Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happy 1950s Housewife

I could have easily been a 1950s housewife. Never mind I wasn't alive in the 50s. Fantasies can't be bogged down with these minor details.

From what I understand, in the 50s women spent their time making a house a home. I know it's a cliche. I know we're all supposed to be concerned about our profit sharing numbers. I know we spent the 60s overcoming the 50s.

Can we just put all of that aside for a moment and think about how lovely it would be to sit down to a home-cooked meal every night, in a clean house, with a beautifully set table? The family would be gathered around, listening to father dispensing wisdom while we all ate our home-baked coconut pie with the real meringe. Okay, I'll admit, parts of that scenario creep me out a little bit - particularly that part about Dad dispensing wisdom.

But, I could so easily have been happy spending the day in my house, puttering around and dusting, stopping only to make canapes to be served with a relish tray of olives and home-made pickles. The day would end as we slipped into crisp, clean sheets still smelling of sunshine and perhaps a tiny spritz of lavendar water. Of course, my vision of this 1950s life includes microwaves, modern vacuum cleaners, racial equality, and the internet. Hey, it's my fantasy. Don't ruin it for me.

I'm not sure exactly what part of this fantasy appeals to me, but I think it's mostly having a home I want to be in and not having to leave it to go into the work world. However, the more I think about it, it sounds completely exhausting to make this ideal home. It might require Martha Stewart and staff, as well as the fictional Bree Hodges. And I haven't even added in the 2.5 children yet. We better bring supernanny into the picture too.

I'm starting to understand why women rebelled against this, although I'm surprised they had any energy left for rebellion. Now that I think about it I guess I just want the canapes and fresh sheets, surrounded by a spotless home.

I guess that's why this is a fantasy...
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