Art of Homemaking
Everything you need to know to run your home with ease and style
Prior to the magic of the Internet, homemaking reference books were pretty standard in every household. I even got one along with my basic Betty Crocker cookbook when I got married back in the early 1980s. Even though there are a disproportionate number of pages devoted to laundry, I am going to give the author props for acknowledging that one can drop their standards on housekeeping perfection.
I also got a kick out of the inside flap that reminds the ladies that regardless of your “liberated” status, you will have to keep house on some level. It also recognizes that even MEN (gasp!) might have to do some housework. Not everyone will be able to afford a maid, so you might need these skills!
This book is a bit better than most by suggesting that women dial back the perfection goals and that shiny floors are not the end all be all. It still does spend a disproportionate amount of pages on ironing and laundry, but unlike similar books of the period, they include basic electrical and plumbing repairs and some other chores that aren’t often associated with “women’s work.”
How to be a more interesting woman
Ladies, here is your chance to shed your boring personality. Learn to speak “properly” with a variety of conversation topics. Don’t be too aggressive and attempt to share your personal opinions. (Men don’t really like that.) I am really going to work on my lady skills with this nice book. I’m already halfway there since an interesting woman evidently hangs out in the library.
How about some modern housekeeping tips? This behemoth of a book would probably require a staff of hundreds to execute all the suggestions and “rules” contained. I was exhausted just reading some pages of tips. I would imagine that D-Day planning was less complicated. Of course it is outdated for obvious reasons, but I would buy a modern version of this in a heartbeat, if it was all short cuts and didn’t set the bar so high for a “good” home. This book reminds me of a Godey’s Lady’s Book for the “modern” age.
Ladies, I would take special notice of how to wear/buy a hat and bra. (I am now reviewing my own expectations of a bra and wondering if they could help my breasts move back to where they lived in 1978.)