What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

The Lady Killers*


*(A.K.A. How Not to Spouse)


I pride myself on my gift guides. I spend all year gathering the items therein, I carefully curate the lists,  and I firmly stand behind every hand-picked item in them. Today’s post is not one of those. If anything, this is an anti-gift guide.

In postwar America, the majority of women spent their days cooking and cleaning and making themselves appealing to their husbands. And what do you think the advertising world thought these hard-working women deserved, nay, desired for Christmas? Art? Theater tickets? Music? Jewelry? Or, heaven fore-fend, books? Nope. They convinced these idiotic husbands that what their wives wanted vacuums, electric mixers, girdles. GIRDLES. Seriously.

So gentlemen (and others) who are buying a gift – Christmas or otherwise – for your lady, please take the hint. No vacuums. No mixers. And absolutely no damned girdles.

xmas 0axmas 1xmas 1axmas 2xmas 2axmas 3xmas 3axmas 3bxmas 4xmas 4axmas 4bxmas 5

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

36 thoughts on “The Lady Killers*

  1. When I was a little girl, my father fell prey to this type of advertising and bought my mother an electric frying pan for Christmas. It did not have the desired effect. My mother made it clear that household appliances were not acceptable gift ideas. Years later I asked my husband for a Le Creuset fry pan for Christmas. When I opened it, my father squirmed uncomfortably in his chair and my mother narrowed her eyes and stared at my husband. I had to say that it was ok, I had asked for the pan.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thankfully the world has moved on a bit… I cannot believe that these were real attitudes to be taken seriously.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I kind of knew it was like this. I’ve seen these kinds of ads before, but still, I’m completely gobsmacked.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh how funny and sad since some of these are known today to be full of deadly toxic materials. I could us a new sewing machine though.
    Merry Christmas to you and let’s have more fun in the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess it’s all about context. My mother gave me my first sewing machine for Christmas one year, and it started me on some hobbies I truly came to love. I’ve always thought of it as one of my favorite gifts of all time. On the other hand, she wasn’t giving it to me so I could mend her clothes…

      Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. In my neck of the woods we use the baseball phrase, “it was a swing and a miss” when it comes to these kind of “good intentions.” Reminds me of how after I nearly died in childbirth, I asked my father-in-law to bring over a pizza when he came to my house to see the baby. Instead he brought me the ingredients to *make* a pizza, saying homemade was so much better. I was so irritated I threw his freakin’ bottle of Ragu in the garbage after he left.

    Funny side note: my husband asked for a vacuum cleaner this Xmas, which floored me and made me laugh like a hyena (I don’t think he knows how to operate one). I did buy him that darn vac and it’s wrapped up with a big bow, however, I had the presence of mind to get him a couple other gifts which I know he’ll enjoy.

    If that vacuum ever makes it out of the box I’ll be dumbfounded.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. To me those were the good old days. Hal

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The June tan ad is almost exactly like that meme going around!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Does “Making America Great Again” mean going back to this “Golden Age”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. While we still have quite some way to go in terms of gender equality – especially globally – blasts from the past like this are a small reminder of how far we have come. I am not averse to receiving domestic appliances or tools or such like as gifts but they need to be on my gifting wish list. There are times when I have coveted a labour saving device I cannot justify spending money on so to receive such an item as a gift would actually be very nice indeed. However, my reaction would be dependent on the intention in giving it in addition to it being on my wish list. And a girdle would never be welcomed.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. While I wouldn’t want to receive any of these appliances as “gifts”, I enjoyed looking at the vintage ads. I had never seen the ironing table, I wonder why that didn’t catch on?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought that was kind of cool, too. I always thought if I can sew sitting, why can’t I iron?


      • My mother would iron for hours on end while watching television – she didn’t like the soaps but loved wagon train reruns and Gunsmoke. I’m thinking an ironing table would have been helful or at least more comfortable. I never ironed, just learned to like my cotton with the wrinkled look. My husband ironed his own military uniforms after discovering that I had no talent for it (slight brown iron imprint on the back of his shirt which caught the attention of people in his office

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oops. I’m not bad at it, but it’s still a bother. Bought ourselves a professional steamer years ago, but the hurricane took it, and we never replaced it.


  11. Aren’t the appliances just decoration for the amazing frocks

    Liked by 1 person

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.