Thinking of a typical ’50s woman, we mostly picture a housewife, looking impeccable in a clean spotless house, with an apron on, fresh pie baked cooling down in the window, dinner ready on the stove and ready to receive her husband. Although the ’50s are my absolute favorite time period, there are some things about it that makes me glad we don’t live in that time anymore.
Women’s rights, emancipation and equality have come a long way since then. What was a standard then, seems surreal now. For example the rules young women were taught in school and that were published in magazines.
So, how exactly do you become an ideal ’50s wife?
Extract from Housekeeping Monthly, 1955.
- Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
- Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
- Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first – remember his topics of conversation are more important that yours.
- Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
- Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
- Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember he is the master of the house and as such will always excercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
- A good wife always knows her place.
So it basically comes back to the wife having to be the servant, placing his needs over hers. Even though she might have been alone all day, cleaning, taking care of the kids, cooking, and maybe she will be very happy to talk about how her day was, there is no room for that as a real ’50s housewife. Heck, you even need to change your voice to make him happy!
So I suppose I do not fit into the picture of the ideal ’50s housewife… I talk a lot, mostly in a high pitched voice, I am messy, I like to make my evening mine or at least ours, I don’t always know my place and I complain. A lot. And you know what…? Let’s keep it that way. I will just try to look like one!
Lots of love,
xoxox Miss Ginger Tulips