I love old magazines, mostly for the ads. Nothing captures the flavor of an era quite like its advertising.
In case you can’t read the fine print—and who could?—here’s what it says:
P. S. to husbands:
She cares about her home, you know, so if you really care about her … wouldn’t it be a good idea to consider a Hoover for Christmas? Prices start at $66.95. Model 29 (shown here) $95.95. Low down payment; easy terms. See your Hoover dealer now.
I love the print on the circular-skirted shirt dress. You may not be able to see it, but it’s stylized evergreen trees, chubby angels and doves. Did anyone really wear dresses like that?
When I saw this ad, it reminded me of something that happened at Christmas right after we moved here to Whitehorse. We (husband, wife, baby) came with everything we owned in the back of a pick-up truck, so we didn’t have much. We brought no new furniture at all, but by Christmas time, we’d picked up some used furniture: a couch and chair set,* a stand for the T.V., a kitchen table with chairs, a crib, a bed, and a couple of dressers. That still left the apartment a little bare.
So when Christmas rolled around, Keith bought me an end table for the living room and a very nice (and quite expensive) lamp. I was thrilled with my gift.
There was a woman a little older than me who had taken me under her wing. I was only 22 that year and she was in her thirties, and I am still very grateful that she was willing to mentor me as I learned to manage a young baby and life so far away from family. When she asked me what I’d received for Christmas, I told her. “I wish,” she said, “I could be happy just getting things for the house like you are.” I think she meant well—she usually did—but she often said things without thinking. That remark took some of the thrill from my gifts.
At the time, I thought it didn’t bother me much, but obviously it did or thirty years later I wouldn’t have her words memorized exactly and they wouldn’t be the first thing I thought of when I saw this ad, would they?
*I wish I still had that set, by the way. Straight out of the fifties, in perfect condition. I bet the lady in this ad had that exact couch and chair in her living room.