Wednesday, March 4, 2009

4 March 1955 "Propaganda and My Battle Cry"

STOCK GAINS in the next two years may push the Dow-Jones industrial average as high as 500, nearly a 25% rise, predicts FORTUNE. Barring war and no recession worse than the 1953-54 slump, stock dividends will jump 48% by 1957, and 65% (to a total of $16.5 billion) by 1959. Gross national product will soar an estimated 16% to $440 billion in the next four years. [ today in 2009 the Dow is at 6836.63 while in 2007 it was at 14,000! That is less than half what it was.)


AIRPORT PLAN for New York's International Airport at Idlewild will turn it into the world's most modern terminal, capable of handling 140 airliners at one time. To cost $60 million, the project calls for a 655-acre "Terminal City" with an eleven-block-long arrival building, two adjacent wing buildings, seven individual airline terminal buildings, plus a maze of taxiways and aprons. First buildings will be ready for their first passengers early in 1957.

(The airport was originally known as Idlewild Airport and it was later renamed "Major General Alexander E. Anderson Airport." General Anderson was a Queens resident who had commanded a Federalized National Guard unit in the southern United States and who had died in late 1942. In 1948, the airport was renamed New York International Airport, though the original name remained in common use. The airport was renamed in 1963 in memory of the late President John F. Kennedy. It is colloquially referred to simply as "Kennedy" or "JFK.")

Today I feel like giving my two cents (well a buck fifty's worth really), so hold on:





Sometimes propaganda can be good. It gets its point across.





Sometimes I feel it is bad in a very subtle way:

How has being a housewife become compared to being Hitler. Well, maybe that is a little strong, but this sort of image now gets my dander up. It used to amuse me somewhat and I could think, "Oh, those silly women back then. Slaves to their husbands and their house, haha, not free and alive like we modern women."
Yes, I used to laugh at this sort of thing, but now I am beginning to think that these images are actually anti-housewife propaganda. I may just be touting conspiracy therom, but honestly, is this some subtle coporate propaganda that pokes fun at a housewife? Does this make the idea of staying home and caring for you home similiar to that of a dictator? IF a woman isnt home and caring about her house, then she cannot realize how easily it is to clean with a few items, instead of the vast amount on the market. Why, she can't even stay home at all, as the need to buy and pay for everthing we have to make our not staying home easier after working all day. That means both husband and wife have to work. Now you are at work, so you need to get the housework done quickly, both because your busy and also you don't want to be a 'homemaker' (ck that is so 50's!) So, you buy swiffers and other throw away cleaning products. Who has time to do laundry so you buy too many clothes that you don't need and cheap things (think WalMart and Old Navy) to replace any tears or rips that you don't have the time nor skill to mend and toss those old ones in the junk heap. Now, with your busy schedule and your hatred for the bondage of the kitchen you don't have the time nor inclination to make meals, so prepared foods are your answer, all the while creating more and more garbage for landfills. Who has time to make a PBJ, just buy them pre-packaged and toss away what you don't need. And forget about setting a nice table for everyone to sit around and eat that prepared food, no way! Now the concept of the family meal is completley out of the picture. I know, I know, it does sound extreme, but don't you think there is a grain of truth in it? The removal of the woman from the home leads to more spending. The less time families spend together the more all members can go out and spend more. They need more money to buy all the things they 'need', so they have to make more money and then they have more money and they spend it. It is like a mobius strip of consumerism.

Isn't it funny how one little poster could bring all this up in me? However, that is the main point, really: A picture IS worth a thousand words.

You see an image and it slips into your subconscious and you file it away. "I hate these people, buy this product, this is the best of its kind." It just gets in there. I wonder what way we could use the propaganda to return the lost glory to the homemaker? Maybe a poster of Martha stewart standing in a spotless room with a broom and a mop in her hand and behind her piles of cash and gold and jewels with the caption "She did it, why don't you?" This would give the double draw of celebrity and money which often makes the most mundane thing seem extraordniary. Just a thought. A promise of whiter teeth, use this toothpaste, A happier more fulfilling life, clean and cook.
There is a line in one of my favorite movies "Mr. Blandings Builds a Dream House" where the daughter tells her father that his profession of Advertising is basically a 'parasitic profession'.
Says she, "It makes people buy things they don't want with money they haven't got", taught her by the teacher in her high-priced private school.
The father (played by wonderful Carey Grant) retorts,"Well, that basically parasitic profession pays for your expensive schools and puts the braces on your back teeth!"
It is an interesting and poignant relfection of the coming world. The movie is from 1948 so it is just the beginning of what the 1950s are to become. Thus we begin to walk that line of what we can do to make ourselves feel better, prettier, more comfortable and more popular. We soon learn to swallow propaganda as if it is gulps of oxygen, feeding us through our modern lives.

Even images like this irk me somewhat. First off, it isn't true. Marie Curie? Eleanor Roosevelt? They weren't some bad asses riding in on their motorcylces spitting in the eye of THE MAN. This concept that you have to be a rebel and throw over every current norm is a very modern idea. And why are you only a valid member of society if you DO make history? All the great people we do hear about did have mothers or nannies, people who cared for then, fed them, hugged them. Why is that not valid? Maybe I am being extreme, but I honestly feel these sorts of things make little jabs at wanting to be a homemaker or mother or just happily working and living a quiet life, wrong! It might even confuse things. I think the generations now have this horrible stress to be great: Be a star! Be Paris Hilton or a famous Basketball player etc. Maybe if they televised housework in an exciting way and made million dollar contracts for wives this wouldn't be the case.
What happened to trying to do the best job with what you are doing while you are doing it? I really feel tv and other media just show that you need to be like a few very wealthy spoiled population who always get in the papers! But, who can ever afford or hope to get to their status and if you did, why use your power and money the way they do? They are an annoying minority. There are scads of very wealthy people living normal lives, tipping waiters, being kind to their help, loving their families, but they don't make it in the paper because it isn't shocking or cool. It is funny how we have come to the culture of cool. I don't know, maybe James Dean started it, but things that are important to teenagers, like what is cool or 'in your face', seem to be the gauge we use for what is important in 'grown up' society. When did this exactly happen? I think it has really just been slowly coming on since the 1950s. Now we now seem to disdain things which are reachable goals and quiet happy lives for some 'ideal of celebrity' that many young people aspire to. They need to have the labels and the cars and the image, but it is all hollow and empty. Maybe that is why the teenager working at the local store is so rude, she figures she is gonna be a star or somthing 'better' someday so why should she put up wiht you? And why isn't a homemaker a viable option any longer? Why isn't it talked about in schools as an actual occupation and goal for a person (woman or man)?

It seems to me that the more I get into my project, the more I uncover both the myth and the reality of this small window in modern american history, the more I respect it. I am sure that a large portion of what we think of as "the 1950's" is our interpretation of the propaganda of the time. I am certain that many things we mock may or may not have even been true then. But, and here is the rub, the more I consider it and contemplate it, the more I want it to be true. And not just some truth in the past but an honest and real truth now.

Some day I won't be living in 1955, just as those who really did live it had to let go and move forward: 1956 showed up, then the turbulent 60's. The 1970's with its drugs and rising prices and increasing worries of foreign affairs. The 1980s taught us all to love greed and that it wasn't a bad thing to chase the mighty dollar. The 1990's tried, after the 1980's, to 'Grunge' it's way to a more homespun reality, only to be followed by more pop iconography and materialism at its end fueled by the sham of endless wealth and technology. Then the new millenium rolled in with all its promise of wealth built on sham foundations which have since broken down leaving the world wondering, "what just happened?". We seem to have been on some rollercoaster ride which started off well enough just after WWII and has ended at some odd destination.

Perhaps part of my project was to hide away in some forgotton decade, to turn my back on the real problems of my own time. The thing is, however, that now I don't want to turn away. I want to fix the mistake that we always seem to make as the human animal: The inability to look back in order to go forward. I can never know truly what 1955 was like for those who were there, but I know many of the things I am discovering are things that increasingly becoming important to me. Home, Family, Community, Self-Sustainability. I don't want to let go of these. And considering the technology we now have, we really can build a new world. I want to further those 'old-fashioned' ideals. I want to make the things we now see as silly or wasteful as valid and worthy. I want to wear my homemaking badge with honor! I will stare down any funny looks square in the eye when I am wearing my outfit of hat and white gloves in the heat of July like a soldier in uniform.
I would like to think I can make my only little bit of my world however I like it. And, 1955, I really like you. I know I cannot ever truly understand you nor honestly visit you, but in paying you respect and honor, I might make a better future for myself and hopefully for those around me. I can learn from your mistakes and fix them, but also learn from your success and adapt them to the 21st. century.

Who ever thought an idea for a fun project on a blog could be so life changing?

Who would ever have thought putting on a hat, gloves, petticoat and organizing my house and cooking meals could make me feel more powerful and more proud of being a woman than any modern concept of equality ever could?

I don't think I will ever really leave 1955 entirely. I think, like Dorothy, I may return to the black and white reality of the modern world, but I will hold all OZ has taught me in my heart. I am not quite ready to click my heals just yet.

You know, Dorothy, I am not yet ready to go home.


Maybe we can take this propaganda and put it to our cause: We can do it, we women. We can have the courage to make our homes and, even if we can afford new, sew and mend our own clothes. We can grow our food and make and bake it, we can clean our homes top to bottom with minimal products and plenty of elbow grease. We can hold up and support our families and husbands through clean homes, pretty smiles and the strength of all womankind behind us. WE do it for ourselves as well as for others. Goodbye ME generation hello WE generation.
Yes We Can.

26 comments:

  1. Hurray!. I think this is by far my favorite blog. I completely agree with you. Young women today are faced with the idea that they have to do everything for popularity or for some teenage boy they will regret ever sleeping with just to have a baby to make themselves feel worthy of living. It's really sad that children can't be children until they are 18 and then be able to choose whether or not they WANT to have a job or be a housewife and take care of a family and have people around to love and care for them as well. And why is frowned upon to want to be a housewife nowadays. "Because you women made stink about being equal and wanted jobs, so there you go." We want the right the choose, not one or the other options. We are living in a society of lazy people and more "convenient" does not necessarily mean family without welfare. One thing that really urks me is the fact that fashion is lazy. Since when are sweat pants, uggs and a ponytail tucked under a baseball cap sexy for women? I mean come on. Hiding under layers and layers of work out clothing is not sexy and certainly does not help with anyone's figure. And why is it such a crime to be a woman and be able to wear a dress and cook and clean for your man and/or family? Thank you for posting this, Donna!

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  2. I am sorry to say that I merely skim your posts from time to time (not that you need ME with all your other minions:)...) but i just wanted to say that I think back then was a completely different animal back then. Now, if you are a housewife, it is likely by choice. Back then, weren't girls in higher education situations biding time while 'waiting for the ring'? I mean, it was what was expected. Believe me, if I could afford to stay home and cook, clean, and come and go as I pleased all day, I most certainly would.
    (but i would probably still wear jeans and a tee shirt cuz I think it is comfortable and i DO think it can be 'sexy')

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  3. Hi Donna, I loved this post. I agree with everything you have said. So many women devalue the work of caring for home, family and community because it is anonymous and unpaid. Whether we go out to work or stay home to work we all like to live in a way that gives dignity to our lives.
    We should be applauding the fact that we have a choice and be brave enough to make the choice that we want, not just fall in with what society and commercial interests want us to do.
    If we women can truly value each others life choices then I believe that we can make a huge difference to the lives of generations to come.
    If we can value the beauty of the every day, the little things that we all encounter then we give greater value to the ordinary life and make it extraordinary even if it is anonymous.

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  4. Steph-I am pleased that you agree with me, I would expect nothing less from my vintage friend
    Jen-odd, I did not know you followed this blog as the 1950s and vintage never seemed of interest to you, and to let you know, I DO wear jeans when I clean. However, they are pedal pusher length, I wear a cute belt have a scarf and accesorize. It is still practical and comfortable, but it makes me feel important or that I care enough about myself to get up, spend a little time at my dressing table and look nice even if it is just for me.
    Also, one of the points of my blog is that actually in 1955 and today many things are almost exactly the same in cost per earning ratio, but how we view the world and spend that money is different. So, there are probably many families that could in fact have one member at home and still get along normally, but what we spend on prepackaged foods, luxery items cars an their insurance often makes us not 'afford' to have someone home. Our values have changed towards consumerism in a way that we don't even realize.
    Jenny-thanks for you comment and I totally agree with what you have said. Sometimes it seems we women are the hardest on our own sex.

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  5. I think a lot of the backlash against being a homemaker came from the feminist movement, because in the 50s and 60s there wasn't a lot of choice about whether you wanted to stay at home and look after the children and house. Once you got married it was just expected, and not all women felt fulfilled by this. Really, we need to respect women's choices about what they want to do with their lives. A soulless job isn't going to make you happy if all you want to do is be at home, but then again, a perfectly clean house is not in itself an achievement, unless you enjoy doing it.

    I feel that perhaps these days, being a homemaker is a bit of a luxury rather than a duty women are purposely shirking. After all, in order to be able to stay at home and not be in a paying job (and I'm not saying that being a homemaker is not a job, I know it is hard, hard work) you need to have a partner who has a job that pays enough to support both of you. In that way, it is not really a career choice as such, as it is not an independent existence, but dependent on being in a relationship with someone who is willing to go to work while you stay at home.

    Please don't think I mean this negatively, I would love to have enough time to have a beautiful spotless house and cook a well-balanced, nutritious meal every night, but I am not in the financial position to be able to leave my job. I envy you!

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  6. Don't shut me down, Jen. Just kidding. What are sisters for? I just meant that today's fashions are lazy and therefore are not very attractive (to me) however it is what attracted my beau to me at first. Now I think he may be tired of waiting for me to get dressed even though he comments more than he did when I dressed "comfortably"(which looking back is not so much anymore), when he thought it was sexy.

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  7. I don't want anyone to think that I am saying being a woman is ONLY being a homemaker and I know alot of people are not in the position to be so, but I do think many women in relationships (rather married or not) might be surprised how you can live on one income if you make certain choices and I NEVER thought I wanted to be a homemaker. In fact I used to be one of those that were negative towards the idea, but in doing this project I am finding a sense of fulfillment and place I never thought I would. I have been a working woman. I have even been a business owner and ran my own store and had multiple employees. I once worked for a well recieved artist and was a buyer for an antique store. I have done many things and am just finding myself surprised but happily so that homemaker seems to be the thing I most enjoy (thus far I might add) but I do not want anyone to think that I think it is the ONLY path for womankind. What I do think in todays society that it is not even a choice and there are plenty of homemakers out there who I am sure have to say things like, "well, I am a housewife, " as if it is a disease, because of the reactions of other women. I just think it odd that it is not shown as an option in high school and I do really think it is a career choice because in films I have seen from the time, women who wanted (or were expected to be) homemakers often worked in the field of the home on a profesional level, such as interior designer, in kitchens/restuarants, child care. And I used to laugh at it, but honestly if you say to yourself that you do want to be a wife and mother and work in the field that will help you in that role, then when you do choose a mate you will make sure up front that that is what he also wants and that you would work towards it as a goal. I just think this is somthing that people don't think about now and really it SHOULD be an option. It is as if we think being a housewife means you have to have a rich husband, when I don't thin kit is. If a young girl starting out would like one day to be a mother and homemaker, then whatever her job is when she meets mr. right one of the things she SHOULD discuss is this eventual goal. I think there would be many men out there who would respect and like the idea. It is as if we think that homemaking is not a job to the point that the idea of planning for it even before marriage is not a possibility. Then if you never get married you are working in a field doing similiar things to being a homemaker so you will find fullfillment. I also think many people think homemakers sit and watch soaps all day eating chocolates and going shopping. Maybe some do, but the good ones do not. I just think a movement is coming for women to take it back as a CAREER. Wow, that is almost another post right there, huh?

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  8. Not to be devil's advocate; but are we going to offer this choice to young men as well?

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  9. I enjoyed this post 50sgal!

    I read an article this past summer about the trend of wives staying at home without children. Some of the comments about the article are quite vicious towards those of us who fall into this demographic. I am used to these sort of comments so it no longer surprises me. I did want to give a heads up though before I posted the link.

    Here is the link.

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  10. Great post! Here's a great article about the deception of the two income family. Being a homemaker does make money for the family. The problem is, most people look at income in the wrong way.

    There are so many dynamics and angles to this issue that will not be solved in one post, but the general attitude that being a homemaker is a waste of a life is WRONG. I think that's the main point that 50sgal is making.

    When I was in high school, our business teacher asked everyone to share what job they wanted to have after graduating high school/college. After most of the class gave the standard reply of doctor, lawyer, mechanic, artist, etc., it was my turn and I shared that I wanted to be a homemaker. The class laughed and one guy in the class replied, "That's not a job!" Thankfully, my teacher defended me and said that it is most certainly a real job, and one of the hardest ones out there. He praised me for having the courage to stand up for what I really wanted to do even though everyone around me tried to make me feel stupid for wanting to be a homemaker. My husband and I still keep in touch with that teacher to this day, and he is so proud of me and the success I have made out of my career. :)

    BTW, "well behaved" women DO make history, they just don't expect public praise/recognition for it.

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  11. Shay- of COURSE! I just think maybe people could be able to choose it early on, boy or girl and have people think, hey yeah that is a career
    hairball- I will check that out
    PL-wow, good for you. It must be great to know right off the bat what you want to do. I just hope that in the future girls (and boys) can say, I want to be a homemaker, and not be laughed at and actually be able to prepare for it like a real career, because you know what, IT IS!

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  12. Oh, I wish dear husband could earn twice as much as he does and then I would stay at home! I've been a homemaker for 6 weeks now and do I LOVE it!!! I've just been to my third job interview and they were VERY interested and asked me if I could start 1 April. Wish me luck! So I'll stay home at least one more month, lovely.

    I like your views on a cosy home, a proper meal and the family gathering together, that's exactly what we've always done in our little family. I think it is really important.

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  13. Sanne-good luck, I wish you could stay home as well, I am sorry. I suppose with a child it is harder to make those decisions that sometimes we have to sacrifice to have one spouse home. If I had a child I am sure it would be different, although I definitely know NOW that if hubby and I ever do decide for a child, now that I know what I know about homemaking and this career path, we would need to make the decisions that would allow me to take what I am learning and segway it into also a stay at home mum. I can't even imgaine (nor would I presume to know) how much work and cost goes into a child (as well as love of course!). Good Luck! I did recieve your letter and will be writing you back. I love getting actual letters, they are wonderful. I am on the lookout for a vintage desk set now! Any ideas anyone? I already use my grandfathers old fountain pen to write the letters, but I need a proper desk set, blotter, letter opener etc.

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  14. One of my favourite quotes on this subject is:

    A woman's place is in the home; and out of it whenever she is called to guard those she loves and improve conditions for them.
    Nellie McClung. (Early Canadian feminist)

    I think it helps us to remember that we women often have very great responsibilities, particularly when we become mothers. My own choice was that I would do anything to stay at home with my kids for as long as they needed me there. Our income halved when we made that decision. We've never regretted it. Even though my DH's income has increased quite a bit, and I do work a bit from home, we sitll have to economise all of the time. We buy a lot of second hand, we go camping, grow our own veg, cook from scratch etc etc. However, our lives have been transformed by my decision to "improve conditions" for my loved ones by being in the home. We have a great time together, and it is the little things like sitting around the table for a proper meal, going out for walks together at the weekend, having time to be together that really make a difference.

    I oftentimes feel devalued because of my choice, but never by my husband and never by my kids, and that's what counts.

    However, I will say this. The "mommy wars" are completely counter-productive. My husband and I have made extreme material sacrifices for me to choose this path, and not everyone can cope with that, you *can* be a homemaker on a moderate income, but you really do have to live like it was 1950, and do for yourself, for me and the DH it has been a positive, fulfilling and moral choice and linked with our political and faith beliefs (left-wing, green, Christian...this is not unusual in the UK), for other women it would be a nightmare and completely undoable.

    I do however, think the tide is turning. We're becomeing less materialistic, we want to improve the general well-being of our young, we may find the impetus to find different ways of living and re-evaluate to role the homemaker has within society.

    I hope my thoughts have helped you and your readers and didn't come across as too strident, I'm pretty passionate about all of this!

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  15. 50sgal:

    Like a lovely cup of tea, I've been reading your delicious blog quietly ever since you began your project. I must say, your discovery (or discoveries?) is genuinely brilliant! I just love reading your posts.

    This post especially caught my eye. My mother was (and still is, my baby brother is 18) a homemaker. She was also our teacher, as my parents homeschooled us from day one. She was a school teacher when my father met her. (And he was on the school board, ahem. Isn't that cute?) My parents decided that they would rather sacrifice the second income and have my mother at home because they wanted to raise us differently from the culture they saw and experienced everyday in the school systems. So my mother stayed at home and homeschooled us. (She did work outside the home when my father was in a bad car accident, but came home after he recovered.)

    I'm 25 now, and my sibilings and I have never regretted the way we were raised. Rather, I cherish it. It wasn't sacchrine or delusionally perfect. But it was lovely and fruitful in many ways.

    I have every intention of being a homemaker if I ever marry. However, I also know it isn't for everyone. And in the meantime, since I'm single and unattached (sigh), I'm studying for a degree in library science and working part time at an academic library -- in case I never meet Mr. Right and have to support myself.

    Thank you for chronicling your thoughts and experiences. This is one of the few blogs I read with regularly and with relish.

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  16. I'm with you girl!

    Mamie Eisenhower hosted the first integrated Easter Egg Roll on the White Lawn, yet never made a bit "to-do" about it, nor when she invite a black singer into the White House.

    She HAND WROTE a reply to all letters that she received...polite and yet changing the world through gracious hospitality.

    I am wondering if eventually most families will be at "one income" again due to economic crisis. And without that second income to tax, things are going to get even more interesting.

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  17. we actually are living on one income...it just, unfortunately happens to be mine. ;)

    jen(for some reason, i could only comment anonymously)

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  18. I really liked this post and read with interest the comments.
    I am a stay at home wife/mother after being a high school teacher. I enjoy and am fulfilled by both. However, my husband and I began planning ahead for one of us to be home with our children. Now we live on one income with ease. We are lower middle class and my husband was laid off in the fall, but we are fine and he's starting a new job next week. Those of you who say money prevents you from staying home should check your numbers more carefully! Where there's a will, there's a way.
    I also think it's fine for the dad/husband to stay home too. I have several friends who do this and they really feel a lot of negative judgement and vibes from the community. What a shame. Homes function so much better with someone in them full time, tending the peeople and the space.
    I am fortunate that my husband does not want to be at home and I do. There are perks on both sides. . .
    Margo
    (frequent lurker, first time commenter!)

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  19. 50s gal, I'm glad you liked Decorating is Fun. When you return to present, go buy "In the Pink" by carleton varney, a bio and coffee table book about Dorothy Draper. Her color and pattern choices are incredibly bold. If you want to do some on line research, one of her most famous project was the greenbriar hotel (i think in west virginia). I don't know if you also bought Entertaining is Fun, but if not, it's a great read.

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  20. Yes, a child is quite costly and even more as a teenager, but the good thing is your own children are the most beautiful and clever ones, and you simply get used to the cost over time. DH and I have talked about how much money we'll have when son has moved. Ha! But that should not prevent you from having a child. Perhaps if you used fifties birth control you would have one. Just kiddin'! ;)

    Right now we're spending af fortune on son's extra lessons in math, and soon in English too. But that'll stop by this Summer, when he's got his exams.

    Great the letter reached you. That's a week from when I posted it, it's OK. I look SO much forward to receiving a letter from you. Real letters are so rare today. I hope you are able to read my handwriting.

    I think you should look for desk and writing accessories at eBay and at fleamarkets the coming Spring.

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  21. Sanne-Your writing was perfect and such good english, I would hate to see what my Danish should look like!
    It sounds like you are a wonderful parent, making sure that your child has a good education.
    I can't believe I have not really thought about that fact that birth control was not available until 1960 for women. Though, I suppose condoms are readily available, though most likely in brown packages behind the counter and have to be asked for. There were families with one or two or NO children then, so there must have either been a lot of abstinence or alot of condom use, intersting to find out.

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  22. Thanks! :)
    How about the diaphram? It was used in the late fifties, but I don't know about the earlier fifties. My mother used a diaphram and got me, ha! Therefore, the little joke. I used a diaphram for years, until I did not tolerate the cream anylonger, or else I would have used it today. Son was planned, I think the cream used with it is of better quality today than back then.

    Did you see my link to thekeeperstore.com? They sell vintage-style menstruation products, like washable pads (I love them) and the Keeper, a menstrual cup invented in the 30's and which I wouldn't live without.

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  23. Hi Donna,
    What a lovely post. I am encouraged to see other women who don't think homemaking is a blight on a womans'self esteem. I ,along with my two teenage daughters believe that a womans' place IS in the home and think ourselves very fortunate to be able to live our lives this way. Another factor in celebrating our feminity is our choice of clothing and degree of modesry. We believe women are to look ,act, and behave differently to men. This encourages us to only wear female attire. Our closets only contain dresses, a few skirts, nothing manish allowed. I think you mentioned a badge or homemakers uniform, if there is such a thing I guess it would be the aprons we wear, wearing dresses for cooking and housework, aprons are a must if you want to keep clothes at all reasonably clean. For this reason we prefer full pinafore style aprons that give the most protection. In 1955 if housewives wore an apron it was a bit of a fashion statement. More of a frilled hostess apron rather than the functional aprons of their mothers. Although we do have what we call "company" aprons we like the aprons (now called vintage) of our grandmothers day.

    Blessings,
    Grace.

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