1950's Department Store Ad - www.allposters.com
As I approach my 50th Birthday . . . I'm feverishly finding features to feather this nest with ex post facto, fiftyish frolic and fanfare! I've chosen the fitting and fashionable theme of 50—and trust me, I'm wearing 50. All of it! So, I begin to sing! "I flit, I float, I fleetly flee! I fly," until my current hot flash subsides . . . [This episode was brought to you by The Sound of Music and the letter "F"!]
Turning 50 and being born in the 50's is a novelty. As a baby boomer, I grew up in a culture that was shifting faster than the earthquake related tectonic plates of California! For example, in my lifetime, recorded music segued from rpm's of 78, 33, and 45, to 8-track and cassette tapes, CD's, and now digital. In my formative years, I went from fluffy little party dresses and glossy black patent leather shoes to baggy corduroy pants, Hang Ten shirts, and Wallabies!
In my first decade, I watched the domestic roles of women almost do an about face. It's no wonder that males looked a bit wobbly! Today, I don't see many real life Bree Van De Kamp's (Desperate Housewives), but she must have studied from the excerpt below: "How to be a Good Wife."
Taken from a 1950's American High School Home Economics textbook, the essay is entitled "How to be a Good Wife." It reads in part:
Have dinner ready. Prepare yourself. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. Clear away the clutter -- run a dust cloth over the tables.
Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces, comb their hair, and if necessary change their clothes. They are God's creatures and he would like to see them playing the part.
Minimize all noise…eliminate the noise of the washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
Some Don'ts: Don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he is late for dinner. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice.
Listen to him: You may have dozens of things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first. Make the evening his. Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or other pleasant entertainments.