Tuesday, July 27, 2010
THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN'
I came across this article some time ago. It's absolutely authentic, from Good Housekeeping magazine. The date--13 May 1955. It's a little hard to read, but give it a try, and consider how things have changed. It seems laughable compared to our day, but think Donna Reed or June Cleaver. Now you have the picture.
My mother followed most of these counsels. When I was a small child she always looked date-ready when Dad arrived home--a dress, pearls, perfect hair, high heels, house picked up. We knew our place as well.
Over time, finances became tighter. She got a job, Dad travelled more. She shifted from dresses to slacks and sweaters; the pearls gave way to scarves. They "modernized."
Dinner was always on the table each night and we were still expected to be in attendance whether Dad was in town or not, but we became individuals during the sixties and seventies, and I challenged everything. My dad called me a rebel. I thought I was just being an informed intellectual.
When I married I naturally pulled from my memories of home and added my own flair. I instinctively wanted many of the images from that article before I had ever seen it--the happy husband coming home to happy children, dinner on the table with the family gathered around. No, I didn't want to stand at the door like a muted rover with slippers and his evening cocktail, but I counted myself blessed to be able to stay home with my children during their early years. I recognized that hubby was out in the battlefield while I was home training the troops, and he needed some R&R as much as I did. I tried not to pile the daily problems on him as soon as he crossed the threshold and in turn I counted on his arrival to lihgten my load. In short, I trusted that if I had his back, he'd have mine. We were a team. Not competitors.
So, my life became a mix of the periods. No shy violet, I'm outspoken and opinionated--a Good Housekeeping rebel, but personally, I miss some elements of the Ozzie and Harriett lifestyle. Certainly not all of it . . . but some.
Some day, when book four is printed and life slows down, I'll re-type this whole thing, but for now it serves as a measuring stick, a reminder that while some changes are essential, some things are worth holding on to.