In May of 1955, Housekeeping Monthly published an article entitled, “The Good Wife’s Guide,” detailing all the ways that a wife should act and how best she can be a partner to her husband and a mother to her children…
1.) Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.
2.) Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
3.) Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
4.) Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
5.) Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. and then run a dust cloth over the tables.
6.) Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
7.) Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes.
8.) Children are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
9.) Be happy to see him. Free him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him. Listen to him.
10.) You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first — remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
11.) Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
12.) Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where you husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
13.) Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.
14.) Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
15.) Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
16.) Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
Soon after Gracie got engaged we began wedding talk. We discussed possible venues, menus, and colors for her bridal party. Grace was easy going about it all, as is her natural personality. The one definite in her mind was her vision for her bridal shower. She knew exactly what she wanted…
A retro, 1950’s, “Happy little housewife” bridal shower,
And Molly and I were only too happy to oblige!
This was a theme we could have a lot of fun with!
On Friday we headed over to church and spent the day decorating and preparing for the shower.
The theme lent itself nicely to decorations we already had on hand, as this is the look of my home.
We just loaded up our living room and kitchen and used it to transform the church gym into the shower of Gracie’s dreams.
It was a fun theme to decorate for!
On Friday night, following Gracie’s bachelorette party, we drove over to the church so Grace could have a preview of her shower. She wasn’t with us when we were decorating, as she had work, so she got to experience the thrill of seeing it all completed.
We also used that time to assemble the favors that came together with the help of my friend, Bonnie. She suggested we stop by Grampa Joe’s Candy shop to buy authentically 1950’s candies to fill our treat cups. The finished results were a perfect final touch!
We were blessed to have family come in from out of town for Gracie’s special event, including my mom and grandmother from Ohio, and my sister and niece from Michigan.
The boys that belong to these special ladies also tagged along, as we planned a special event for them as well. While the girls were brunching, Toby took all the boys to an out-of-this-world vintage arcade for some guy time with the groom-to-be and the guys in the family.
Meanwhile, back at church we finished up the last of the preparations as guests began to arrive. Many came decked out in aprons hoping to win the prize for the best apron.
They also came bearing a favorite family recipe to share with the bride-to-be.
Rather than traditional bridal shower games, which isn’t Gracie’s style, we offered activities located around the perimeter of the room for guests to peruse and participate in if they wished. Some of our stations included:
“Sign the apron for the Bride-to-Be!” :
“A good housewife always sends thank you notes!” table where guests could address an envelope to themselves for thank you notes:
“The Price is Right,” a game where guests had to guess the prices of a 1950’s grocery shopping list:
And “How many Kisses for the soon-to-be Mrs.”:
Grace greeted guests as they arrived, dressed to the nine’s as a perfect little housewife.
Her bridal party was also sporting 1950’s era glasses.
Even the mother of the bride embraced the theme!
Molly also had an important job as guests arrived. She tagged each gift and card with a bingo number which would be important for later in the shower.
The bridal shower began with brunch. We were blessed with many helping hands who pitched in to produce a scrumptious spread of bacon/egg casserole, artichoke casserole, stuffed French toast, cheesy potatoes, fruit salad, homemade chocolate chip cookies, and a variety of yummy muffins topped with 1950’s happy homemaker tags.
We were touched by all that came out to support Grace and Zach, and wish the bride-to-be blessings of love for her new life.
After brunch we announced the winners of our bridal shower games and explained our final game of the party…BINGO!
At each guest’s seat were vintage bingo cards that we found at a thrift store two months prior. I wasn’t sure what we’d do with them but they were so cute and so in line with our vintage theme I knew I had to incorporate them into the shower.
It finally came to me that by tagging each gift with a bingo number we could enjoy an old fashioned game of bingo while the bride opened her gifts.
The prizes for our bingo winners were dish soaps that were dolled up with fabric aprons. The game was a hit and the dish soaps were too!
As Grace opened the gifts, so lovingly and generously given, she had the assistance of her bridesmaids and her new niece.
Molly penned the list for thank you notes, Lydia and Olivia brought her gifts to unwrap and whisked the open gifts away,
And sweet Natalie was on wrapping paper clean-up…a job she took very seriously!
The gifts that Grace and Zach received for their new home were so varied and so very generous. They were immensely blessed by the kindness of their guests.
It was a wonderful bridal shower. Grace felt loved and the shower of blessings bestowed upon my Gracie girl filled my heart with gratitude for all the good people in our lives.
That afternoon, while still in 1950’s dress, Grace filmed this little ASL ditty for Zach… in honor of 50 DAYS until “I DO!”
Only 50 days to go!!