Monday, January 11, 2010

11 January 1956/2010 "Our Own Time Machines"

I was thinking of late, how I have begun to ‘return to the present’ while still holding very firmly to my past victories of 1955. And, in the last two posts, I touched on how that really one can use the modern world rather than be used by it. So, this has brought me to consider how we all, those who care to at least, have a sort of ‘time machine’ power in us. That is to say, we ‘vintage gals’, rather it be the love of old fashion, housework, the general feeling of community, have it in us to ‘time travel’ ourselves and our family to whatever decade and to whatever depth we choose.

The past, luckily for us, is right there for the taking. Unlike the present and the future, there is a certainty about it. It has gone by and been recorded. Surely, there are varying degrees of opinion on the accuracy of that record, but we can touch it, in a way, if you will. Old magazines, though hardly a true example of the average family (any more than our own modern magazines are!) at least show the level to which a homemaker or family aspired. It can be a sort of physical compass to give us something to shoot for.

We also have history books, fiction and non-fiction books and of course movies and early TV. With these sources at our disposal, add to that the growing information on the internet (to which I hope in time the Website will be a contributing factor, for I really want to get my ‘view’ in to counter all the ‘poodle skirt, Elvis, James Dean nonsense’). So, we have such a plethora of ‘fuel’ to run our Time Machines. We, then, have only to decide how far, how much, and to what extant will Vintage play in my life and that of my family?

As the end of 1955 approached I actually felt a little apprehension, as if when it was over I was somehow to be re-transformed into my uggs/shopping/take out modern girl I had once been. That is ridiculous, of course, because that person was no more the absolute me than was the 1955 me, yet what I admired about the 1955 me (if I may toot my own horn) was all I had learned and my desire, nay NEED to learn and do more. Did that stop when the Ball dropped and 2010 sprang forth? No! Here I am, writing this on my computer but sitting in my dress made by my hand, girdles and hosed, hair short, curled my every outward appearance more 1956 than 2010. This is the very reason I AM excited about this year.

Last year I wanted to get away from a present I began to loathe, to return to a time of manners and fashion and overall beauty that I longed for. Now, I realize, I haven’t any need to physically leave, for I can my my 2010 whatever I choose it to be. Perhaps, even in time, my wardrobe will begin to have more 1940 or 30’s outfits mixed in, it really is up to me (though I like the frugality and solidity of sticking with a decade in that realm, but more of that later on the website.)

I recently watched this film made in 1960. It was one of the first ‘modern’ films I have watched in awhile. Rather than it seeming silly in its special affects, it looked rather good coming form 1955. What I found particularly pertinent, is in this production of the film, at one point the main character, after having traveled to see WWI and WWII and the in 1966 (which had not happened at the making of this film) WWIII that ended the earth in nuclear destruction, he finds himself 10,000 years into the future. As he discovers the humans of that time (which luckily for him speak perfect English) are mindless children who eat and laze about all day. They have no concern for the future or one another only to eat, play and lounge about. He is disgusted by them and shouts that he would rather “die among the real men of his own time” who had the passions and proof of their convictions. I felt such a kindred spirit with him at that moment, for the young blond lazy future humans cared for little and had forgot about books and civilization. But, as we learn they are merely a part of the human race that stayed ‘up top’ after the destruction of the earth and were now being breed like cattle for the monstrous other version of humanity that had formed below the earth. He soon leads these humans to revolt and later returns to help them rebuild civilization.

These two worlds in this film were made up of the Eloi up top (or those closest to we modern humans) and the Morlocks, down below who controlled the Eloi. I saw a definite similarity in these two worlds to ours. We, the eloi, being groomed and prepared so when the siren calls us, as it does in the movie,(you should really rent it and watch it) the eloi (humans) stand and mindless walk towards the building run by the Morlocks. I thought, “Wow, the morlocks are the corporate run world of mass consumption and there we all are, we Eloi, wandering to our own demise smiling and empty headed to the mall”

I can’t tell you how akin I felt to the character in this movie. How, at first my growing disgust with our modern world turned to the hope and joy that we can REBUILD and remake a new way of living. To care again for individuals minds and intellect to choose to care for one another before ourselves and then with ourselves care enough to be mindful of our economy and to make our daily life special and wonderful not just endless tv watching, struggling at hateful jobs to lose ourselves in sloppy comfort clothes as we cram tasteless frozen food into our mouths waiting for our lives to end. To be finally driven, like cattle, from our peace and tranquility of our own homes to the consumerist world of the Morlock. Let’s stand up and not allow ourselves to be lead by the ‘siren of the instant gratification and the mall and consumer easy world’. Let’s take time to work harder but in the end be prettily dressed, smiling in clean organized homes eating fine meals with our happy families talking, reading, and being a part of our world. Don’t settle for a reality made up by the Morlocks where we wander aimless waiting for the siren to call us.

I am planning, on the website, to go more into depth about how we CAN begin to learn Vintage Lessons that we can apply to our daily life. So, check out the site periodically, as I am really attempting to upload more content as fast and best as I can. Thank you for bearing with me in that. The website has become, as I said before, a second home with its own to-do lists and allotted time in my day.

ADDENDUM to post: I don't want anyone to misunderstand my intent. I am really, for all intents and purposes, still very much in 1956, only I like and think it important to the 'revolution' that I take little sojurns into 2010 to help and make a new vintage possible for all of us. I hope that makes sense to any of you and fear not, I am not going to stop dressing vintage, nor stop cooking and cleaning and in fact am probably going to have even more skills in that realm by the end of this year. So, for those of you who like me to stay in the 1950's believe you me I am, only I want to peek out now and again so those of you who cannot travel back with me, might be able to introduce bits and bobs of 1950s into your own life.


  1. Wow, that sounds rather creepy. I'm interested in checking it out now.

    I look forward to the updates on the website.

  2. I was hopping you would stay in 1950's. It is probably selfish on my part, but reading your website and learning about life in 1955 was fun, even if I didn't have time to do it every day. :( But I think our life is what we make of it, and even present days have a lot of good things to offer. Well, good luck in 2010.
    And please don't give up cooking all those wonderful homemade meals. It seemed so much fun. Zory.

  3. OH, anon-I think you misunderstood. I am not REALLY leaving 1956 but rather bringing all that I loved about it here for ALL of us to have. Does that make sense? I am not really in this 2010 but one of my own making made up very much like 1956. I hope that makes sense.

  4. promise us, for the love of god, even if you are kidnapped and forced to live in 2010, DO NOT ever sport a pair of Uggs.

  5. So cool! I love the pic of the busy housewife with the celery and Rinso popping out of her shopping bag. I was born in '53. Those were good times for many people. I don't remember what Rinso was for, though. See my posts on my memories of 1950's Housewives: http://civillascloset or http://civillasfishbowl. Click on "1950's Housewives" (or 1960's Confessions of a Non-Hippie for my memories of the 60's), on either blog, then scroll way down to post #1 for each heading.

  6. What a very thought provoking entry! I can so understand where you are coming from. I just discovered your blog about 2 weeks ago and have been catching up with your previous entries. I absolutely love the "you tube" clips, recipes, and pictures that you attach to your posts.

    Reading your posts reminds me of growing up in a house from the 1950's with two grandmothers. I can imagine if they had kept a journal of their daily trials and tribulations, it would mirror the thoughts and words from your blog.

    Being raised by two grandmother's I have a great love of all things from the 1950's and 1960's. These things to me just give me a sense of happiness and reminds me of my childhood.

    I have recently purchased a house that was built in 1955 and slowly I am repairing and restoring it back to the way it would have appeared in the late 50's/early 60's.

    Anyway, enough said, keep the wonderful posts coming,


  7. Hello, love your blog and have tried to respond, but have been thwarted by one thing or another. Just wondering if maybe on the website a Reading List section might be fun. Non-fiction and fiction.

    I'm reading from online The Business of the Household from 1922. It's a Home-Ec book. It starts out by saying that the value of the housewife is not being taken for granted anymore. It seems we(homemakers) have been working on our image for awhile!

    I came across the book when I was researching the use of ledgers for the household. Not much out there that isn't software. I, of course, was inspired by your blog entry about ledgers. So have you used the ledger? It appeals to me with the making of spending our resources thoughtful and accountable. It also could be tedious. So I was wondering about your experiences.


  8. Jennifer-I DO use my ledger and have to say I have come to love it. It does make one feel, all the more, that you are the 'head of the business'. We homemakers are, after all, career girls in the home. Somehow it feels more tangible and when you can get to the point where you expenses and saves are down to WEEKLY, you feel more in control of it. I had not thought of the weekly idea until I saw the old educational film I had post about it. I highly recommend using a ledger and if you can't find a darling antique version, you can use a bound school lined composition book and draw in the vertical lines. I might make an image on the website that you could download and print at home to make your own ledgers and then just three hole punch them and keep them in a binder.

  9. Sorry this post was so poorly edited, I now realize, but I have to hope to get a post up as our DSL continues to go in and out, so please excuse.

  10. Very nice! Love the photos and theme, takes one back....:)


  11. I am glad that you are still "in" 1956. I hope that you will have time during the year to add photos of your home and table and dinners etc.. as you did last year. I truly enjoy all of the authentic 1950s ideas and ideals on your blog.

    *Kindred Spirit*

  12. I shall try this indeed. What I hope is to have the website eventually become the receptacle for my photos and clothes and recipes and home etc while the blog will be more about the rants and philosophizing of the day with little 'teasers' of images to lead back to the website. I feel that way the website will be easier to search and also be tied to a daily (or almost daily) action in my 50's life.
    Thank you all, again, for your wonderful support and I honestly do look forward to the new year and all that the 'Revolution' will become and how improved we 'Apronites' shall become in our domestic skills.

  13. Not to add more to your plate, but do you think a place on the forum for listing movies and books would be good? I think I remember you mentioning creating a place to list books, but I was thinking that including movies would be nice as well.

  14. I just watched The Time Machine recently and loved it. I hated it as a child, but found it quite engaging as an adult.

  15. Oh, 50sgal,

    Marvelous post! Brava, Brava!

    Now that you put it into perspective, that H.G. Wells film really does correlate with our society! I am so happy to have the vintage lessons coming up. I think that it makes—and will make—for a much easier time for me at work, knowing that I have the 50s to play in on my off-time.

    May the apron revolution go forward with aprons tied on strong.!

  16. Girl, you write the most amazing stuff!!! The Time Machine is a film I grew up with (you should read the book by HG Wells also!!), but reading your post where you put the Eloi and Morlocks in the context of consumer and mass corporation is brilliant and so absolutely true. And yes, there is hope!

  17. I watched it as a child and was lost in the end. I Watched as an adult and enjoyed it. I enjoyed the later 2001 (i think) even better. I think the 1960's there was a slight reference to the 1940's Arian nation ( blondes and book burning) As well as a(60's)peace movment.Interesting to think about.(another 1960's peace movement movie I just watched a while back " on the beach " with Anthony Perkins)
    I think people who move to the country do this as well, They always say they want a "simpler life"
    Enjoy your time travel.

  18. Wow, 50sGal, what an interesting parallel to draw using Wells' "Time Machine" (though remembering that film from childhood, I also recall that for weeks afterward, the sound of the tornado siren testing on Saturdays sent me into a minor tizzy of fear, and not over the weather). Brilliant comparison; I wonder how many others would see it that way? It seems to show what our forbears feared, that with all of the conveniences of technology we would forget what it is to truly live, which is to BE something, to DO things, to take chances and risks, however small.

    (Yes, I am late for my morning breakfast 'with' you today...)

    PL's suggestion for a list of books and movies is great; I was just thinking myself that perhaps we could share our favourite vintage cookbooks and vintage recipes (from books or Grandma). I've made several vintage recipes of late, some from the 30s even (a 50s housewife would surely remember such meals, or perhaps her mother would still be making them) and have been quite pleased. It would be fun to share them with one another somehow...Even "Recipes of the Week" from several readers or one who'd put together an entire meal of vintage recipes. It might be a bit more work, though. It's too bad we can't find a forum without dozens of crazily flashing and spinning ads everywhere.

    Have a lovely day! Off to finish cleaning and then walk the dog again.

  19. I take all the suggestions and then hopefully can and will put them into OUR site. I am, but one person, though so as long as you will be patient I will indeed do and add everything we discuss. I love the idea of a book page to list fiction, non-fiction, cookbooks etc. And a movies review page would be lovely. I think I recall one of my followers, though I can't recall which, sometimes blogs about and reviews old movies so, again, recruiting those we can to add to our site to make it wonderful and rich would be in order. Now, back to waiting for cable man and to have again, FINALLY, a reliable conneciton. Oh and this is 50s gal, I have had to comment as ANON again, silly computer!

  20. Keep up the good work 50's Gal, I look forward to your 1956 year, as you move between that year and 2010. :)

    Looking forward to more posts on your blog,

    Mom in Canada

  21. “for I really want to get my ‘view’ in to counter all the ‘poodle skirt, Elvis, James Dean nonsense’”

    This is truly a great point! I want to live a vintage styled daily life, not a teenage-dream version made of singers and movie stars. I want an adult fifties fashion style for my wardrobe and an elegant makeup, not a bombshell super-sexy makeup (yes, occasionally for big parties).

    And no, you don’t have to re-transform to 2010. I think I’ve told you before, but live a life in which I’ve taken the best from both worlds. I dress vintage-styled, we never watch TV while we eat. I haven’t thought about this before now. I sparsely use, and love, modern technology like my pc/printer/scanner, I own a cell phone, but hardly ever use it. I love my dishwasher, washing machine, and use my drier only for towels (I love to line dry). I rarely watch TV, in Denmark the average Dane watch 3.25 hours of TV A DAY!!! I was shocked to learn. I watch max. one movie a week, that is less than two hours a week. I always have a thousand other things to do and simply don’t understand how other people have time to just sit there. DH and I like to go for a long walk instead while we talk, and the bonus is the exercise.

    Great post - as usual. :)

  22. I'm a new reader to your blog and I absolutely love it. :) I'm only a few posts in but I hope to go back and read through all of them.
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who still likes to write down their numbers with a pen and paper. :)

  23. I think our life is what we make of it, and even present days have a lot of good things to offer. Well, good luck in 2010.

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