It was a simpler time – a gentler time. The good old days. Oh sure, life wasn’t perfect in the 1950s. Marriage wasn’t perfect in the 1950s – in spite of what was portrayed on programs like Father Knows Best and The
Donna Reed Show. But there was some good stuff there that we can borrow to have more meaningful relationships in 2013. Here are 4 oldies but goodies from the 1950s:
1. 1. Dressing up for our mates. It was an era when women made sure their eyebrows were on before the morning lights were on. My mother told me that she would tie her hair back every night with a ribbon that matched her nightwear so she would look pretty when she went to bed. Now I’m not sure how long that lasted, because I don’t remember seeing a lot of matching morning ribbons when I came down for breakfast in the 1970s, but it seemed to be a point of pride for her for however long it lasted. How many of us freshen up before our spouse walks in the door? It only takes minutes for a quick shave, a spritz of cologne, or just losing the shirt with the baby splash on it. Spiffing up for our mates does indeed make us spiffy!
2. 2. Connecting at dinner. Eating at the kitchen table with the TV off and phones out of reach. Does anybody besides me remember the embarrassment of having a parent answer the phone during the evening meal and stating to your caller – that special someone you’d been trying to impress – that phone calls aren’t allowed during dinner? Now that I am on the other side of that humiliation, I fondly recall the interesting dinner conversations we had and the clear connection between my parents. Plug in to each other during meal time instead of your iPod.
3. Turning the TV back on. You’ve seen the pictures – usually in black and white – of a family grouped around the TV, the same eager look on each face. The reason everyone is excited is because it was a novelty. We can recreate that anticipation and elevate our TV-watching experience by leaving it off most of the time and coming together to watch something special – something we both look forward to seeing. It transforms the mundane into an event.
4. 4. Sharing root beer floats. Nothing like good root beer with a generous scoop of foaming ice cream to give us a fifteen-minute trip back in time while enjoying each other’s company. But what about the calories in that sweet mini-retreat? Well, you know what they say – the couple who has ice cream floats together should take a walk together afterward. Yeah – more bonding time!
I know life wasn’t perfect in the 1950s. Father probably didn’t always know best and Donna Reed likely lost the pearls as soon as she was off the set. But from bygone eras we can resurrect some of those simple gestures and practices that enhance our time with our mates and lets them know they are appreciated.
Do you incorporate old-fashioned simple pleasures into your relationship or have an idea how to do so? Tell us about it in the comment section below.