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Old September 24th, 2003, 10:55 AM   #16
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Maine
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It was 1972-73 (that's the year I graduated) when they started to relax the dress code in our public high school. Still no jeans, but you could wear a pants suit. (YES!!!!!) <G> And yes, when I was growing up the old patent-leather shoes were in style although my Mom couldn't get me to wear them no matter what she did. Saddle shoes or white bucks were ok. <G>

Chana, your article brought back one of my last memories of my Mom telling LuLu and I something of the past. When she told me this story, I was stunned because I was here and never noticed this at all. She died about 4 months later.

MaryLou and I were taking care of my Mom one afternoon while my Dad went to town to get the groceries. It was an afternoon much like any other. We were sitting at the kitchen table and my Mom started talking, telling us about when my Dad retired and the changes that took place in their lives at that time. (They had been married 40 years at that point and it's now almost 20 years later.) She was telling us how scared she was to have my Dad retire. I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing. My parents were the type that always did things together (exceptions were work and groceries). They would hold hands when they would walk down the street or go to a fair. We have more pictures of them kissing than we do in any other pose so I was having a problem conceiving what my Mom would be afraid of. Of course they had fights over the years, what couple doesn't? But I just had to hear more. I was stunned when she said that up to the point when my Dad retired, he had NEVER seen her hair in curlers and that she didn't know how she was going to get her hair done without him seeing them. I remembered about then that my Mom never went anywhere without her hair done and her clothes neat and clean but I didn't realize that my Dad had never seen her in curlers. She told us that she was mortified over it and it had caused some problems between my Dad and her. Finally, my Dad cornered her one day and wanted to know what was the matter with her and she had to confess. He burst out laughing and told her, honey, I married you because I love you and curlers won't make a difference in that!!!!!!!

It was only a couple of years later that my Mom got breast cancer and had to have a radical mastectomy. That incident over the curlers actually helped her with the cancer because she knew what my Dad was going to say about the loss of a breast. That what would matter to him was that he still had his bride. The cancer never returned thank god.

My Mom was much like the women in your article. Oh, she would never have stood for my Dad staying out all night or anything without an explanation but she was very much from that basic school of waiting on her husband. She always made his favorite foods and tried to see to all his needs and believe me, we were kept in line too. But what that article doesn't say is that in good households, the husband also did things for the wife! My Dad worked hard to support us, plus my grandparents on both sides plus my Mom's sister and family. My Mom took care of us and sometimes worked out of the home too.

As the years rolled on my Mom got really sick and their roles reversed. My dad became my Mom's caretaker. He cleaned the house, cooked meals, did dishes, washed clothes, bathed my Mom and changed her Attends. All because of love. She had to learn to accept that. The curlers helped teach her that acceptance.

She's gone now, but her memory lingers on. My Dad orders his day by doing the things that he thinks my Mom would have him to do.

Probably in 50 years or so people will read things on etiquette from OUR past and have much the same things to say. We are products of our environment and the only thing we can really count on is change. How we respond to those changes will eventually make us into the people that we will become as time marches on.
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Old September 24th, 2003, 12:44 PM   #17
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Thanks for sharing another perspective of " The way things were". I guess my radical femme side came out (sshhshs don't tell anyone I have a side like that) when I first read the article. I can now see that it isn't only bout the woman having things ready for the husband.
Last night Boo and I was having a discussion about things that are going on and I finaly told her that something had me worried.I didn't want to tell her at first because I was in the " I'm indepedant radical femme" thinking mode. Boo responded " Just because you might need help dosen't mean you aren't independant. It is the wifey's job to come to her hersband ( yes we actually talk like this LOL) and it is the hersband's job to help find a solution."
Some of the "The Way things were" are still imporant today.
" Life is what you make of it"
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