Saturday, January 16, 2010

Television and Old Maids in 1950

My mom-in-law gave me a small chest/bookcase. It is about 2 feet tall and about 10 inches wide. It is a perfect to put beside my chair to keep my notebooks, dictionary, Bible and other things I like to have on hand when I am on the computer. But what I really enjoyed about this piece of furniture was the newspaper pages that were in the bottom of the drawers. My mom-in-law told me she left them in their specifically because she knew I liked things like that. The date of the newspaper was Wednesday, February 8, 1950.

There were quite a few interesting articles and ads. One ad was for a "HUGE 12 1/2 inch" television. Call for free "in-home demonstration". They weren't cheap though. $179.95. That was A LOT of money in 1950. As a matter of fact, that is twice as much as such a small tv would cost today.....and today's wouldn't be black and white! (the picture is one I googled. That is actually one from 1954.)

There was also an advice column that was similar to today's Dear Abby. It was called Dorothy Dix . This is one of the letters and the response...

"Dear Miss Dix.
What can be done about the business girls who are well educated, well dressed, good looking, but are 30 years of age and have no beaus and no dates, no chance of marrying? They would like to marry and have husbands and homes of their own, but the men of their own age marry younger girls and leave the older ones alone.

Answer: Kissing goes by favor, as the old adage says, and unless a girl has that peculiar something that attracts men, her matrimonial chances are slim.
The plight of girls who have a natural feminine yearning for the attention of men and for love, romance and marriage, but who are denied these, is truly sad. What makes the situation still more pathetic is that they exaggerate the value and happiness these things would bring. The girl who has no dates, pictures every party as a wild orgy of joy. She imagines every man a fairy prince and has never a doubt that if she married, her husband would be an ideal mate and her home an earthly paradise.

If the business girl will look around at her married friends, she will she that most of them look older than she; that few are as well dressed or can afford the amusements she has. And she will discover that the husband who remains a gallant lover after three or four years of married life is about as rare as hen's teeth.

Still all of this does not keep girls from wanting to marry, nor their mothers from wanting to see them married. That is nature and the pity of it is that not some way in which proper bridegrooms could be provided for all they nice girls who would make such good wives.

Under the circumstances, it seems to me that there are only 2 things they can do, especially when they have reached the age of 30, when time becomes a great factor. One is boldly to take the initiative and do the courting themselves. Virtually any woman can marry any man if she will just go after him hard enough.
The other alternative is to accept the situation philosophically and put matrimony out of their thoughts. There is much consolation in the fact that a good job is better than an indifferent husband, and far less trouble to keep."


Hhhmmm, a few facts about Dorothy Dix. She wrote this in 1950 when she was 89 years old. She dies the following year at age 90. Although married, the last time she ever saw her husband was in 1920, when he was entered into an insane asylum. He died in 1929, 9 years later! One of the books she wrote was "How to Win and Hold a Husband".

I noticed even the letter written to her was addressed Dear MISS Dix.


I'm thinking that sometimes change is a VERY good thing!

Have a great day!!!!

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Mocha with Linda said...

That's pretty funny. Reminds me of the clippings I found that my mom had saved when I looked through an old binder of hers after she died.

Sue J. said...

I'm thinking that her advice column was probably one of those that would have received the editor's chop 10 or 15 years later. "As a last resort, go get him yourself!" is what she says there, basically. The 1960s "love the one you're with" philosophy would not have sat well with Miss Dix.

Of course, you have to wonder... if more gals had just stayed on the job, if more would have grown into leadership of companies--as the woman's movement progressed--if we would have had more responsibility and sensitivity at the top.

Paul says in the Bible that he has learned to be content in all circumstances. There's something to be said for learning how to do that--single or married.

Kelly Combs said...

I like Miss Dix. I think she was rather frisky for an 89 yr old woman.

KrippledWarrior said...

Never let anyone else's opinion be more important than my opinion. Now I have a better understanding of women who marry death-row inmates.
Be well.

skoots1mom said...

they didn't believe in concise, did they?!!
Now I know why it's called 'desperate housewives' :)