Relationships. As my friend Sarah was once fond of saying, they’re a complex cow. And modern day relationships are just the WORST, aren’t they? All that equality and independence, women thinking they can do and be whatever they want without any consideration for their poor, hungry husbands. No wonder the divorce rates are so high.
But what if you could change all that? What if you could step out of your miserable, modern day life and go back to a time where things weren’t so complicated? Where women weren’t laden down with pesky ‘dreams’ and ‘ambitions’, because they knew that the path to true happiness was paved with recipe books and structured foundation garments?
Well my friend, you can! As Mandy and Gary Jones have shown, it’s possible for anyone to take their boring, failing marriage and transplant it back to a time when men were men and women cooked for them. After nearly 30 years of marriage, the couple were determined to put some spark back into their dull domestic routine. So they did want any sensible couple would - they refurbished their home, built a 1950s style kitchen diner, and decided to travel sixty years back in time (figuratively speaking).
British couple Mandy and Gary Jones believe a 50s lifestyle will save their marriage. Photo: Henry Nicholls / SWNS.com
The smitten-once-again Mrs. Jones says she’s never been happier. She sews her own retro style clothing, pins her hair up in vintage styles daily and makes sure that husband Gary always has a piping hot dinner waiting for him when he gets home from work (just as the Good Lord decreed). The attentive homemaker believes that their new lifestyle has saved their marriage, and thinks that all women should adopt a similar attitude in order to ‘keep their man happy’.
And who wouldn’t be happy with an on-call maid to darn their socks, rub their shoulders and cook for them every night, all while looking just as pretty as a gosh-darn picture? Let’s face it, women weren’t designed to run the world. That’s more a man’s thing. We’re better at decorating it.
But never fear! It’s easy to Keep Up With The Joneses. Because it’s a simpler time, remember? Should you adopt their lifestyle, in addition to saving your sad, boring, angry, equal marriage, you’ll have these lovely perks to look forward to:
1. The Mean Reds
No, I don’t mean your period, silly! Women didn’t menstruate back then because they had Barbie vaginas. Babies were made from the kisses of angels and snuck into the world from mummy’s tummy button. No, in the 1950s, everyone was terrified of communism. With Senator Joe McCarthy stirring up paranoia about communist spies, everyone’s nerves were just a LITTLE on edge. McCarthyism was alive and well, and that meant one thing - you were legitimately allowed to spy on your neighbours. Yes, no longer just the pursuit of nosy old women and Hitchcockian heroes, spying was de rigueur for anyone who wanted to be a True American Patriot. Of course, nothing’s really changed there. But the point is, everyone was encouraged to be a little suspicious of their fellow citizens. And doesn’t that make things a bit more exciting?
2. Don’t cross the streams
In addition to a fear of communism, the really good thing about the 1950s was all the racism. It wasn’t that white people were all that different from black folk - it’s just that they were better. That’s why they got all the good opportunities and social respect and the ongoing favour of the law, and maybe even a bonus unpaid domestic servant sent from that wonderful haven, the Cootamundra Girls Home. And Australia really was a much prettier place, with all those Indigenous flora and fauna adding a bit of flavour to the scenery. White people didn’t make the rules. God did.
3. Birds do it, bees do it
But unfortunately, in the 1950s the only kinds of women who did it and enjoyed it were trampy harlots. Sex wasn’t designed for women’s pleasure but for procreation. Children give women purpose and something to do with all our free time. But let a woman like ‘it’ once and she’s going to want to like it multiple times - maybe even with multiple partners. And that’s how the Roman Empire fell. So in the 1950s, men knew how to take their wives in hand and pummel away at them for hours or maybe even just two minutes in a way that was guaranteed to make her hate it. Exciting sex was for mistresses, but you couldn’t invite them to the company barbecue.
4. Clearer opportunities
Back in the 50s, there was no need for women to occupy themselves with any of that pesky book learning business. The only purpose higher education served was to hunt down a husband. Snag your man, and then set out on the fine task of feeding, clothing and loving him for all eternity. What could be more satisfying than that? Besides, you know what they say - behind every successful man, there’s a woman looking on with gentle love in her eyes. Or maybe gin. It’s hard to say. Which leads me to...
Yes, the 1950s were a good time for alcoholics. Back then, they went by the far more romantic title of ‘dipsomaniac’, or ‘dipso’ for short. “Never mind Doris,” a smartly dressed man in line for yet another promotion might say. “She’s just a bit of a dipso, that’s all. Dipso Doris, that what we call her at home.” The other men would chortle knowingly, and then begin to discuss the things their wives didn’t understand, like politics or golf. And Doris would smile affably, if a little lopsidedly, as her fingers reached down ever so subtly to brush against the contours of the liquor flask she kept strapped to her thigh. It was almost empty, but she wasn’t worried. There was more in the house. There would always be more.