Monday, August 16, 2010

Rewind, Be Kind

i'm a sucker for old-fashioned etiquette - amuses me to no end.  so i was just tickled pink when i recently came across a copy of the 11th edition of Etiquette, published in 1960, at a thrift store for $2.62.  it's been an entertaining read, for sure.

not wanting to keep all the fun to myself, i thought it'd be neat to apply 1960's etiquette to various social situations of today...wanna give it a try?

Lesson #1

with summer coming to a quick end, i know there are lots of mommies out there trying to find ways to fill their time while junior is off at school learning reading, writing and 'rithmatic.  as any good 1960s wife and mother would, you'll probably want to spend that time cleaning your house, preparing meals, and mending things (assuming, of course, you don't have "servants").  here is what Emily Post has to say about dressing for housecleaning:

"The housewife busily doing her chores in her house or apartment should certainly wear whatever clothes are, for her, most comfortable.  In the country, this often means shorts or slacks for all morning activities, and in the city, these are certainly proper in her own apartment, or if she is hurrying out for a moment to shop in her block or to walk the dog to the corner.  No matter how informal the outfit, if it is neat and clean (of course, you may have dirt from the garden on your hands or smudges from cleaning the oven on your face, but if your chores for the day have been of this sort, do them first and wash and change before going on to something of a less demanding nature), you need make no apology when a salesman comes to the door or your friendly neighbor drops in.

"Two cardinal rules must be mentioned: Never go shopping or to any public place with your hair in curlers, unless they are so skillfully concealed with a scarf or hat as to be completely invisible. Never wear short shorts or a bathing suit on the street. In many communities it is actually illegal to appear in these costumes, so if you don't wish to change into other clothes to do your errands, you must cover your lack of clothing with a skirt, a beach coat, or a shift."

Not wanting to take any chances on a second arrest, Doris
forgoes the daisy duke's and bikini top in favor of a smart dress and kicky apron.


so there you have it:  no short shorts and no visible curlers.  and if the Jehovah's Witnesses show up at your door, it's perfectly acceptable to have dirt on your hands (perhaps if you tell them you were just burying-i mean, planting-some flowers they'll skip your house next time?).

let me know how this works out for you :)

1 comment:

Kelly O said...

I love these sort of things! It's the very Betty-by-god-Crocker picture of lying on the floor in apron and heels to take a power nap before the Mister gets home and needs his cocktail hour.