Torchwood

If you don’t know why, then I’m not sure why you are even reading this blog.

5. Shampoo my carpet on a regular basis.

This is not a euphemism. My wife Kit bought me a Hoover carpet cleaner for Christmas.

6. Moisturize more

If only Kit would stop by Sephora after work and get me some Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream. 1.7 oz jar, please.

7. Be less subtle when communicating with my wife.


Portman Doe

These boots were made for walking

Dear Housewives,

Ever since a live-action version of the 1991 Disney Classic Beauty and the Beast was announced, I’ve been thinking about how Belle is one of the more astute of the Disney Princesses. A woman before her time, she loves to read, is interested in a more urban lifestyle, and, most importantly, is not interested in dating a hipster. That hipster’s name is, of course, Gaston.

Is Gaston a hipster, you ask? Perhaps he is of the subgenre lumbersexual? A little bit brawny and a little bit metro? Let me lay out the evidence for you, and we can decide together:

1.Enjoys craft beer. If it’s not made with local barley and a hint of lavender from a community garden, Gaston isn’t having it. You can see he likes to double-fist.

Craft beer

2. Well-tamed brows. Remember, housewives: our brows are sisters, not twins.


3. Accessorizes with arrows.
He doesn’t hunt with them because they are just to show his solidarity. Arrows also pair well with skinny breeches.


4. Uses antlers in all of his decorating. This local tavern is vegan to create subtle irony.


5. Participates in artisanal hunting. Now we know where Kit and Ace get their tanuki supply.


6. Clearly went to circus school. No one juggles eggs like Gaston.


7. Planned a Pinterest wedding. That’s right: He planned a Pinterest wedding before Pinterest weddings were cool.


8. Every last inch of him covered in hair. This is also his Grindr pic.


9. No one erotic asphyxiates like Gaston. Safe word’s Prince Adam.

erotic asphyxiation

10. He loves a good throw down with friends. Giving is as important as receiving.




Well, housewives, I think the evidence may have gone in a direction that none of us anticipated. But you can ask any Tom, Dick, or Stanley, and they’ll tell you whose team they prefer to be on: Gayston!


Portman Doe

Putting the bear in Béarnaise

441748Dear Housewives,

Warning: Spoilers ahead

That time of year has arrived when everyone’s favourite game show premieres. That show, of course, is Top Chef: Gaydar. Season after season, Top Chef: Gaydar brings us the queerest of the queer. Sure, some people seem to think that programmes like Top Chef: Gaydar overrepresent the homosexuals. Obviously, this is ludicrous as the entire show’s premise is homosexuals and their thoughts on Tom Colicchio‘s dreamy blue eyes. Even homosexual expert Michael Shaw tells us on Quora,”Homosexuality has become popular in entertainment media as a whole.” Of course, the homos are a rich source for entertainment! They make quality TV and Béarnaise sauce.

The first good look we get at this season’s chef-competitors is when they file in the Top Chef: Gaydar kitchen for the first time. It’s then we are met with our age-old conundrum. Who is a hipster chef? Who is a queermo? Who is a queermo hipster? Who is not?  Bald heads, beards and tattoos along with questionable choices in personal grooming. There’s a lot to take in. That’s right. It’s time: Wonder Twin Gaydar Activate!

My wife and I first homo-spotted Frances. Bleached mohawk. The subtle walk of a butch. And, in fact, she is the first to out herself when she talks about when she first met the woman she would marry. Adorbs.

We also discover that Karen is queer, and her partner LJ is a tux-wearing hottie. Karen is clearly identifiable as femme. However, the Top Chef: Gaydar website is full of spoilers, and we read that Karen identifies as a “Queer Femme lady.” Never again will I read up on bios because what is Top Chef: Gaydar thinking, giving us spoilers?!

But along with some softballs, Top Chef: Gaydar does challenge our gaydar skills by making us take into consideration the geographical diversity of the cast. Most of the cast are from the US, and accurately identifying regional gay identities requires finely tuned gaydar. Some chefs look like they might be gay, but they are from Seattle, so there’s no way of knowing for sure without more information.

The process of elimination does help narrow down the possibilities. Some chefs are clearly going to be best spotted as straight. They are dudes who sincerely use the term “badass” to describe themselves and engage in other bro discourse.

Who else will we spot as a practitioner of homogenic love? Only time and the season finale will tell who will come out as a top!


Portman Doe

My Christmas stockings have Cuban heels

Dear Housewives,

Holidays are a special time.  Many of us violate strata agreements by bringing dead trees into our homes. We are also reminded there used to be a feast of Stephen. Sounds kinky and, perhaps, cannibalistic. And there is a huge amount of planning that must go into holiday festivities. I usually repress the trauma of this task. However, there is hope.

One of my favourite queer domesticians, Femme Fraîche, has a blog I find highly enjoyable. I recommend that you find it highly enjoyable, too. Her latest post provides advice so that the American Thanksgiving holiday isn’t so exhausting for Americans. Her wisdom reminded me that I should give housewives some helpful holiday hints for the Winter Solstice period. Here you go:

Make gift-giving simple by creating a Pinterest board

Create a Pinterest board filled with all the goodies that you’d like to receive this December. It’s best if the links go directly to the online store. And, yes, Sotheby’s has an online bidding option. Use Pinterest’s share function to provide this board to your family and friend.

Ready what you can for Christmas (or non-Christmas) dinner

If you haven’t already booked your caterers back in February, then you’re pretty much screwed for hosting dinner at your place. Call around now to see if caterers are willing to put you on their wait-list. If they can’t and you haven’t secured a dinner invitation, well, I hope your guests enjoy Pizza Hut delivery.

Pencil in your holiday couture

As I’ve mentioned previously, the Advent of Social Media makes coordinating and not repeating outfits a crucial reality for the queer housewife. Search through your closets and prepare your spreadsheets now so that you can suss out what pieces you need to purchase for holiday parties.

Prepare linens for guests

If you have guests staying in your home, you’ll want to make sure their visit has the essence of the season. Use your crafty DIY knowledge to add that special holiday scent to their sheets and towels. Press fresh pine twigs between the sheets. Tie cinnamon sticks and holly to their rolled towels. Spritz guest robes with reindeer urine. Get creative and make it festive.

Make sure family and friend can relax

Holidays can be rough on visitors. Ensure that they have time to themselves in your home and book your spa date now. Remember: just say no to chemical peels until after New Year’s. No one likes a pizza-face.

Follow those simple steps, and your holiday will be as glamourous and Internet-worthy as mine.


Portman Doe

No kick from champagne

1036307Dear Housewives,

Regrettably, I, Portman Doe, purveyoress of queer housewife wisdom, have not been doing well. Things started out fine. I began my day by donating my time to a charitable cause. My friends have a new yacht and needed company on the water. I obliged despite the havoc on my tresses. A lesson for you, housewives: always consider putting others’ maritime needs ahead of yours. It’s invigorating knowing you are helping others in need.

Obviously, when I got home from our outing, I needed to get on with my day. I popped in a Billy Blanks Tae Bo DVD. (Do I need a high-cut leotard? Yes. Yes, I do.) Halfway through the upper-cut scene, I stood up from the sofa to fix a myself a drink and wrenched my back. Terrible spasms. I couldn’t move. My wife Kit gave me an over-the-counter muscle relaxant, which brings me to the purpose of my writing today.

I would like to take this opportunity to caution you to the mixing of muscle relaxants and gin martinis. Is there any warning on the bottle about mixing martinis with this pharmaceutical product? No. Is there any mention of the word “cocktail” in the accompanying reading materials? No. What’s worse is that the gimlet I had next didn’t seem to have any counteracting effect except to make me finally understand that song by the Weeknd. Previously, I had thought the song was about the aftereffects of Botox, but no. Clearly, the government needs to require companies to be more specific in regards to what one should consume while on muscle relaxants. Next time: brandy only.

And now I have to tell my wife that I’m sorry. I cannot operate heavy machinery this evening.

Portman Doe

Put down the knitting, the book and the broom

942525Dear Housewives,

As you all know, my fear of being featured on any hoarding-related reality television series means that I frequently cull my closet. Separating the dowdy chaff from the sequinned wheat is difficult for many housewives, and I’m here to help. I have composed…

Portman Doe’s Culling Criteria for Closeted Clothing

  1. Would Liza Minnelli wear it?
  2. Does it have a matching hat?
  3. Do the shoes make your feet bleed? Or merely pinch?
  4. Are the feathers still in good condition?
  5. It is neon green?
  6. Was the dry cleaner able to remove all the red paint from the PETA protesters?
  7. Why do you own jeggings in the first place?
  8. Mutton dressed as lamb is not this year’s look.
  9. Does it have a pocket for your lady flask?
  10. How worn is the leather on that harness?

Once you’ve curated your closet, donate the pieces that have been gently worn to the gay-friendly thrift store of your choice. Pieces in less than pristine shape can be saved for when you’re burning someone in effigy. (Best theme party ever, but that’s another story.)

In other donation news, Kit and I are venturing out to the stores in search of gifts for the Shoebox Project. For this holiday drive, shoeboxes are filled with happy little gifts and given to women living in shelters this December. Housewives, I know you’d love to shop for some gifts to make the holidays special for someone in the community. A movie pass! A cozy new pair of socks! A lovely hand cream! Delectable chocolate! Go here to get details on what to purchase and to find a drop-off location near you.

Further, if you have any Hermès, vintage or otherwise, that you would like to donate to a queer housewife, please contact me ASAP. I also accept Fendi.


Portman Doe

Sexual Revolution

Dear Housewives,

I have a confession. While my beautiful wife Kit will always be the love of my life, there was someone before her. His name is Anthony Andrews, and my secret love affair with him began decades ago.

In 1982, CBS broadcast a special movie event, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and my parents recorded it to add to their VHS collection. Years later I came across it. Some may think I was too young to watch its depiction of the Reign of Terror, but lo and behold! An all star cast! Who could deny their child the opportunity of watching this calibre of actors? Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame. Jane Seymour of Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman fame. Ian McKellen of Sir Ian McKellen fame. And, finally, our Scarlet Pimpernel, Anthony Andrews.

Housewives, if you’re unfamiliar with this tale of freedom, the Scarlet Pimpernel is a wealthy Englishman who travels to and from Paris, smuggling out French aristocracy doomed for the guillotine. He plays a fop in public in order to mask his identity as the Scarlet Pimpernel. Romance and betrayal and decapitation ensue. Watching as a child, this film taught me many life lessons: 1.) Democracy leads to poor fashion. Just look at those limp cravats. 2.) The guillotine doesn’t always result in one clean cut. 3.) History often paints aristocrats in a poor light, and 4.) Anthony Andrews is the dreamiest sword-fighting human-smuggler ever.

My love for Anthony only grew when I caught a rerun of the made-for-television movie Bluegrass. Cheryl Ladd plays a woman starting a Thoroughbred horse farm in Kentucky. Anthony is one of her love interests but ends up being a pawn for the movie’s villian. I loved him anyway. Cheryl Ladd didn’t.

Later, Anthony appeared in a triumphant episode of the lady detective series Rosemary and Thyme. He wooed Laura Thyme, but she decided to continue her (supposedly) platonic relationship with fellow detective and gardener Rosemary Boxer.

Obviously, Anthony received accolades later on with his performance in The King’s Speech. However, for me, he will always be my favourite coyote for rich people.


Portman Doe