What Do You Want For Christmas?

Hi there, guys and dolls! Yowza, Christmas is almost here. Are you all done with your shopping? Well, good for you. I’ve still got such a looong list to go, mainly for some little ones. Isn’t it fun to put a little cheer on those angelic or devilish little faces? So this week’s Raves n Faves are some of the kickiest toys from my 1950s era. Some of them are still around in this modern age and I’ll just bet that most of you have played with all or some of them.

Look, it’s wallpaper cleaner, er Play-Doh

Play-Doh – Oh, the smell and texture of Play-doh. Doesn’t that stuff just take you back to your childhood. You could make anything with that stuff. And it’ll last forever if you let it dry out (on purpose or by accident). You can even eat it (yeah, I wouldn’t recommend it, though). Pretty successful item for something that started out as wallpaper cleaner….

Who will you stick this stuff to?

Silly Putty – The great fleshy mimicker. This stuff is fun! Copy your favorite comics, stretch it and make funny faces. It pulls like taffy, you can throw it at people with little or no pain to them. It, well, that’s about it… Amazing that it’s still kicking around, considering that’s all it does. Ah, kids these/those days…

The mysterious 8 ball knows, um, nothing

Magic 8 Ball – The prophesy. Oh, great Magic 8 Ball, what will the future bring? Reply hazy. Will I ever find the man of my dreams? Better not tell you now. Will I be rich? Ask again later. Excellent, er precise answers, huh? Use this divine oracle to help you decide every major decision you ever have to make. Just think how it will continue to confound and confuse you even further. Isn’t that just wonderful? The Magic 8 Ball says cannot predict now. That’s. Just. Great.

Perfect for knocking off unwanted vases…

Frisbee – Now who hasn’t tossed this around? The beach, the park, your grandmother’s living room, classroom when the teacher’s out, all kinds of great places. They’re a terrific device to get rid of that hideous vase that Aunt Frida gave you last year for Christmas, by just, oops, accident.

Slinky – the metal kind, not an evening dress…

Slinky – What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs and makes a slinkity sound? A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing! Everyone knows it’s Slinky. Also really hurts when you accidentally sproing your arm in it and it pulls on your arm hair or poke under a fingernail with it. Oh, and give it to an uptight cousin and watch them try to uncoil it. A little unresolved frustration for them, but hours of entertainment for you as you watch them try to straighten it out. Perfect for the mid-afternoon lull between unwrapping presents and Christmas dinner.

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, 1950's Ads, 1950s fun, 1950s toys, 50's Slang, Alter Ego, Americana, blogaday, Blogs, Characters, Christmas, Christmas presents, christmas toys, Creativity, daily blog, diary, Domestic life, Family, family life, Fiction, Historical, historical fiction, Holidays, home life, Humor, journal, Nostalgia, Pop Culture, postaday, Relatives, Retro, suburbia, toys, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Helping Out the Boss is Hard Work

Hi there, guys and dolls! Workday Wednesday is here and I made sure my boss had a doozy of one. Let me tell you all about it.

I was sitting at my desk, minding my own business (well, actually, I was listening to Patty Sue tell me what she heard from Linda Lee that Debbie May had gotten up to on the weekend, that’ll be for another time…) when the big old goat (boss) came up to my desk, asking for a favor.

Now, I don’t like when he does that. It usually involves something I don’t want to do and really shouldn’t, but I can’t refuse, well, cuz he’s the boss. Anyhoo, when he hauled me into his office, he told me he was in a real pickle because he still didn’t get his wife a Christmas present and had no idea what to get her. He figured me being a girl and all that I would know exactly what she’d want (really, she’s an ancient old prune and picked this old goat to stay married to, so how the heck would I know what she wanted, other than a bag of money…).

Now usually I’m all for getting out of the office, but today was spiked coffee day thanks to Chuckie, the coffee wagon kid and he was one swell little bartender. The annual event always turned out to be quite the happening. When I started to object, the boss said it was an order, so I dejectedly slunk out his office, grabbed my purse and hat and steeled myself with a slug from the coffee cart to face the shopping hordes.

Oh yes, Christmas shopping….

The department store was packed and vicious. People getting into fisty cuffs over ties and scarves, kids wailing as they were dragged up the escalators. I think someone lost a shoe somewhere. It was mayhem and pandemonium everywhere. That man owed me one. Or two. Or three. Or, at least my new holiday party dress on his charge account. That’ll work.

I made a beeline for the formal dresses department (forget good or better dresses, I’m going for the goods). Oh, the fun I had. The sales ladies pampered me, showing me such gorgeous numbers, plying me with champagne. And did I pick out the sexiest, most darling strapless blue number! Then as I signed the chit for the account (boy, there were a lot of zeros and a comma in that dollar sign combo, I think), the voice over the store’s PA system announced that it was now closing time.

My new holiday dress. Thanks, boss!

Sheer panic! What the heck what I going to get Mrs. Old Goat? I stopped at a table with a picture of a woman on the sales sign and picked up this rather heavy, rectangular object. Felt valuable, like something of substance, and like it was a women’s type of gift. Perfect. I signed for it and arranged for wrapping and delivery to the boss’s house. Done!

What the boss’s wife got. Oops.

I was so happy when I got home, such a successful day! As I put my feet up and played with my new dress, I had a good look at the receipts. Looks like the dress won’t be the only thing I’ll have to smooth over with the boss when the bill comes in the new year. Turns out the wife’s substantial present was a bathroom scale. Wonder if they’ll still be married in January….

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, 1950s glamour, 50's Fashions, 50's Husband, Alter Ego, Americana, blogaday, Blogs, Careers, Characters, Christmas, christmas parties, Christmas presents, city life, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, day job, diary, entertainment, fashion, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, Gossip, Historical, historical fiction, Holidays, home life, Humor, journal, long read, Marriage, Nostalgia, Office life, Office work, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Social Mores, stories, Uncategorized, Vintage, vintage fashion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ho, Santa, Ho

Hi there, guys and dolls! Big scandal at bridge night and just in time for the holidays, too. Such a shame. Oh well, least it gives some pep to bridge night.

The cutthroat world of bridge night

It all started when Old Frank volunteered to be the weekend Santa at the department store. Good fit, though, he had the belly for it (apparently beer’s good for something…). Could you just imagine? All those squalling, greedy kids all lining up to whine in your ear and pee on your lap… Anyhoo, good thing Christmas only comes once a year.

Mabel, Frank’s wife, got roped into playing Mrs. Claus. He volunteered her as chauffeur and dutiful helper, all dressed in red and acting jolly (she was overheard to say that at least she didn’t have to wear her girdle for a few hours, that’s enough to make a girl giddy).

When Mabel told us last week what they were doing (she told us at bridge), we thought good for them, how neighborly and it brought us all into the Christmas spirit. Turns out it also sent Frank and Mabel to dip into the Christmas spirits (rum, whiskey, gin, etc.) a little early. Apparently, Santa’s village had a flask or two on the shelves (apparently, that’s North Pole tradition to ward off the cold…). Rumor also has it that Santa Frank promised Val and Sal mink coats after the two of them ganged up on him and sat on his lap. This left Mabel not amused. So much so she left him outside the cardboard gingerbread village and took off with Santa’s sleigh (okay, Frank’s Buick).

Mabel’s getaway was not so swift

The police were not as full of the Christmas spirit when they spied Mabel’s attempted getaway that night. They did however give her a ride back home in the squad car, making them in effect two of the most special reindeer of all (say, Rudolph and Blitzen, I guess), looking after Mrs. Claus.

By the time Mabel got home, she had sobered up enough to be plenty mad at Frank and locked him out for the night. Thus starting a new Christmas tradition in our little suburb. We know the season has truly started when the sight of Val, Santa Frank and Sal stroll through the neighborhood, arm in arm on a cold winter’s night.

Val, Santa and Sal all cozy for Christmas

By bridge night, all was mended. Mabel wiped the floor with Val and Sal. In about ten years, they should owe her enough in bridge losses to have paid for the coats. Frank now has to stay home.

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, 1950s glamour, 50's housewife, 50's Husband, Alter Ego, Americana, blogaday, Blogs, Bridge night, Characters, Christmas, city life, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, diary, Domestic life, entertainment, family life, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, Gossip, Historical, historical fiction, Holidays, Humor, journal, long read, Nostalgia, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Scandal, short story, Social Mores, Socializing, stories, suburbia, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rudolph, Not the Only Red-Nosed Reindeer

Hi there, guys and dolls! Less than two weeks til Christmas – are you ready? I’m not. I thought I would be, I tried to be, but well, I got ambushed by Santa and his reindeer. And boy howdy, what fun we had. Let me tell you all about it.

I had great intentions Saturday morning. I got up bright and early, full of the Christmas spirit, a long list of gifts to get and the money to spend for it. I’m telling you, I was set. I could see it all – coming home loaded down with bags and boxes full of goodies and a Sunday ahead of me filled with egg nog and yuletide tunes on the hi-fi while I gussied everything up with pretty paper, ribbons and bows.

I got to be Vixen, the reindeer girl!

Then dang it, I get to town on Saturday morning and who do I see but Biff, all dressed up in the skimpiest little elfin outfit, complete with green short shorts and red striped tights. On his head was the most majestic felt antlers I have ever seen. He was a sight! Turns out his latest new boyfriend was playing the reindeer Dancer in the Santa Claus parade and of course flattered Biff into being Prancer (a natch fit, if you saw him mince…). Unfortunately there was a panic – a reindeer girl had not shown up! Santa was in a fit (you don’t want to see that man mad, think flying lumps of coal…), and Biff pleaded me to join in the reindeer games. How could I refuse when he looked so adorable and muscley… I was in – I got to be Vixen! Oh really, did you have any doubt who I would be, come on…

All was merry and bright on the parade route

So there we went down main street, strutting our holiday stuff. I have to admit, it was a pretty swell gig. Everybody was cheery and we just marched to our own beat. One of the best times I’ve ever had! And then the end of the route. It was a little bit of a let down, we had had so much fun, no one wanted the party to end.

So it didn’t. As it turned out Comet really was a Comet, as in Bill Haley and…. This was just a little side gig and he called some of his musician friends and we all gathered at Rudy (aka Rudolph’s) place. Blitzen lived up to his name and went on a cocktail run and the party really got to swinging. Cupid lived up to his name (well, nickname, no idea who that sweetheart of a guy was) and got me better acquainted with Dasher (or as I think of him, Dashing), and no one needed to worry about Cupid, he had his arrow poised at Donner (also known as Donna), so all was happy. Even Santa. Last I saw he was dancing on the roof, thinking of sliding down the chimney until he realized he was so fat he couldn’t even fit a leg in. He just sat up there and sang carols instead. It was festive!

And just like that, Sunday morning.

The next thing I knew it was Sunday morning. Oh well, there’s always next weekend, right?

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, 1950s glamour, Alter Ego, Americana, blogaday, Characters, Christmas, christmas parties, cocktail culture, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, Dating, diary, Drinks, entertainment, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, flirting, Happy Hour, Historical, historical fiction, Holiday Parties, Holidays, house party, Humor, long read, Nostalgia, Parades, Parties, postaday, Retro, Romance, Shopping, Socializing, suburbia, Uncategorized, Vintage, weekend | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Advice for the Seasonally Addled

Some surprises are not welcome

Hi there, guys and dolls! Hope your seasonal plans are going along just spiffily. I’ve got letters from a couple of women who could use a little help making their Christmases a little brighter. Let’s get right to free advice Friday, shall we?

Dear Barbara Jean,

My sister and her husband make me so mad. We never know whether their family are coming for Christmas or not. Every year, it’s the same thing. I ask her and she gives me a coy answer that doesn’t say anything. If I make room and food for them, they don’t show up, but if I don’t they’re right on the doorstep, last minute, expecting food, presents and accommodation. They show up with presents (for themselves, I might add, not for anyone else, mind you), park themselves in front of the tree and don’t move for days. As I’ve said, it’s my sister and mother says we are not to fight. What am I to do?

Miffed Margaret in Missoula

Dear Margaret,

The holidays can be a tricky time, can’t they? I agree that your sister sounds like a royal pain in the patoot. Here’s a suggestion. Why don’t you and yours play a little hide and seek on Christmas eve, right around the time they usually would show up. If you have kids, make it a little game and have everyone be nice and quiet in the bushes and watch to see if they show up to your empty house. If they do, wait patiently til they figure out that you’re not there and decide to mooch onto another family member, say maybe they’ll go to mother’s. Let her ‘not fight’ with them for a change. Then you don’t have to make extra food or bedding space for those fun, ‘just in casers’ and you get a quiet Christmas with your absolute nearest and dearest. And if they don’t show up, at least you got some fresh air.

Hoping you fix your sister’s little red wagon, Barbara Jean

Dear Barbara Jean,

My boss is being a real grinch for Christmas this year. He’s saying that no one can have time off at Christmas. So far, Bill in accounting is using the ‘heartbreak of psoriasis’ for his sick excuse, while Debbie in the typing pool has claimed the vague ‘women’s problems’ to get her time off. Do you think that ‘extreme halitosis’ would work to get me a week off?

Work Weary Wendy in Wenatchee

Dear Wendy,

Hmm, I don’t know. I mean, do you really want the stigma of really bad breath be the bane of the office gossip all next year? Also, I think you should also go for something a little more drastic. Why not say you have contracted a rare resurgence of the plague? If you have enough sick days banked, that may actually get you all of January off as well. Hola, Mexico! Shake a margarita and maraca for me!

Have a great rest, 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, 1950s fun, 50's housewife, advice, advice column, Alter Ego, Americana, blogaday, Blogs, Careers, Characters, Christmas, christmas parties, Christmas presents, Communication, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, day job, Domestic life, Etiquette, Family, family life, family saga, Fiction, Fictional Characters, Gossip, Historical, historical fiction, Holiday Parties, Holidays, home life, Humor, journal, letters, Nostalgia, Office life, opinion, Perspective, postaday, Relatives, Retro, Social Mores, Socializing, suburbia, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How About a Little Variety with your Christmas Movies?

Hi there, guys and dolls! And poof, Thursday’s here. Just in time for my Raves n Faves for the weekend. This week, I’ve got some movies to add to your holiday viewing. Now we all love A Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas (yours truly is not skipping the annual viewing, complete with laughter, tears and belting out show tunes while traipsing through the house, knowing that the best things happen when I’m dancing – most likely with the cat and then tripping over the ottoman, but that could just be me…), but I just thought to mention a few other lesser known 1950’s gems for your viewing pleasure. To see the trailers for the movies, just click on the title or the poster image and just like that, you’ll be transported to the visual splendor.

Ah, nothing like muscles and money to get the chins wagging…

All That Heaven Allows – Jayne Wyman and Rock Hudson steam up the screen as a rich heiress and her younger gardener lover. Some great dishy dialogue and gorgeous dresses for the cocktail crowd make this as much fun to watch as it is to listen to.

A spellbinding and bewitching tale

Bell, Book and Candle – Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak! Now we all know that’s a winning combination, then just for a good time, throw Jack Lemmon into the mix. Such a fun and delightfully bewitching tale for the holiday season (might I add that Kim Novak’s dresses are sublime in this kooky little flick?

Nothing says Christmas like three unwise men…

We’re No Angels – Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov star in this jailbird comedy. Don’t you worry, before long they’re winning friends and influencing people by just being their haphazard selves. Turns out that deep down they’re not such bad guys after all.

So there you have it. A few choices to refresh your usual holiday movie fare. You never know, you might just discover a new fave yourself and have a little something to rave about, too!

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, 1950s glamour, 50's Fashions, 50's Movies, Alter Ego, Christmas, christmas movies, Classic Movies, cocktail culture, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, diary, entertainment, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, Historical, Holidays, Hollywood, Humor, Nostalgia, opinion, Pop Culture, postaday, Raves and Faves, Retro, Romance, Social Mores, Uncategorized, Vintage, vintage fashion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ready, Set, Office Party!

Hi there, guys and dolls! I wonder if your workday Wednesday will be as fun as mine. You see, we’ll be having the office Christmas party and even though the event isn’t supposed to kick off til quitting time, I’ll guarantee nothing will get done all day (in that respect, it’s just another day at the office, but this time we’ll just stay a little later and drink out of cocktail glasses instead of coffee mugs).

Brenda and Bonnie, a couple of nature girls

Brenda and Bonnie, a couple of real humdingers in the steno pool showed up all decked out (and on time, for once) and lit up (both inside and out this time). Literally. They had their hair falls done in the finest seasonal decor. I must admit, I admire their fortitude and stamina. They lasted all day like that, not falling over once (okay, each only once, but that was well after the party started swinging and they jumped onto the board room table, twirling double time to “O Christmas Tree.” Yes, you had to see it…

Santa Lenny smokes Lucky Strikes

As always, Lenny the lech (aka Mail Room Manager) showed up as Santa. No one asked him to, he just does it. That’s okay, we let him. It gives him an excuse to show off his belly (even if there is no excuse for that). Plus, if he’s in that big, bright red suit we can all keep an eye on him and then he can’t get away with his usual groping highjinks. It’s nice to be able to see him coming from a mile away and be able to make a run for it one day out of the work year.

Yep, a bunch of ding dongs in living stereo, for your listening displeasure…

And what’s a party without some swell tunes. Not sure who was in charge of picking the music, but where the heck were the Rat Pack, Elvis and Bing Crosby tunes? Somebody must have checked out the bargain bin of the five and dime to get this bunch of wacked out numbers. Just add that stupid donkey song and the cross eyed kid singing about his two front teeth and the listening pleasure would have been complete. No matter, at least they didn’t skimp on the booze, so before long we’ll all be singing along in our own merrily high ding dong fashion anyway.

Well. I better go now. Time to refill my tumbler and join the conga line. It’s almost noon….

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, 1950's Ads, 1950s fun, 1950s glamour, 50's Fashions, 50's music, 50's Slang, Alter Ego, Americana, blogaday, Blogs, Careers, Characters, Christmas, christmas parties, city life, cocktail culture, cocktails, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, day job, diary, Drinks, entertainment, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, Happy Hour, Historical, historical fiction, Holiday Parties, Holidays, Humor, journal, long read, Nostalgia, Office life, office party, Office work, Parties, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, short story, Socializing, stories, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making Things Bright

Hi there, guys and dolls! Well, no matter where you are in the northern hemisphere, the days are getting definitely shorter and in most places a little chillier. And with the holiday season upon us, it’s most likely time to brighten the place up a little with the neighborhood display of festive Christmas lights.

That’s as done as my lights are getting this year

Now for me, those danged things are more a nuisance than a sense of joy. The tangled, wretched things drive me nuts. And of course, with my set (think back, I’m in the fifties) one goes out, they all go out (then figuring out which one or ones is/are out, each miserable bulb at a miserable time and more than one time I’ve had a spark strong enough (whatever you do, don’t scratch that black bit at the bottom in the socket, trust me that ain’t dirt, zzt!) not to worry about getting a permanent wave for a while or being able to form complete sentences for a few minutes (and it saves on a cigarette if you’re smoking from the electric shock rather than a filter tip, that’s me, always looking for the bright side). If I can’t be bothered to rook a friend into hanging them up for me, the outside stays unlit.

The Joneses trying to outdo the Smiths and Lopezes. Didn’t stand a chance….

The competition among the nieghbors is fierce, however. The Smiths, Joneses, Lopezes display of lightbulb engorgement is truly something to see. One tries to top the other until it develops into this huge orgy that I am sure aliens from outer space could see and interpret that our planet is exploding.

The Smiths, just before they blew up the neighborhood.

This year is no exception, with I think the Smiths taking it by a nose, or a bulb. Rumor has it they cleared out the department, hardware and variety stores in the area, hoarding the strings that even if they couldn’t use it, then by golly, the Joneses and the Lopezes couldn’t stand a chance to outshine.

And how thoughtful. Just a few minutes ago, just as I was about to put my TV Dinner in the oven, a loud pop and zap came through the lights, poof went the living room lamp and the whole street went dark. Thanks, Smiths, Joneses and Lopezes for hogging the power and launching the neighborhood in the dark. Weenie roast bonfire in the middle of the street anyone? Bundle up, buttercups. Think it’s going to be a dark, chilly night. Wonder what Biff, Tom, Dick or Harry is doing?

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, 1950s glamour, 50's Husband, Alter Ego, Americana, blogaday, Characters, Christmas, Christmas Lights, Creativity, daily blog, diary, Domestic life, entertainment, family life, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, historical fiction, Holidays, home life, household chores, Humor, jealousy, journal, long read, neighbors, Nostalgia, nosy neighbors, Retro, short story, Social Mores, stories, suburbia, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Who Do I Want for Christmas?

Hi there, guys and dolls! The season’s coming up fast, isn’t it? I spent my weekend making lists – what to get the girls and the bosses at work, my family (now don’t get me started on that one – from the cousin who has it all to the niece entering that ‘awkward phase,’ phase, my eye, she’s been difficult and moody since diapers and everyone else in between, all wanting something…), good friends and neighbors (even the not so good ones, Debbie, that means you). Then there’s the food, who’s going where and who’s doing what. Well heck, what about me?

So many lists, so little time….

Now Christmas Eve and the big day itself will be spent with family, where I’ll be heavily medicating myself at the open bar (thank God), but then there’s all the other time for fun, frivolity and festivities. Then I could make my favorite list – Who do I want for Christmas?

Yipes, less than 18 days now!

Well, Biff is still in the doghouse with me. That’s okay, it’s the norm for us, we’ll kiss and make up one day but not today. I’ll probably see him through the holidays but I’ve got more special fish to fry and I get a little tired of fending him off my dates, just in case they swing his way (unfortunately, some of them do, sigh; that is, unfortunate for me, he usually likes trolling my pool, at least he’s happy with the catch and so are they, again, double sigh). Anyhoo, my list.

Now I know that usually it’s best that the man does the asking, but I do need to help them out a little, get them to think they thought of the idea. And before you object, i know there’s some really great, smart, go-getter guys out there, but God love ’em, my selection (although sweet and pretty) are a little dim and slow on the take (not, however on the make – that I need to usually counteract with my own swift right block at times, if you know what I mean – eh, it’s all part of the game….).

So back to getting them to think it’s all their idea (yeah, okay). There’s nothing wrong with just happening to run into them at the lunch counter, at the supermarket, or at the department store, just when they’re trying to figure out what to get for their mothers. Of course, all of this ‘happen to run into’ step takes careful planning (possibly in some circles thought of as stalking, but I don’t recommend those circles of individuals). One must know their prey. What are the habits of these particular members of the male species? Where do they work? When do they eat? What is their routine? What are the stores in their vicinity? It takes special operational planning. It’s an art.

Tom, Dick and Harry

Now then, who shall I go for to make the season merry and bright? Should it be Tom the accountant, Dick the pharmacist or Harry the deli manager? After some careful consideration, it came to me. Tom, Dick and Harry – why not all three? I’ve got time and swanky places to go. Now it’s just time to figure who to get to take me where and when. The how’s half the fun to getting there…

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, 1950's California, 1950s fun, 1950s glamour, 50's Fashions, Alter Ego, Americana, blogaday, Characters, Christmas, Christmas presents, cocktail culture, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, Dating, diary, entertainment, Etiquette, Family, family life, flash fiction, flirting, historical fiction, Holiday Parties, Holidays, Humor, long read, Nostalgia, Perspective, Pop Culture, postaday, Relatives, Retro, Romance, Social Mores, Socializing, stories, suburbia, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Help is Here for the Holidays

Hi there guys and dolls! This week I have some fretful friends in need of some Christmas crisis relief. Are you in holiday hot water? Send me a note, there’s still time for me to get you back on Santa’s nice list, unless you want to be naughty, I can give you some good tips for that, too!

Dear Barbara Jean,

No one wants to see this ad lying around as a hint…

Last year my husband bought me a new broom and dustpan for Christmas, so this year I left my magazine open on his chair, side of the bed and at the breakfast table turned to an ad for Evening in Paris perfume. This morning I noticed that he had turned the page to the vacuum cleaner ad and left it at my spot at the table when he left for work. What do you think that means?

Done and Dusted Darlene in Des Moines

Dear Darlene,

First of all, I’m a little shocked you stayed with him for another year after that smooth move. He must be good for something, I guess. Anyhoo, without continuing to cuss him in my head, I gave your situation some thought. My guess is that you may in fact be getting that vacuum cleaner. So this is what you do. Go out and get that perfume yourself, wrap it up and put it under the tree as a present to you from a secret Santa. Be sure to gush appropriately and then immediately rush from the room and pretend to make a lovey dovey phone call. If that doesn’t clog up the new Hoover, nothing will. Now, the next step is up to you. If he gets all flustery and turns into a real he-man, ‘fess up and you may have the most romantic holiday season ever (get my drift), or if he acts like nothing’s a miss, take that broom and dustpan and sweep him out to the curb, temporarily or permanently.

Have fun cleaning house, Barbara Jean

Dear Barbara Jean,

That kid can carry water, but not a tune…

Our church has a great Christmas pageant, complete with a chorus of little darling angels every year. The problem is the new girl in the neighborhood who joined the choir can’t sing, she basically just yells and belts out this terrible caterwauling. It is frightening the little ones, gets the nearby dogs yelping and has actually shattered a stained glass window pane. The minister has left it up to me as pageant director to deal with the situation. I tried to get her a different part, a non-singing one and her mother insists on her being in the choir. What do I do?

Frazzled Fran in Fresno

Dear Fran,

I understand your situation. It’s a church, you need to be charitable and let everyone take part and do their best. It ain’t Hollywood, it’s the local crowd. Talk to the minister and since he’s copping out and leaving you to deal with it, tell him to cough up out of the church funds for earplugs for the congregation. Have the ushers hand them out with the programs and tell everyone to place them in their ears when the new girl starts whaling. Let the dogs sing along and make snowflake patterns on the stained glass out of masking tape to help keep them in place. Don’t know if it’ll work, but it’ll at least look festive.

Stay tuned through the holidays, 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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