Monday, January 12, 2009

12 January 1955 "Movies, maids, hairstyles, and waistlines"

In news today: this was the month that Marilyn Monroe, along with the photographer, Milton Greene, set up the production company "Marilyn Monroe Inc." She was in contract with Fox and they had to go to court over the whole business. Marilyn's company had 100 shares of stock of which she controlled 51 with 49 for Greene. This was probably one of the first moves of a movie star self-branding and considering themselves a commodity. I wonder if Greene's heirs still recieve royalties from all of the Monroe items? There are some great photo sessions of Monroe with Greene, but they are not until next year (1956).

Last night we decided to have an impromptu visit from three of my vintage friends. We got together for cocktails and a few hands of cribbage. My friend and I are MAD for cribbage. I even have a little wooden pocket set I always keep in my purse, just in case. Many a time at a coffee shop after a shopping spree, we settle down to a quick game. I had spent the bulk of the day sewing. I now faced clean up, preparing dinner and snacks for the evening. This is when one of my friends stepped in. Earlier in the week, after discussing our project, we were wondered if I would have had a domestic helper who would come in maybe once a week or if I was giving a party. That sort of thing. In "Mr. Blandings builds a dream house", a movie I really like, we see a post war typical middle class family and they have a live in maid. In the first two seasons of Mad Men which is in the early 60's we still see the middle class couple with a 'woman' who comes in sometimes to clean or cook or help out. We wondered, "would this be somthing I would do?" Then my crazy friend (for anyone getting involved with my project must be crazy, right?) said, "I'll do it".
To which I replied, "You'll do what?"
"I'll be your maid, or domestic helper or whatever".
Crazy, but we thought, well, maybe once a week she would come and help with breakfast and some cleaning or later in the day on one day and help with dinner and serve. She said she wanted to see what it would be like and maybe blog about that herself. So, last night, last minute get together, in the middle of sewing, dinner to be made and hors' dourves to throw together, the living room and 'rumpus room' to tidy. Well, this would be one of those times I might plan on calling my 'domestic'. So, I did.
My friend was great. It was so nice to finish up my sewing and take my time to pick up that mess while she showed up and started dinner. I then popped in to help set the table, while she worked on the hors' dourves.
"Go get ready," she said to me.
"Really?" I responded. And I did. I went upstairs and showered (hair in shower cap). Set my hair in hot rollers and did my nails and dressed. I came down to a warm meal, smiling husband and a tidyed entertainment area. I turned to my friend and said, "Poof, you are now my friend again" and if by magic, she sat herself down to dinner with us.

I have to say, it is the first meal in the house that I have had that was not prepared by me for some time. I was refreshed and ready for the evening. I am not sure if this is cheating, as I most likely would at least have some outside help once a week, I belive. What do you think?

Our plan is to have one day a week that she helps me and for me to decide that week if I want it to be houswork and dinner, or errands etc. This does add an interesting aspect to my weekly planning. So, today is laundry day, which means as I do my usual daily chores, I will be working on the laundry pretty much all day. Ironing takes some time.

I think I will maybe choose Friday for my maid day and have her by noon and set her to chores and we can sit down and plan the meal for that evening, which she will prepare and serve. That will give me the afternoon to get more sewing done, or rearrange my bedroom, which I have been planning.

Here is how my hair turned out last night. this is a sort of creepy shot of me, but I took it myself holding the camera above my head and it makes me look a little deranged, but I wanted to show how I have been wearing my hair. It still has a very late 40's flair and I am thinking, I am coming out of the 1940's so this may be my 'comfort zone' hairstyle. My plan is to segway thru the year into a more 'modern 1950's' style. I know that after Roman Holiday came out the "Italian cut" of short hair became all the rage. I figure I would have been slow to come to it, but come to it I will. I promised myself to drop some pounds, as well. SO:

Here is my weekly trial of a 'lo-cal' lunch out of my 53 Ladies Home Journal. If you click on the picture, I believe you will be able to read it. I love any 'diet' that has a blt on it. We all know how a gal lover her bacon.

Here are a couple of pics from Movie Night. We all wore hats and gloves, only one of us remembered them in our picture taking, though. We really enjoyed the movie and was surprised that the theme involved a younger man and older woman. I love how it was shot and I just adore the way Technicolor makes the colors appear. It has such a brilliant blue/pink sheen to everything.
Well, back to ironing and putting another load in the machine.


  1. I believe that having at least a little household help would not have been unusual for a middle class married woman of that era. It would have reflected well on her husband as proof that he was doing well in his career.

    If you are still unsure, you could always use an online inflation calculator to see what your husband's current salary would have been worth in '55 and calculate if household help was realistic for that income level.

  2. remember, even Carol Brady had a housekeeper...

    I wrote a little about domestic help in my blog, but it is totally acceptable for you to have some assistance... so long as you make sure to train your "domestic treasure" properly...

  3. My dad grew up in that time period, and his family had a maid. I would say they were probably about middle class too

  4. Do you know, did he have a live in maid? Thanks.

  5. -->> ..damm now shixa's startin' ta FREEK ME OUT !!

    Your favourite vegetarian - bacon dish for omnivores for the evening ::

    Wrap corn in about 5 strips of bacon. More strips may be required depending on the type and brand purchased.

    Wrapping in aluminum foil should be a must after the corn is wrapped like a bacon mummy.

    Bake or grill for at least a good half hour or more. Forty minutes or more may be required. Lab tests have shown, the longer the bacon stays wrapped around the corn, the stronger the flavour.

    (Oh those variables.)

    Double check for consistency ..the bacon - cocoon for the corn should be as crisp and brown as if you were regularly pan-frying. The oven may take a bit longer, attitude and longitude matter as well as altitude. Typing this from the south of Denver so cooking times will vary compared to those of you in the North - East.

    Carefully remove from oven or grill.

    Remove the bacon, set aside, devour, or feed 'em to Bowser.

    The Corn will have barely a smokey, whiskey flavour but more of a "PIG IN THE BLANKET" with corn flavour.

    There you have the recipe for Bacorn.

    "Betty Crocker is rolling rolling pins in her grave " .. >v<

  6. Hi, thanks so much for visiting my blog, just had a look at yours and it's fascinating! Love your hair :) Good luck with your experiment!

    Mel xxx

  7. My MIL and her sister were teenagers in the 50s (born in 1938). Her dad worked for Georgia Power and her mother was a semi-invalid. They had a lady who came in each day but did not live with them. They were middle-class and lived in a 1000sf bungalow. Both girls went to college.

    My mother, on the other hand, was born in 1936 and came from extreme poverty (no indoor plumbing, a shack for a house). She always comments that "not everyone" lived like the 50s tv shows portray. She "married up" and my parents first house was a 900sf brand new house in the new Florida subdivisions.

    Needless to say, she had no live-in or day help!


  8. I like every thing about your blog and love to be the part of it.
    Tia smith
    Hair Transplant Toronto

  9. I know this is way old but I was reading through your blog and wanted to comment. My dad was born in 40. They were I guess you would say poor to low middle class. His dad was a factory worker, his mom at times worked in factories or from home doing hair but they had a help lady come in to help with cleaning and cooking.

    My mom married in 1966 to her first husband and they were probably lower middle class to mid range middle class and she had a maid/nanny though not a live in.

  10. My husband's family was working class. His mother died in 1959 and his dad finally employed a live-in housekeeper to help with the children and housekeeping after the grandparents could no longer do it due to their age. So, yes, people back then had household help, depending.


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