|And TIme Is|
I knew nothing of the former owners until stepping through the Time Tunnel at the door.
The owners of the home had obviously lived and loved in the house from the beginning of marriage until her death later in life. The husband continued to live there until his recent death.
The house was then occupied by their son, surrounded by the original furnishings and all of the "stuff" that his parents had cherished.
I learned much from the items for sale. He was in the medical or science field. A skeleton hung in the corner and anatomy books filled a bookcase.
After retirement he decided to be a writer. He wanted to write about American hotels in the 19th and 20th centuries. Boxes and boxes of postcards attested to extensive research on the subject.
The wife kept collections of books as well but not a romance novel in the bunch. She had an incredible library of gardening books, decorating books, cooking books, home repairs and improvement books and homemaking books.
(I've never seen so many books in one home since leaving my father's home many years ago.)
The wife also cherished collections. There were beautiful antique doll collections displayed in various rooms. What impressed me was the fact that she collected antique dolls. They were antiques when she was alive.
In the kitchen, still in use, stands an aged gas stove piped through the wall and up through the roof. I cannot remember when I last saw one of those up close. All of her linens were set in one room. There was nothing in the collection newer than the early 70s. I recognized most patterns as from my own childhood.
As I said, I saw much to write about. But, for the purpose of this blog about respecting our husbands I should tell you of the purchase that I did make. I must mention that I did not plan on buying anything. I'm unemployed and my checks stop this week. This is not a good time to buy anything non-essential.
But I could not resist a booklet titled "Happy Marriage" from the "Amy Vanderbilt Success Program for Women" copyright 1965. The older guy at the register cracked up when he saw it.
"Happy Marriage? Is there such a thing?" He was not joking.
I laughed and said that it was a goal of mine to improve the possibilities of happiness in marriage and I had started a new home business to that end. One of the estate sales employees asked, "What business?".
"Its called Your Husband's Deepest Desire,"
That brought a guffaw from two of them. But the woman behind me asked the obvious question.
"SO? What is a husband's deepest desire?"
"He desires respect," I answered. She appeared puzzled.
"So? How do you do that? Respect them, I mean? Like what if they're yelling at you about something?"
I told her that if that were the case she should not respond. I gestured the "zipping of my lips".
"Ah, if I don't talk, he can't win!" She was serious.
I had to choose my words carefully. Mr. Guffaw was still seated behind me and Ms. Young Impressionable was sitting behind the register.
"Marriage isn't a game. Nobody wins unless both win. Nobody loses unless both lose. To play at marriage as if it were a competitive sport is not a marriage at all. It is a losing proposition."
I gave her a business card and headed home to enjoy my new book!
From Amy Vanderbilt in 1965:
It is a difficult, demanding world in which we live, and more is expected of wives than ever before - domesticity of course, intelligence, grace, charm, perspicacity, understanding, empathy, control, imagination, realism and practicality.
And yet the goal of a happy marriage for a woman differs little form that out-lined in the Book of Proverbs beginning, "A virtuous woman who can find? Her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband trusteth in her . . . she doeth him good and not evil . . . She looketh well to the ways of her household, kneadeth not the bread of idleness . . . Her children rise up, and call her blessed, her husband also . . . "My scanner is not working so I was not able to obtain an image of the booklet cover, but, the covers of the other books in the series are too charming not to share. Check them out on this Flickr slideshow from Charm and Poise.