Thursday, January 7, 2010

7 January 1956 “The Call of the Modern World”

I decided to answer this question from ZEBU as a blog post.

“So, as this first week of the new year comes to a close, do you find yourself at all chomping at the bit to do things that you didn’t allow yourself in 1955?” 

I thought this a very good question as now I am ‘allowed’ more modern things. I have to say, though, so far this has been more 1956 than 2010. But, there have been a few modern things done.

For starters, last night  we were having a dinner party and my guests were running late. I had scheduled the roast to come out and 'set' for it's 15 minute carving window and it took longer because they are in from out of town and they have a 2 year old child.

So, after they arrived, things had chilled a bit and I popped it all back in the oven, but I didn't want to overcook my lovely rare roast, so I took the pan drippings, poured them into a little jug and then, slowly turned to the 'silver beast' atop my icebox. THE MICROWAVE. I had just considered getting rid of it for good the other day and there it was, just taunting me, "Come on, I can toast up that jus in seconds, your guest are waiting, your roast is cooling" so, I gave in. Do I feel 'bad' or as if I 'cheated'. Not really. I KNOW a 50’s housewife would have a micro had they been around (well they were invented in 55 but were equal to about 10,000 dollars in today's money)

I have tried, on several occasions now, to watch TV. Not to sit and enjoy it, but to get 'fodder' for blogs. But, I find myself SO disgusted that I said to hubby, "I can't even watch it long enough to get enough info to blog about" he just shrugs and goes back to his books or piano (he couldn't care if the TV were gone for good).

I was appalled by some show about teen mothers, but couldn't watch it long enough to get info to blog about, I tried the 'news' which is a joke about what famous person slept with whomever. There is so much actual news and unrest going on in the middle east and they are talking about tiger woods and his bed sport, as if it could matter . Then it will be followed by a commercial  for a car or ice-cream and it will be so overtly sexual. How can they NOT see the mixed message? They take a sort of 'moral high ground' attitude to judge the 'famous' people, as if it mattered in the big picture, and then their sponsors overtly use sex to sell you products or tell you how fat or out of shape you are. So,  that was definitely an "I like 1955 more" moment.

I also, at my friends birthday party, joined in on their 'rock band' game. I just enjoyed it like a parlor game where, of course, you don't really talk to one another as you have to focus on the task at hand. But, it was fine and okay for when I am 'socializing' with her. I am sort of ambiguous about it. It is a fun game for a little while as long as we can shut it off and talk, play cards, that sort of thing. I think in 1955 they would have liked any ‘new’ thing, but I think the amount of time they would have spent on the leisure time would be much less than we do today. I think they would have had fun but in the context of a life in which you also socialize, raise a family, etc. Today we seem to live ONLY to be amused and passively so, so in that light I like 1955 more.

I still dress 'normal' for me which is vintage head to toe. Obviously I use the computer. Though, now with the website, I am still really using it as a typewriter, thesaurus, photo research tool. I have not had time to visit any of your wonderful blogs and I hope for now you will forgive me that, but when I am at the computer it is fun but it is work and then I need to care for my home, cook meals etc.

For the most part, I am not consciously trying to do anything 'modern' per se. I think I have just become so accustomed to the 'new normal' that it is just second nature. Which proves, of course, that we can change our perception of our lives and the way we live it.

I might try some modern books, but have not as yet. In fact I am now reading my 1885 copy of 'life in the garden' which is a wonderful book, as I am getting ready to start dreaming and planning out my new gardens for spring.

There is something I missed and will most likely enjoy again: period films. Though they depict the 19th century (such as pride and prejudice, sense and sensibility etc the BBC versions not those wretched 'Hollywood' versions that they film for a two hour movie) I think I might like to watch the Pallisers again, which I own. But, again, it will be a snippet here and there, as I am so busy and really love my busy work that I don’t always need a break from it, which I love. And now I am trying to draw a little each day and now starting to plan my garden for Spring that I am finding so much of my life is taken up with enjoyable living that passive entertainment seems the last thing on my mind. I would most likely feel fidgety and anxious as if I could be doing something better and more fun.

So, I hope that answers the question. As I have decided, this will be mainly a 1956 year, but I do want to keep finding and incorporating ways to enliven the present with the past and to pass it on to you so you may do the same. The Apron Revolution must happen in 2010, as I cannot fit ALL of you in my Time Machine!

I have included my next drawing challenge, which again is another cartoon. I feel a theme coming on. (you can click on it to enlarge it.)


Also I have a question: does anyone know how to make a button (well I can make and design it in Photoshop) but I need a way to link a button I design so that I can place it here and you can click it to go to the website and also one that I could offer on here and the website for any of you to place on your blog to bring others to our great community. If anyone can help me that would be great!

Until tomorrow then (unless my internet is out for few days) Keep those aprons tied and those faces smiling.


  1. Sorry I don't know a thing about PhotoShop, but I love your cartoon. Very cute. You should sell that one as a cafe press mug!

    Tales Of A Fourth Grade Nothing

  2. actually, I know the photoshop bit, I can 'make' the button, but I don't know how to give it the HTML to make it linkable and copyable for others to have it on their sites.

  3. I love your thoughts here. We have been without television for YEARS and don't miss it (6 of us). We do rent the occasional movie or television show, but we don't schedule around it like we used to b/c it's just not there. We find we play more games with the kids, read more, and play outside more. It's great!!! On another note, we have lived in the middle of TN for 3.5 years now. My husband came home from work yesterday and said he had a customer in from FL. This man was originally from IN. I guess he was *@# this and that all day long. My husband told me how much it grated on his nerves. . .it's just not a normal pattern of conversation around here. Granted, at one time we were knee-deep in that kind of language too but don't miss it. I think 1955 would have been a great time to raise a family :) But have to say, as a mom and housewife I do enjoy my modern conveniences. . .

  4. Hmm, all I know about a button that would link to your other site is that you'd need to frame it with the proper HTML coding, which is...Hrm...I think it's In short, you want to frame the link to your button with a link to the website. Does that make sense?

    It's interesting to see how you are blending the different eras. And your drawings are such fun!

    By the way, since health got in the way and I had to sort of 'drop out' last year, I've decided to go through and read your posts from last year, day by day (on the proper day) as I eat my breakfast. Not very 50s but it's rather like my 'morning paper', after a fashion. It also makes our dog's begging face much less distracting. ;) But if you get a comment on a year-old's probably me forgetting!

  5. Oh no, the coding didn't come through! Kinda figured that. This site is fairly helpful, though. Sorry, not sure how to do it in Photoshop!

  6. i could have written your whole post~well except for the vintage "head to toe" part. i am sort of vintage head OR toes, at the moment...haha. but even if i am in jeans, i am certainly "done up" every day. and i just tried to watch tv a minute ago, b/c my dear hub said that he would tuck the little ones in and i was to go "sit". i lasted 1/2 was bad. very bad. i wish we lived closer so we could have a period film fest!!
    i have a question, which i should probably post in the forum...where do you all find girdles? i know ebay is a source, but i am thinking i need to be able to try on and see the fit. most of the ones i see are too big. so do any dept. stores still sell them new? and will they be so expensive? i have checked a couple places and they sell "shapewear" but it is basically stretchy camisoles and the like. i think i might like an "all in one" for special occasions too. any ideas? thank you in advance.

  7. Ladies as I was browsing the computer I came across this and thought I would try to share it with you.

  8. Kelly~ I bought mine, new, from here: I have purchased stockings from them, as well. I hightly recommend them! Just click on the "girdle" tab when you get to their home page. I paid $60 for my girdle (which was equivalent to about 3 pairs of super-shaping-control top pantyhose I had to recently buy).

    Donna~As for the button....I seem to recall when I was still using Blogger that there was a widget that would do what you are asking for. Go into your blogger control panel and see if there isn't a widget in there already. If not, just do a search for blogger widgets--simple image linking. I have use one by that name for Wordpress and it is heavenly! No html knowledge needed.

    And, finally, we are grateful for Netflix. We are in season 2 of both Gunsmoke and Perry Mason. We saw modern TV the other night and were horried by it. No thank you!

  9. Correction, Kelly! I paid $44 for CHEAPER than shapewear pantyhose in the long run!

    I bought Rago Open Bottom 1294 as it is the closest I can get to an all-in-one due to my "generous" bosom. I like it and it is comfortable. Just make sure you buy the correct size for you (I think women complain about how tight the girdles were because they were wearing the wrong size)

  10. We have a Lady Grace in town and they still make girdles. I have two of their open bottom version and one of the panty girdle. They are lovely, come in a few colors and are reasonably priced. Now, I know nothing about the company and hope they do not have cheap things made in China. I think the woman told me they still get the girdles made by the same factory that has been doing it for years. HEre is the link and I will put it on the website under VINTAGE LINKS as well.

  11. How lovely that your husband doesn’t care about TV! My husband lives for the TV after work.

    Your drawing once again hits the nail on the head with the difference between 1956 and 2010. Would you mind if I printed the drawings or maybe put one on my blog? I would definitely give you credit when showing them to anyone and also on my blog if I posted one there (also putting a link back to you).

    I checked on buttons for you and found that the ones offered on Blogger are premade. So, I’m wondering if you could make your button, save it to your computer as a JPEG image, and the use the “picture” gadget to enter your image.

    To get the picture gadget, go to the Dashboard of your blog, hit Layout, then Add a Gadget. When you get to that page, scroll down to “Picture” and click on it. There, you can add a picture from your computer (your button) and add the link back to your blog so that when people click on it, it will take them to you.

    Let me know if that works.

  12. Oh, P.S.,

    I meant to say this first! Thank you kindly for answering my question and for linking to me.

  13. 50's Gal :)

    Sometimes I look upon this brave new world and wonder what I am doing in it.

    I don't tweet, twitter or text on my hubby's cellphone, I only use a cellphone for an emergency and never carry one on me.

    I miss using my old typewriter from college, it had character- although it always missed the letter A :)

    I guess I miss the simplicity of my childhood, where one could turn the television on with the flick of a wrist, now I need two remotes to access the DVD player in order to access the cable. Talk about confusing :)

    As our lives have become busier with "progress", we lose sight of what's important family, friends and neighbours.

    I wish I could step back to that simpler time, where a neighbour was a phone call away for coffee, where my boys could run free in the neighbourhood without my constant supervision and when staying home to raise a family/care for the home was a respected choice for a woman.

    Call me oldfashioned (I swear my father was from the Victorian Edwarian era :) ), but I think we lost some of our humanity when we embraced all this technology. I would rather talk to someone across the table or use the phone, as opposed to e-mail/ texting.

    Sigh, I am so out of my element, I cannot even begin to keep up with the technology out there.

    Mom in Canada

  14. I would just like to say that your blog is an inspiration for me! I am going into living in the 50's and I love it and to be quite honest being 24 years old I hate the modern world!

    Thanks again for brightening my day everyday

  15. Good morning all. So many lovely comments agian.
    Zebu-first off, thank you for that advice on the button I will try that. I am not sure if that will make a button others could copy for their site or blog, but I will find out. Thank you for taking the time to do that
    I am, again, honored that you like something I have done, my little scribble. You most certainly may put a copy on your blog/site if you wish. Since I have started my little daily doodles, these two characters just sort of sprung up and they seem to be a fine way to express not only the differences in our two times but the sometimes ridiculous of the 'modern normal'.
    Concerning Hubby and the tv, when we were first together in mid 90's we lived in a house very much in a 19th c way, except that I had a job. We had no tv, (of course no cell phones then) but my laptop died and I left it, I sold my car and we lived with just bikes. Our world suddenly shrunk to only where our feet our bike could take us. We have the fondest memories of then, because the simple became the special. A trip to the local drug store for fountain pen refills and pipe tobacco etc. All was an adveture.
    As time moved on and I bought a car etc etc I found that I had slowly become more a 'part of ' the moder world and found myself watching tv often, much to my husbands disgust. He never liked it. Again, he was really raised without tv. They never had cable and his mother never watched tv so it was only on, if someone bothered to turn it on. Then if they watched a one show, his mother would then suggest he do something else, play outside, read etc. So, early habits make a difference. So any parents out there, if you want to make the lovley future hubby's who don't care about tv, teach them now by not having it on all the time, limit the time and then encourage them to do something else by joining it or by example. If you or your hubby is in front of the tv alot, then I am sure your child will learn this habit. I think, again, it shows how much we learn 'by example' as people. Even adults can relearn and their environment can change, though people as a rule fear change, the reality is everything DOES change. Perhaps we instinctively fear it as it recalls to us the eventual long sleep we are all heading to, but to me, that remainder is the very thing that spurs me on to live as I like and to want to have others realize it as well!

  16. Anyway, off topic a bit there, no surprise right ladies? But, yes my hubby does not like tv. Occasionaly if he is tired he will try to find somthing to watch but always, much as I have in the past, get upset by the insipid level of entertainment and the sameness ofit all. Really all the shows are just the same formula (Much like modern american films).
    Any way, maybe the next time your hubby wants to watch tv you could just suggest casually, "Oh, I have been meaning to try playing scrabble again, you want to try tonight?" or "Hey I was thinking we should really take a walk to gether and get some fresh air" and I wonder, if you slowly replaced his'tv time' without ever saying, "don't want tv" the positive reinforcment would win out and the pair of you would end up doing things together. Worth a try, unless you like the tv too, then I suppose it doesn't matter.
    Mom in canada-boy do I know what you mean. As I said, I was slowly slipping into the modern world over the past few years, I had an ipod in the city I bought a wall projector tv and also had my computer hooked to it, I was becomeing, really, just a part of the things that OWNED me! It wasn't me, but really just my own unhappiness with myself manifesting itself in the ease of ownership. That is what is so scary about the modern world, it can lull you into your own demise, the siren song of it will shut off that inner voice, numb your mind and set you down to be plugged in and tuned out. You are lucky to not be so. I have embraced that part of my freedom. That was a side affect of 1955 that has really
    'set me free'. THAT is something that I will never go back to no matter the date! I might use your frustration with the remote as my next cartoon, if that is okay with you?
    Twinklez-I am glad that one so young is able to mistrust and therefore want to bring back the good of the past. What we can do, those of us who 'hate the modern world' is share our frustration and in that sharing realize we all MAKE the present and can therefore bring back those ideals of the past that should have stayed and make them into our new future. I am glad you are a part of our community and would love to know more about your 'living in the 50s'.

  17. thank you so much for the links to the underthings! if i can't find what i want here locally, i will definitely be ordering. it's nice to see all the diff. styles laid out no matter what! i am a pencil skirt girl, for sure, so shapers of some sort really help the line. i wish i looked better in the fuller skirts, but i am short and small. they sort of overwhelm me and i think i look, hmmm, frumpy? instead of elegant..

  18. Donna...thanks again for a great post. Slowly, in reading your blog, I have come to a decision. I cannot got back in time, nor can I mae now what yesterday was. I cannot change those around me. But that doesn't mean that I cannot change myself. I have determined to learn again how to sew and start making clothing for myself and my daughter. I am prying my family away from all the modern junk. My friend speak of wii's and ipods and such and I don't have a clue. And what's more, I could care less. Let them have their technology should they want it. I don't.

  19. Love this site! Don't know how old you are, but I was born in '53. Find it wonderful to see all the young ladies wanting the 50's. It was a wonderful time, although not for everybody (like minority groups). However, I remember it as a great time. Love to see blogs like yours and spend some time back there!

    I wrote my memoirs of the 50's. Go here:
    http://civillascloset.blogspot. Click on 1950's Housewives on my sidebar. I made 17 posts. You will have to scroll way down.

    I also did my memoirs of the 60's, too (I was not a hippie). I'm in the process of editing them and re-posting them (1960's Confessions of a Non-Hippie on my sidebar) and most of them are back up now.

    Nice seeing this blog, and I'm a follower!!!

  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  21. 50sgal,

    Thank you. I will enjoy showing off your art work, as I’m sure that others will also greatly enjoy it.

    I don’t think, for me anyway, that enticing Hubby away from the TV would work. He works very long days and really likes to unplug from the world through the TV. There is so much smut on all the time that I just as soon it wouldn’t be on. I really despise it most of the time. However, he is kind enough to now watch it in the TV room versus in our bedroom, which I greatly appreciate.

    You speak of your special time when you and your hubby didn’t have cars, etc. I have a similar time. Though it wasn’t by choice but rather lack of finances, those are some of my fondest memories. We lived eight miles out of town in the foothills. Hubby went deer, bow-and-arrow, hunting one time across the road and up the hill. We also went cross-country skiing on the same hill and cut a Christmas tree as well. We had a pond out back and wonderful land to go walking about in. As we didn’t have gas money for me to go to town, I was home most all of the time. I did walk the eight miles into town one time with my little child. It was in that house where I crocheted my first afghan. There I cooked my first 10-course Thanksgiving dinner for the three of us. There I first gardened and canned. I used what was available, as there wasn’t money to buy. One time, for instance, I picked wild berries and made a pretty wreath. I made my own baby food, which is much healthier anyway. As disposable diapers were expensive, I used cloth. I rocked my babies and read scriptures in the sereneness. The simple times, when looked back upon, were the special times.

  22. Civilla, thank you for posting your blog info. I've only read 4 of the housewife posts but they are very interesting.


  23. Zebu-isn't it funny when we have lived with so little we often realize how MUCH we actually have had! In many ways, if we let technology OWN us, than we have given up a piece of our live to IT. I am doing my post about this very topid today, actually.

  24. I just finished catching up with all the new posts! We spent a week at my parents' house 9 hours from home. I thought about you when my mom (who cooked everything from scratch) served meals on my grandma's china.

    Thank you so much for continuing to inspire us with your 50's tales, I love it!! And thank you for your generosity, your new web site is amazing! I definitely need to learn more about the 50's lifestyle: how to dress, learn how to do make more homemade goodies, etc.

    Oh and after several weeks of physio, I am now doing better and have been able to do a lot more chores than before, yay! I feel happy when I can actually do my job! Apron Revolution!

  25. I also think that your husband speak so sweet of you on his new blog! What a gentleman!

  26. 50sgal,

    Indeed, how true that is!


    So glad you're back and doing better!

  27. Thank you, Zebu!


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