Daddy’s on the drink again, or How to Keep House: 1934

13 Sep

Back in 1934, girls could learn the joys, charms and challenges of keeping house through a well-meaning, but unintentionally hilariously disturbing book called, “Our home and family” by Laura Baxter , Margaret M. Justin , and Lucile O. Rust ; in consultation with Benjamin R. Andrews. I’m not sure what Mr. Andrews consulted on, except maybe to to chime in on the helpful and illustrative photos used in this gem.


I love my drunk, old Daddy

The party doesn’t start until Daddy gets home. What about Mommy who has been slaving all day to keep it all running so that when Daddy comes home and gets drunk it’s in a nice, clean house with nice, clean kids (who get excited about organized cupboards and don’t drink out of bottles labeled POISON)? Also, isn’t this dude a bit old to be a dad to these kids?


This well-ordered cupboard kicks ass!

Yep, all little kids sure love organization. An organized cupboard is a surefire way to get any kid excited.


They're just jealous. Just keep telling yourself that.

Why is the unpopular girl ugly and about 10 years older and looking like Queen Elizabeth? Maybe she’s just shy, or maybe those other girls are bitchy and shallow and make fun of her for thinking about things other than who to marry when they turn 15.


Things I do regularly.

Things that people do which make them rude and objectionable. I do most of these. Of course, I don’t live in 1934. I like the exercises in the middle. “Tell why this statement is true or untrue. Good conduct in public means no fun.” It’s very true. I cannot have fun without overdressing or questioning the fairness of an award.  And as my friend Sarah pointed out, “walking in front of people?? isn’t that the basic concept of a sidewalk?”


Professional fluffer.

Advice on how to make sick people feel more comfortable. Make sure things are well “fluffed.”


Those old-tymey kids were psycho.

Notice the giant bottle helpfully labeled “POISON” (sadly, without skull and crossbones) which the child must avoid. What dumb parent has bottles of pure poison so readily available for their offspring? The kind about which you read on MSN.

My friend Wendy helpfully pointed out:  “I notice the little girl is trying to write out CAT DEAD OF POISON in matches. Somebody needs to investigate this family.” Seriously, what kind of sick skills are they teaching here about raising children?


One Response to “Daddy’s on the drink again, or How to Keep House: 1934”

  1. Wendy September 13, 2009 at 6:17 pm #

    I am intrigued by the sexiness of the pillow-fluffing illustration. I want that nightgown.

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