Sunday, January 1, 2012

1 January 1933 “Here I am: a New Decade but an Old Challenge”

As you may now see I have chosen to focus on the 1930’s this year. I want to first say that this in no way means I have left behind the 1950’s. In fact, after the experiment, or perhaps part of the way through, one never knows, I may happily return to My present which would be 1958. As I have said many times before the changes in my general outlook on life as well as how I choose to live could never go back completely to the 21st century. I happily use its technology and positive means but for the most part the over consumption and general attitude of the modern world can often leave me cold.

One of the main reasons for my trip to 1930’s was our own current economy and world. I have felt increasingly guilty about living happily in the glory days of the 1950s. In a sense a feeling, as many may have felt in war time or other eras that needed people to stand up, band together and get to work, I feel this is my own contribution to our modern Recession and hard times. That I might live as well and best as I can in the old Depression so that, were it to hit us again, we might be prepared. And hope among hope it does not, then we have had a good laugh at my foibles and relished our enjoyment of more homemaking skills. For surely, the 1930’s homemaker, needed even more skills without her automatic electric kitchen and instant cake mixes and two cars in every driveway.

I have to say I was still on the fence last night about my decision. Having really thought about it. Then, checking my last post, I received this comment which rather hurt me and made me peevish and moody for the rest of the night.

I am crushed the you are leaving the 1950s. Throughout the past few years when ever anyone has posted comments about you "playing dress-up" or "pretending" to live in the past your retorts gave the impression that this was more than just a game for you, that it was a lifestyle. To now find out that you are going to have a go at a different decade was a real blow to those of us who thought you were really committed to the 1950s way of life. Good luck with your next production.
The real '50s Gals.


Of course, as is often the case, the comment was anonymous. It hurt me in a way that made me think more and more about our current times and even the later 1950s. In a way it cemented my choice this year. I began to think of that modern mind set, or feeling of  entitlement. We as modern people are trained to expect and want this instantly, without fail, and to our own personal standards. The idea of personalized and Now seems to permeate all the consumer goods. And the fact that we can, without much cost (save the internet fees), have access to many blogs and information that people take time and effort without pay to do is a wonderful thing. Yet, even with this offered to us we may often expect such things to be as we like it. And not finding it so we can often become angry or even hostile. Now, I am not saying this comment is hostile and in so many ways I am lucky with my comments. Many people have told me how lucky I am to have so many good comments and such considerate and well behaved people, for the internet is a place filled with crass rudeness. But, I did feel a bit of the spoilt baby who wants her her way or no way in the comment.

So, to my point. This sort of ‘give me what I want or I don’t like it’ attitude really made me want even more to go into the past even further. And it also made reflect on the ending of the 1950s. I would, this year, be in 1958. I see the writing on the wall, the increased consumerism, the ever creeping towards the 60’s that begins to feel more like the 21st century that I wanted to address. I am not saying that 1958 was not a wonderful year and certainly so much better in many ways than 2012 may be, but it was this sort of tantrum response that made me want to have another little sojourn into unknown territory and see what I am made of. Am I to come screaming back to 1958 in a month because I miss it or think I cannot do it? One never knows, but I feel it is worth a try.

I also really, for my own purpose, want to see the news and various aspects of the 1930s and what it was like in the “Between The War” years.

I chose 1933 as my base year, though I intend to discuss things prior, obviously, but also to go into as far as 1939. I have a few inexpensive cookbooks and magazines on the way, though the sheer amount of things made and published in the 1950’s is easily three times that of the 1930’s. There was no TV and talkies had only started in 1927 and there was of course the phonograph and radio. So, the advertising to the people to get them to buy more and also the availability of money was such that there are just not as many publications nor homemaker type manuals. In 1933 one was more likely to have learned at mothers knee than in a book.

Another aspect would be my own 50s gal persona would have been a War bride and a young girl in the 1930’s. I would have learned from a mother who was herself a young homemaker in the 1930’s and to see and experience that as best or realistically as I can shall certainly be interesting to me.

I hope I have not made any of the pure 1950’s followers too upset. I will still reference the 1950’s quite often because in many ways they have been my point of reference for the past three years. I could but not help to compare things I do and find in 1933 with those I found in 1955 and of course with 2012, whatever that may yet turn out to be.

Now, on the practical side, I am not going to throw way my 1950’s clothes, jewelry etc. That would not be very 1930’s at all. In fact many things, such as my straighter longer skirts, are actually quite 1930’s. Simply wear a sweater (jumper) over that with a thin belt at the waist and one of my berets and I shall be quite 1930’s.

shoes  have bought two pair of shoes that are much more 30’s and I have to say a bit more comfortable than some of my 1950’s shoes because they have a wider heel and are lace up. They are similar to these pictured here. And part of the fun will be finding a few things here and there at old shops for little money to augment my already homemade wardrobe.

My hair, which I have let grow past my shoulders, will get bobbed. I am going to twist and wear it lower until I do that but am looking forward to a shorter style. I certainly could have had a shorter style in 1957, but was growing it as would have been happening as we approached the 1960’s for the fuller hair. The the early 1960’s bubble cut was rather short it was also the beginning of a bouffant approach. I rather like the looks of the 1933 hair in comparrison. Early 1960s and 1933 30shair Yet the size and close shape of the 1930’s hair is not that different from the 1950s. These young girls in 1955 look to have rather similar hair to the 1930s, as not all hair was tightly fingerwaved as demonstrated here by Myrna Low in the 1930s. myrnaloyhair Certainly the fingerwave was a popular look many also sported looser curls, as this photo of Marlene Dietrich shows, marelnedeitrich  but the hair, over all, was definitely short, just not as severe and boyish as it had been in the 1920s. I will share my hair results and, I am sure, mess ups with you.

The music I am rather excited about as I love many late 30’s early 40’s such as Ella and Louis. But to learn more of other artists it rather exciting and will happily fill my kitchen as I struggle with various things, I am sure. Here is Ruth Etting, a very popular singing and movie star of the late 20’s and early 30’s.

And Annette Henshaw

I also want my readers to know that for the most part I shall look for the bright and happy side and try to counter any sadness with a good dose of ‘how to’ Depression style to shake the blues away. But, just as today, there are hard times a coming and I think it would be a false way to represent the times if I did not also mention some of the bad. For without the bad, how good shall we know we have it when the sun shines?

And, on that note, with the coming hardships and rising job loss and further economic Depression, this song, for many reasons, become a great hit. Many sang and hummed this tune as it was known by all. If one follows the lyrics we can see the sad progress of the proud Great War Veteran now down on his luck. Many needed a spare dime.

I hope all are excited for me to try and discover and live the best way I can 1930’s style. And don’t worry the 1950’s are still there, we are, after all, time travelers are we not? We can, with a click of a button, travel to anytime we imagine and can easily enjoy the good of any past we wish.

Happy Homemaking , Happy New Year and wish me luck!

 Search The Apron Revolution