Half-Wit Wisdom

Hi there, guys and dolls! Looky, another weekend is almost upon us and you all know what that means – time for me to share a little half-wit wisdom that isn’t always wise to follow. Let’s read who needs some help today…

Dear Barbara Jean,

Meg, just before her husband got home

I am really in a pickle. My husband came home early and caught the door to door vacuum cleaner salesman ‘showing me his wares’ so to speak. Luckily, we were both still dressed, just engaged in a little ‘hose play’ you might say. Now my husband doesn’t trust me and stays around the house all day. He’s underfoot and I can’t get anything done. Not to mention having to explain the weekly visits from the pool boy, when we don’t have a swimming pool. Also, the washing machine repair man’s due to come by in a couple of days. As you can tell, having my husband around really puts a wrench in my social life. Barbara Jean, I don’t know what to do.

Mischievous Meg in Michigan

Dear Meg,

Bravo, darling! I have to hand it to you, you run a very efficient household, what with all the many help dropping by and doing their part. I agree that having your husband hovering just won’t do. And trust me, you don’t want those fickle salesmen and delivery boys to wander off. When the fresh divorcee from down the street learns that the pool boy has a vacant time slot, it’s hard to get him back. Trust me, I know from personal experience. I say call his office and get the lay of the land. Chances are there’s some little lass in the secretarial pool pining away for her own office ‘pool’ boy (aka, your husband, and don’t tell me you really care, missy, I’ve got the gist of your ‘home visits’), and once you anonymously put a bug in her ear to call him in for a ‘closed door meeting’, he’ll be back in the office again.

Love to help keep the marrieds happy, Barbara Jean

Dear Barbara Jean,

My mother is good friends with the class geek’s mother and they are always trying to set us up. He’s kind of goofy looking and in the after school robot and computron club. All he talks about is that one day we’ll all have these little tiny computers that do everything for us. He says they won’t be the size of a house or need to use ticker tape or punch cards. He and his friends will figure it out one day and be really rich because they’re really smart. Do you think he’s right or just kind of weird?

Not quite sure how they’ll shrink this down, but okay….

Confused Connie in Colorado

PS – He also says that he likes me almost as much as he likes computers and that his mother thinks I’m good for him, so he doesn’t mind me hanging around. I think that’s a compliment?

Dear Connie,

Hmm, interesting question. You know, I think he means well, and in the name of research, I had a scientist friend of mine help me out. He put your letter on punch cards and fed them into their state of the art, solid state logic machine. The answer was astounding (his words, not mine). The results indicate you should stay with your nice geek, in addition to my geek’s advice. He says that he too has heard that computers will be the wave of the future, and by golly, those who will get them to be pocket sized will be the richest men in the world.

Don’t forget me when you’re rolling in the dough, Barbara Jean

Keep your letters coming! I love to help or hinder any way I can. 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already. 

Toodles, Barbara Jean

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Don’t You Just Love Lucy?

Now that’s some television!

Hi there, guys and dolls! Raves n Faves Thursday is here, the day for me to gab about some of my favorite things.

I love to laugh and I love television. I walk up to the set, turn it on, go back and sit down, wait and watch that little dot in the center warm up to the full screen, then walk back up to the set and turn the dial to the proper channel I want to watch, go sit back down, realize it’s not the right channel, get back up, change the channel and turn up the volume, go sit back down, then get up again and fiddle with the rabbit ears at an awkward position while trying to see the screen. Sigh, you have no idea what I’m talking about, do you? Oh, go ask your mother, or grandmother. They’ll explain it.

Anyhoo, now or then in the 50’s, it doesn’t matter, I still love Lucy. Here’s a list of some of my favorite episodes in broadcast order that will be sure to give you a giggle or two.

Look, a health drink!

Lucy Does a Commercial (Season 1, Episode 30) Originally aired May 5, 1952 – Dear Lucy, always looking for ways to get into show biz and/or get a job, so why not both? And what could be healthier than a vitamin drink? Turns out “Vitameatavegamin” has some added, um, benefits that could preserve that stuff forever….hic.

Job Switching (Season 2, Episode 1) Originally aired September 15, 1952 – Don’t you just get tired of men saying that women’s work is easy? Yeah, right. The men stay home and make a mess of things while Lucy and Ethel take on jobs at a chocolate factory. Seems like a breeze til they have to do it. Somehow a trip to an all you can eat chocolate bar may not be a dream come true after all!

Lucy and the Fashion Show (Season 4, Episode 20) Originally aired February 28, 1955 – Oh, the glamour! Lucy and Ethel get to meet designer to the stars Don Loper and hobnob with some of the most famous Hollywood wives of the era. The episode is hilarious and it’s so much fun to see the cameos of the LA ladies who lunch and watch how Lucy shows them how it’s done (okay, not really, but so very entertaining)!

See? Not all babies are alike…

Return Home from Europe (Season 5, Episode 26) Originally aired May 14, 1956 – I loved the Ricardos’ and the Mertzs’ adventures across America and Europe. The shows were all so much fun and there’s so many more to share, but I thought this one where Lucy tries to smuggle home some wonderful delicacies to be so creative and doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. Plus, it’s probably something I’d try…

Well, doesn’t Ricky look surprised?

Lucy Does the Tango (Season 6, Episode 20) Originally aired March 11, 1957 – The country life! Yeah, not sure it’s for me, either. But heck, that Lucy’s going to try. Such an egg-citing episode (see it for yourself and you’ll know what I mean), and nothing beats the look on Ricky’s face as it all cracks up!

Now, there are so many other episodes I could go on and on about and there are some that are more famous, but these are a few that I wanted to share with you. Why not drop a comment or two and tell me what you love rave about as your Lucy fave?

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

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When the Boss Cat’s Away….

Hi there, guys and dolls, workday Wednesday is already here! And what a doozy it is. You see, all kinds of mayhem happened while the boss took a little vacation out of town. Not that we don’t get up to nothing and nonsense when he’s there. In fact, we’re not really sure who he is exactly. There’s this portly man who runs walks around like he owns the joint, smokes a cigar, makes a few indecipherable commands, signs some papers and leaves. So, we figure he’s the boss. Anyway, he wasn’t around much this week, and let me tell you what we got up to.

It all started when the bottle on the water cooler ran out. Well, nobody knew where the refill was, including the so-called water boy, whom we believe the sole occupation for this fine, spotty young man is to go around the building replacing cooler bottles. Anyhoo, the bespectacled youngster we nabbed walking through the secretarial pool had no idea what we were talking about (to be honest, nobody recognized him, so maybe he wasn’t the water cooler kid, who knows). So we called on Big Bertha to take charge. Now Bertha’s about 6 feet tall and almost as wide. She runs the office in the most friendly, yet assertive manner. Heart of gold, but hoo boy, don’t get on her bad side. Say a junior exec gets a little more familiar than a steno girl wants, or the boss denies a raise. We call her in and let’s just say, they see things her way.

Well, that kid sure knew how to refill a water cooler…

Okay, so Bertha’s thirsty and sends this young freckle of a boy to get the water replaced pronto. He skipped to it and goodness, he found a bottle fast off in the corner from one of the bigwig’s offices. He replaced it promptly and fled the command of Bertha before she could find him other things to do (still have no idea who he was). And didn’t he do a fine job. Turns out it was just a little bit of bubbly!

And this is how the day degenerated into full blown shenanigans

And as soon as word got out, the lineups to the cooler were around the floor, snaking through the secretarial and steno pools, and wouldn’t you know that Jill and Frank were hovering as usual, although before long they were sagging off and napping in the corner. And what fun the shenanigans became! There were the mail cart races (Tim and Midge one by a nose, literally over Sam and Madge, although there was controversy due to the fact that Midge’s nose was so big it crossed the typewriter ribbon finishing line just over Madge’s ample, er, chest. The desk hurdles were great fun ’til someone almost lost an eye (got to watch those letter openers) and passing the paperweight (think of that pass the orange game, body to body and you’ve got it) was a regular laugh riot. Of course, there were a few things I wanted no part of, such as brassiere and girdle slingshot shot-put (those suckers had to stay on; for god’s sake, I remove them, I’d never get my wiggle dress done up to get home) or a round of kick the pickle, for even after it was explained to me, I still don’t know what the heck that was or where anyone found an enormous pickle in the office in the first place.

I just want it known I did not participate whatsoever in a round of kick the pickle

About 4 o’clock, the cooler was drained again, and we all started winding down. Most of us stumbled out by usual quitting time, although there may be a few still there, pulling in an all-nighter at the office (rumor has it that another bottle was found, but that may be an urban legend).

So, how was your day?

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

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A Veteran’s Day to Remember

Hi there, guys and dolls! Did you all have a good Remembrance/Veteran’s Day weekend? I hope you all took a little time out to reflect and respect all those individuals who have fought and are still fighting for our liberty and freedom, as well as all the simple little things that we take for granted.

These fine men (and the women who served as well) deserve our eternal gratitude

So, in honor to salute the fine men and women around the world who took part in preserving and improving the lives we live, many parades and events are held all around the world. My little world is not excluded and neither am I. See, we had a little parade and I just got so enthusiastic about it, I had to take part. Even if I had to well, take charge and get myself right out in front. After all, I love a parade and what better than to lead it, I say!

After the appropriate reverence for the fallen, I see no harm in strutting and hoisting a leg or two, showing my support. Of course, my friend Suzie has a different way of hoisting a leg for a military man, but who am I to judge, really?

Kind of like me, all enthusiastic (at the start, anyway)

Anyhoo, there I was, minding my own business (no, really I was), when the majorette for the parade had taken ill. Turns out it was a case of stage (or parade, if you will) fright. Trust me, being the center of attention doesn’t scare me, I thrive on it. So out comes my costume (I have such things because a gal needs to be ready for any occasion, right?) and I’m ready to lead!

I started out strong, kicking and dancing, prancing, all raring to go. Do you know parade routes are long? Really long. I mean LONG. Like miles… I high kicked my last kick about a block or two before the end of the route. And then, to my rescue, came this fine young specimen of male goodness. Have I mentioned that I liked a man in uniform. Then he picked me up carried me away and boy, I sure enjoyed getting carried away myself! Besides, it gave me a chance to say hi to Suzie…

Just as I got set down, who do I see but Suzie!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's, 1950s fun, Americana, blogaday, Blogs, Canada, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, diary, Domestic life, entertainment, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, Historical, historical fiction, Holidays, Humor, long read, Nostalgia, Parades, Pop Culture, postaday, Remembrance Day, Retro, Social Mores, Socializing, stories, suburbia, Uncategorized, Veterans Day, Vintage, weekend | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Help for Life’s Little Mysteries

Hi there, guys and dolls! Free advice Friday is here. How one gets through a week without a little half-wit wisdom, I’ll never know. Everywhere I turn, someone’s got an opinion about something. Yep, I’m no different. I received some great letters this week and I can’t wait to help these super gals out.

Dear Barbara Jean,

Replica of buzz cut guy that interrupted the date with cute Carl

I have a very serious dilemma on my hands. My mother is so desperate to have me married off that she is always setting me up with these sappy guys, and the ambushes happen any time. Why, this week alone she sent this bowlegged guy with buck teeth to my office, promising I would buy him lunch and then when I was out on a date with a tall, dark and handsome man of my choosing, she had this brush cut weirdo follow us to the movie theater and told him to sit between me and my date. Not only could I not cuddle with the cute Carl, I also have no idea why the “12 Angry Men” were so mad because the strange little guy talked to me the whole way through the movie and he had really bad breath to boot! How do I make my mother stop? I’ve asked her nicely and she says I’ll thank her when I’m older. I sincerely don’t think so.

Fed Up Frieda in Fredericksburg

Dear Frieda,

Oh, the meddling mother who means well. I agree with you. I also sincerely don’t think you’ll thank her in your old age. Not if you were able to catch the cute Carl all on your own. I say keep doing you’re own fishing. One day the good one will not get away. As for your mother, why don’t you do your own surprise set up or two for her? Say, send her a musclebound loin cloth male acquaintance to show up at one of her committee meetings when she’s giving a speech (don’t worry, if you don’t know one, I’ll lend you Biff, he’s always up for a good time), or have a fine young man show up for a family gathering (hint: Thanksgiving’s right around the corner) and have him say, “Mom?” That should work.

Enjoy the fallout, Barbara Jean

Dear Barbara Jean,

I‘m in shock. I came home early from my bridge night and I caught my husband doing something, well, unnatural (for lack of a better word) by himself. He says he does it all the time when he’s left home alone. Barbara Jean, what do I do? I’m scared to leave him home alone.

Stunned Stella from Staten Island

Dear Stella,

Perhaps Stella’s husband was listening to this

Hmm, that leaves it wide open. I have no idea what that might be. Okay, to be honest there’s so much that comes to mind, but I’m getting all blushy thinking about it. Just remember, what might be ‘unnatural’ as you say, might be perfectly acceptable to someone else. I say talk to your husband, you’re married, for goodness sake, and if he really likes it, why not join in? You might find you like it. And what happens between two happily married people is not up to me to judge, but for the sanctity of the neighborhood, draw your curtains.

Curiously wondering what the heck is going on, Barbara Jean

Keep your letters coming! I love to help or hinder any way I can. 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already. 

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's fun, 1950's, 1950s fun, 50's housewife, 50's Husband, 50's Movies, advice, advice column, Alter Ego, Americana, Authors, blogaday, Blogs, Characters, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, Dating, Domestic life, entertainment, Etiquette, family life, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, home life, Humor, Marriage, Nostalgia, opinion, Perspective, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Romance, Self Esteem, Social Mores, Socializing, suburbia, Uncategorized, vintage fashion, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Wonderful World of Big Stone Gap

Hi there, guys and dolls! And tah-dah, here’s Thursday and time for my raves n faves, getting you into the weekend spirit. This week’s pick to make your weekend magical is the wonderful author Adriana Trigiani and her delightful stories. You know how they say to write what you know? Well, that’s what she did, reflecting on her own life and where she grew up, adding wonderful layers of fabulous characters and terrific happenings that make books impossible to put down.

The series is rich in charming characters and comforts of small town life. The tales are about being human and transport you into a classic and timeless world where the important things matter – life, love and what happens when you let go of the little vulnerabilities that hold us back and discover real and deeply resonating soul happiness. She unravels the mysteries of the human heart with such richness, empathy and humor that you can’t fail to see yourself or so many people you know in her stories (I swear my Aunt Mabel’s in the background of one of those books!). Below is the details about the Big Stone Gap series, one of the best set of books I’ve had the pleasure to read. Just click on the covers or titles to order your very own Amazon copies.

The Big Stone Gap Series

Book One – Big Stone Gap

BIG STONE GAP – Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the tiny town of Big Stone Gap is home to some of the most charming eccentrics in the state. Ave Maria Mulligan is the town’s self-proclaimed spinster, a thirty-five year old pharmacist with a “mountain girl’s body and a flat behind.” She lives an amiable life with good friends and lots of hobbies until the fateful day in 1978 when she suddenly discovers that she’s not who she always thought she was. Before she can blink, Ave’s fielding marriage proposals, fighting off greedy family members, organizing a celebration for visiting celebrities, and planning the trip of a lifetime–a trip that could change her view of the world and her own place in it forever. Brimming with humor and wise notions of small-town life, Big Stone Gap is a gem of a book with a giant heart. . . .

Book Two – Big Cherry Holler

BIG CHERRY HOLLER – The extraordinary sequel to BIG STONE GAP, takes us back to the mountain life that enchanted us in Adriana Trigiani’s best selling debut novel. It’s been eight years since the town pharmacist and long time spinster Ave Maria Mulligan married coal miner Jack MacChesney. With her new found belief in love and its possibilities, Ave Maria makes a life for herself and her growing family, hoping that her fearless leap into commitment will make happiness stay. What she didn’t count on was that fate, life, and the ghosts of the past would come to haunt her and, eventually, test the love she has for her husband. The mountain walls that have protected her all of her life can not spare Ave Maria the life lessons she must learn.

Book Three – Milk Glass Moon

MILK GLASS MOON – The third book in Adriana Trigiani’s bestselling Big Stone Gap series, continues the life story of Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney as she faces the challenges and changes of motherhood with her trademark humor and honesty. With twists as plentiful as those found on the holler roads of southwest Virginia, this story takes turns that will surprise and enthrall the reader.
Transporting us from Ave Maria’s home in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Italian Alps, from New York City to the Tuscan countryside, Milk Glass Moon” is the story of a shifting mother-daughter relationship, of a daughter’s first love and a mother’s heartbreak, of an enduring marriage that contains its own ongoing challenges, and of a community faced with seismic change.

Book Four – Home to Big Stone Gap

HOME TO BIG STONE GAP – Nestled in the lush Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the town of Big Stone Gap has been home for Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney and her beloved family and friends for generations. But with her daughter, Etta, having flown the nest to enchanting Italy, Ave Maria has reached a turning point, and she realizes that it’s time to go in search of brand-new dreams. Yet before she can put her foot on the path, her life is turned upside down. Ave Maria agrees to helm the town musical, a hilarious reunion of local talent past and present. A lifelong friendship collapses when a mysterious stranger comes to town and reveals a long-buried secret. An unexpected health crisis threatens her family. An old heartthrob reappears, challenging her marriage. An opportunistic coal company threatens to undermine the town’s way of life and the mountain landscape Ave Maria has treasured since she was a girl. Now she has no choice but to reinvent her world, her life, and herself, whether she wants to or not.

Ms. Trigiani is such an accomplished writer with so many more books I’ll mention in a future raves n faves. She also has big and small screen adaptation credits to her name, as well as memoirs and cookbooks. I could go on and on about how much I love this woman, so do yourself a favor and check out her website here. It’s a fantabulous treat all on its own.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in Americana, Authors, blogaday, Blogs, Book Reviews, book series, books, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, diary, Domestic life, ebooks, family life, Fiction, Fictional Characters, First Novel, home life, Italian, Italian American, journal, kindle, long read, Love, Marriage, novels, opinion, Perspective, Pop Culture, postaday, Raves and Faves, Readers, Reading, reading, Romance, stories, Uncategorized, Virginia, Writers, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Chuck, the Office He-Man

Hi there, guys and dolls! Is your workday Wednesday going well? If it is, good for you! If not, just put your feet up for a moment or two and enjoy reading the story of Chuck, whose day is most likely going worse than yours :-).

Chuck’s handbook for life

Oh, dear Chuck, he’s the office hero. He’s such a he-man, . You’ve got a problem, go to him. Patting people on the back so hard he knocks them into next Tuesday. Taking the junior execs aside if they whine or complain, telling them to ‘be a man,’ ‘take charge,’ ‘own that meeting,’ ‘make that decision like a real man,’ and all other kinds of bunk. And helpful? Don’t you know it! Need the bottle on the water cooler turned and the mail boy isn’t around? Just ask Chuck! Need the lid off your pickle jar loosened? He’s your man! Typewriter keys jammed? He’ll take his strong, man hands and get those keys unstuck, pronto! Need a date for Saturday night? He’ll be there too, or will have a handsome friend to pinch hit in style! I think you get the idea.

And yesterday was a day like all others. The phones were ringing, telex machines clicking away, new client meetings, appointment galore and executive decisions needing to be made left, right and center. And there was Chuck in the middle of it all, deciding this, that and the other. Giving directions and orders all in his lickety-split style. Mr. Capable, handling it all.

Chuck saving the day as usual

He dictated a letter to me at lightning speed and took off to his corner office. I really don’t know what he said, a bunch of garble, really. I typed it up, throwing in the appropriate ‘to whom it may concern,’ ‘of an urgent matter.’ ‘needing your immediate attention,’ blah, blah, official blah.

A few minutes later, after dealing with crinkled carbon paper, fading typewriter ribbon and catching up on the secretarial pool gossip about Lola’s latest dating disaster, I knocked and went into Chuck’s office. I have a sinking suspicion he didn’t hear me, because what I saw must never be repeated. (Okay, not that he knows who repeated it. I have to tell it to you and the office, it’s too good.)

At first, I couldn’t find him. Then I heard this weeping, mewling sound, kind of like a simpering kitten. It was coming from under his desk. Cautiously, I peered around, then under the desk. There was Chuck, curled up like a little baby, sniffling, whimpering, rocking back and forth, muttering something like “Mommy’ll make it all go away and be okay,” something odd like that. I froze, just like a statue. What the heck? Where did the he-man go? Shocked, I backed away and closed the door.

Yep, that’s Chuck

Turns out the boss is a big baby! Who knew? (Well, I do now and pretty much anyone who will listen to me, such as you, dear reader, the elevator operator, the secretarial pool, the lunch counter staff, the mail room guys, I think even the cop on the corner. I think he listened, I’m not sure. He acted like he did, anyway.) But you know, we’re a kind bunch (or maybe it’s smart, we all want to keep our jobs). Five minutes later, he’s out of his office, full of vim and vigor, at my desk, signing the letter, taking another call, ordering more new parts for something from someone, walking around like he owns the joint (‘cuz he kinda does…).

Yep, business as usual. Another Wednesday at the office…

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's fun, 1950's, 1950s fun, 50's Husband, blogaday, Characters, city life, Communication, Conversation, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, day job, diary, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, Gossip, Historical, historical fiction, Humor, journal, long read, Nostalgia, Office life, Office work, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Social Mores, Socializing, stories, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

That Ding-Dong is Not Avon Calling

Hi there, guys and dolls! Don’t we all like to look pretty? And what’s more fun than getting together with a bunch of your friends and having an expert glamorize all the girls at once? Well, with my bunch, I think there may be other things that I might rather do, like go out on the town with my friend Biff or quite frankly get a root canal given how catty this bunch of vipers can be, but I’ll keep it moderately chummy…

The Avon Lady. Go ahead, let her in. She’s got the good stuff. Not Milly.

Anyhoo, this recent gathering was for a home party of one of my nearest and dearest gal pals, Laura. (That is, we have different taste in men, so we tend not to poach dates from each other, well, not often. In other words, we can exist in the same dating circuit and therefore, may remain on good terms. It’s tricky out there…) Now, I love Laura, but she has been known to be rather, er, frugal. Okay chintzy, cheap, a tightwad. Now while others have been welcoming the Avon lady, all professional and cheery into their homes, Laura went for the thrifty option. A woman by the name of Milly, who runs her own outfit called “Milly’s Makeover Magic.”

I said I’d go. Even though Laura was too “economical” (her word, not mine) to provide food and refreshments, it doesn’t stop the others from bringing a little nosh and liquid to the gatherings. And because of Laura’s discount ways, the others tend to go all out and show her up. There was the good vodkas, imported gins, wines with labels I have no clue how to pronounce and the tiniest, most delicate finger sandwiches, puffy pastries and fancy cakes to make up for the lacking hospitality. This social set was never one to pass up the opportunity to outdo each other, except of course for Laura. She just filled up her fridge with stacks of food for later when no one was looking (I saw it). Maybe she’s the savviest one of the group after all, hmm…

Laura’s mother and aunts looked as disapproving as this…

She had quite the gathering, including her mother who brought along her two sisters. They sat in the corner, sniping and griping, filling their purses with all the food and liquor they could handle (now I see where Laura gets it from ;-)).

It took a while to get the sales pitch started, but after the bottles were drained and we had Jimmy the grocery delivery boy bring an extra supply of bottles in, Milly had her makeover models (guinea pigs) nestled (forced) into their chairs. I was not one of them, no way. Not this time, I wanted to watch, not be the show.

So ding-dong, Milly shows up with this big tackle box full of these lotions, potions, lipstick tubes and magical powders she guarantees will make us all irresistible to any and every man we encounter. We started pawing through her goods. They smelled kind of weird, off, like something that had died at the barnyard or from some other planet. And wow, what colors! I now know where the wicked witch got her green glow from. It had to be some Milly’s Miracle Milk Mask, to be sure.

I don’t think anyone bought the shampoo. At least, I hope not…

All in all, it wasn’t all bad. Some lessons were learned. For instance, Milly learned that liquor should not be consumed near any of the face powders (the explosions were at least small) and Laura discovered that the rash from the vanishing cream should disappear in about 4 – 6 weeks. I learned that sometimes it’s best to be a spectator, not a participator in some of this life’s games!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's fun, 1950's, 1950s fun, 1950s glamour, 50's housewife, Alter Ego, Beauty, beauty disasters, Beauty Treatments, blogaday, Blogs, Characters, cocktail culture, cosmetics, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, diary, Domestic life, entertainment, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, Historical, historical fiction, house party, Humor, journal, Ladies Night, model, Nostalgia, Parties, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, short story, Socializing, stories, suburbia, Uncategorized, Vintage, vintage fashion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How A-muse-ing!

Hi there, guys and dolls! And another weekend zip, bang gone! How does that happen? Well, quickly and even faster when you spend time in the company of a great artiste. Let me tell you all about it.

See, I’ve always had a thing for art. I don’t understand it, but I try. I can hem and haw with the best of them. You know, light, perspective, what is the artist trying to say, how does it make you feel, all that stuff.

Truthfully, I have no idea. Actually, I just kind of like artists. They touch you in the most interesting places and look at you for hours, and I do like to be admired. Oh yes, and musicians, they’re fun too, but that’s a whole other story for another time.

Reasonable depiction of me trying to figure out art

So there I was in the art gallery, studying this painting intently. Actually, what I was trying to do was remember what was on my missing grocery list. For the life of me, I knew there was milk, eggs, bread and something else…oh never mind. Then I caught the eye of this man looking at me. Not bad, a little mature, but that might mean he not only had experience but maybe now a little money. That’s a good thing. So, I stood there, watching the painting with one eye and watching him watch me with the other.

The glamorous life of artist and muse

And of course, after a while of looking, not looking, I got him to break the ice. I might have had to reach out and almost touch the painting to get him to talk (well, actually gasp to stop me from getting my fingerprints on the work – oh come on, we all know I wouldn’t do it, but it got him to say something at least), but my mission was accomplished.

After he took me to lunch and we were well plied with a martini or two, he suggested that he should do a ‘rough sketch’ of me up in his studio. Well then, didn’t that sound like a good idea to while away an afternoon? Why not? I couldn’t remember what groceries I needed, might as well have a little fun instead.

Anyhoo, when we got to his attic studio, eight flights of stairs, I might add. I pretty much guessed what the routine would be. Turns out he really was a painter. There were sketches, half finished works all about, he was the real thing! And there’s me thinking it was just a rouse for a little creative way to spend some time.

I was so excited! I was really going to be an artist’s muse! Immortalized in art! For real. No need to tell me twice. I was going to pop off my togs and be in my birthday suit in a jiffy, show him I had no inhibitions, not for the sake of art.

But before I could unsnap a garter, he asked me what in the heck I was doing. Oh, so even if I was willing to be that sort of girl for the right reasons (art) he was not that sort of artist. I was mildly disappointed, I was ready to have my attributes glorified for eternity and he thought they should remain covered. Fair enough. Tasteful works, so does being able to show your family what you posed for.

So he was a real, not con, artist. He didn’t talk while he worked and I stood there for hours (maybe it was just ten minutes), and I still couldn’t remember all my grocery list. I thought of everything else, though. The names of all my grade school friends, what movies I saw over the year, the lyrics to ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow,’ all that stuff. One numb brain and stiff back later, he showed me his work that I had inspired. Just think – would it be a portrait – stunning, beautiful, a fashion plate? Then I saw it. REALLY? THAT? It was a pile of squiggles all tangled up, I had no idea what it was.

This is a fine fashion sketch. By Dior, obviously not my artiste…

Well, that was interesting. At least I remembered what else I needed to buy – a ball of string! That tied things up nicely after all…

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's fun, 1950's, 1950s fun, 1950s glamour, 50's Fashions, Alter Ego, art, art gallery, artist, blogaday, Blogs, Characters, Conversation, creative writing, daily blog, diary, entertainment, fashion, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, flirting, Humor, Inspiration, model, muse, Nostalgia, Perspective, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, short story, sketch, stories, Uncategorized, Vintage, vintage fashion, weekend, Writing, Writing Ideas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iffy Motherly Advice

Hi there, guys and dolls! Can you believe it? Another Friday finally showed up. Hope you haven’t eaten too much Halloween candy. Those little devils add up past girdle capacity. Trust me, I know. Time for a bit more not so savvy advice. This first poor seeker was so desperate he sent it by express mail!

Dear Barbara Jean,

I’m not feeling myself these days. I think the new divorcee down the street may be a witch and has cast a love spell over me. I can’t stand to be away from her. It’s like she has me in her clutches I can’t escape her beauty and charms. Please help!

Smitten Saul in Salem

Dear Saul,

Maybe Saul doesn’t really want the spell to be broken…

Well Saul, are you really sure you want to escape? Love Potion Number Nine can be pretty powerful stuff, but maybe you kind of like her? Here’s a thought – introduce her to your mother. I’m sure she’ll take one look at that little witch and she’ll snap that spell pronto.

Enjoy the spell, Barbara Jean

Dear Barbara Jean,

I don’t know what to do. I keep tripping over things and walking into walls. My doctor says I should wear glasses, but my mother says no man will make eyes at me if I do, let alone marry me to get out of her house. Awaiting your answer, this situation is getting painful, literally. Yesterday I hit a lamppost!

Just think Alice, this could be you in a few weeks!

Awkward Alice in Arkansas

Dear Alice,

For goodness sake, get yourself some glasses, get yourself a job and get out of your mother’s house. Then get yourself a handsome man by wearing those danged glasses so you can see him and make your own pass at him. Up to you if you want him to meet your mother.

Go get ‘em tiger, Barbara Jean

Keep your letters coming! I love to help or hinder any way I can. 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already. 

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's fun, 1950's, 1950s fun, 1950s glamour, 50's Fashions, 50's housewife, 50's Husband, advice, advice column, Alter Ego, Beauty, blogaday, Characters, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, Dating, diary, Domestic life, entertainment, Etiquette, family life, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, Halloween, Historical, historical fiction, Humor, journal, letters, long read, Love, Marriage, neighbors, Nostalgia, nosy neighbors, opinion, Perspective, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Romance, Self Esteem, Social Mores, Socializing, stories, suburbia, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment