Monday, June 25, 2012

Lost Arts

Many many moons ago, when I was in Middle School (though back then it was Jr High) the girls all took Home Economics and Sewing and the boys took WoodShop and Burping.
In Home Ec we learned basic cooking.  How to make Creamed Chipped Beef (I SWEAR) and how to cook brownies.  In Sewing we had to make aprons. (Note #1)   You wore them over your lovely knee length dress with your pearls and your nylons (Note #2) so that you could serve your husband (note #3) and children dinner (Note #4) at the family table (Note #5) when he came home from his job (Note #6).  This was during the 1970's and the Summer of Love skipped over the Antelope Valley.  The Vietnam war was winding down.  Nixon hadn't yet been outed and kicked to the curb.  These were the waning days of the Traditional Family.  Where boys were boys and girls were girls and no one was transgender.  People knew their place and stayed put right there where they belonged--- until we all found out that there was no such place and burned our bras!   I wonder, sometimes, what it would have been like to have been an adult and a parent in those days before everything seemed to start changing and changing...
Anyhow.... I loved to sew.  From that humble start, and with no more formal training, I went on to make my own clothes.  And my grandmother taught me to do needlework because Great Ladies didn't have idle hands don't you know?  Idle hands are the devil's workshop.  And so I learned to embroider and crochet.
These are lost arts I begin to understand.  I have been unable to interest my daughter in the finer pursuits of a lady.  And as I sit in my corner and embroider Snicklefrizt's blankie (because that is what all Grandma's do, don't you know) I get the oddest looks from people who don't have a clue what it is that I am doing.
And this, dear readers, is a shame.  Because you may certainly get pretty little blankets from Target that are perfectly serviceable.  But only a Grandma's blankie is sewn with love and prayers with every stitch.

Note #1:   APRONS:  Meant to look fetching in addition to protecting your fashion ensemble from splattering of home cooking, you tied them around your waist and your neck but quickly took them off as soon as your man got a quick glimpse so he would know how hard you worked on his evening meal.
Note #2:  NYLONS:  Horrible torturous items that you wore over your legs before there were any such things as tanning beds.  They were expensive, uncomfortable and if they caught on the tiniest thing were ruined.  Meant to  trick your man into thinking you had tanned legs even though heaven knows you didn't have time to lay out and get a tan. (Side note:  This was before we knew about skin cancer)
Note #3: HUSBAND:  Your baby daddy who actually believed that "Little Slip of Paper" meant something.  Even though we all know that we always really wanted it.  And this guy, back in the dark ages actually STAYED MARRIED TO YOU!  He didn't know he could leave just because he wanted to be happy.  Seriously.  It really happened.
Note #4: DINNER: Before Hamburger Helper and Fast Food women actually cooked.  Every night.  I know, ridiculous.
Note #5:  FAMILY DINNER TABLE: And then the whole family sat down together and ate.  At the table.  With the TV off.   Every night.  I know, ridiculous.
Note #6:  JOB:  This is where your HUSBAND went every day to earn a living for his family.  Sometimes they stuck with one of these for years and years.  (Jobs I mean-- AND wives too) This was before the Depression hit America. 


Meg & Quill said...

Hi LeAnn, no I have been in LV for a long while. Thanks for your kind thoughts on the blogs. :-)

ltlrags said...

I remember making that chip beef for my dad, but he called it SOS. Still, pretty tasty. And I looked smashing in my apron.