Rice Balls and Scary 1950s Housewife Behavior?

Hi everyone. I came across the following article while researching the 1950s housewife era and I would love to hear your thoughts (as “comments” on the blog for all to see). I checked out Snopes and found that they have not verified whether or not this is true which leads me to believe that this was actually written:

Excerpt from a 1950s Home Economics Textbook
Compiled by Ms. Leslie Blankship
Columbus, Ohio
Have dinner ready: Plan ahead even the night before to have a delicious meal on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.
Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-wary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.
Clear away the clutter: Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.
Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
Minimize all noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quite. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him. Some don’ts: Don’t greet him with problems or complaints. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.
Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax-unwind.
Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.
Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.
The goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all provided this for each other and WANTED to provide it?

Anyhoo, here is a great way to convert leftover rice into a snack-some of my kids love it:

Rice Ball treasures:

leftover or freshly cooked rice
cooked protein or vegetable/nuts
sesame or sunflower seeds

Take a small handful of leftover rice, white or brown. Form it into a ball. If it is not glutinous or starchy, add a little water to make it sticky. Make an indentation and stick in a half teaspoon full of cooked meat, fish, peanut butter, vegetable or any thing else and then fill the rest of the hole with more rice. You can then roll the ball in sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or anything you can think of that may stick.

A great hand held snack for kids and adults. You, your kids, or your partner will look cool and unique in the lunchroom, like a girl in my elementary school, Julie Pomerantz, who brought a pomegranite for lunch one day. Enjoy!

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8 Responses

  1. Absolutely hysterical! My poor husband walks through the door to chaos…but I woudn’t have it any other way. I can’t imagine having to do this every day. No wonder my grandmother was an alcoholic…I would be too if this is how I had to behave every day.

  2. Alma-
    That’s what I’m talkin’ about!A little Sinatra on the uhhh…, errr… ‘Victrola’, a nice, big Harvey Wallbanger and we’s golden, yo! (Do you think you could get me her #?) -Linky
    ps-it’s trag-e-dy

  3. I have to admit that I kinda tried to live up to at least a bit of this ideal when I decided I wanted to be home with the kids for a few years. I like the idea of it… especially if it’s reciprocated on some level. I was lucky to have the house picked up and a dinner in the works… screw my appearance, his drink and the kids behavior (that’s what PBS is for right?) Maybe the internet now promotes inefficiencies the 50’s housewives didn’t have to contend with.

    One thing that’s not mentioned is that although he works hard and is exhausted, at least he gets recognition in the form of money, peer acknowledgement, promotions, etc. Also, I’ve done them both and believe me, staying home with the kids is harder- maybe more rewarding in some ways- but definately harder! Wonder what she gets out of the deal? I guess I’m just not selfless enough to pull this off.

  4. I suspect that the excerpt is real. You just have to have watched the sitcoms of the 50’s to know that it was true.

    As a feeding and swallowing specialist I have to comment on the rice balls, people should be aware that anyone with any chewing, feeding or swallowing problem may not be safe to eat rice balls. There is a particular rice treat that is made in Japan on the New Year and several elderly people each year, choke and die.

    Others can still enjoy this delicious sounding treat.

    Hilda Pressman

  5. This is in fact a real article. My boyfriend has a scanned copy of the original article in full on his computer (what you have isn’t the whole thing, though you do get the general gist of it here). We had this great indepth discussion one time late at night all about feminism and old fashioned ideas of gender roles.

  6. I love this article and agree with it on a more modern level. As a housewife, I find the house to be my job, not my husband's. He shouldn't have to come home to a messy home and no dinner after working all day long. It is my way of providing something for him, the same way he does for me each day.

    I dislike feminists and lazy housewives. If you stay on top of the cleaning, it should never feel like work. A quick dust here and there, a little bit of laundry and you're done. Not to mention that if you are home all day long and not working a full time job, housework is your responsibility.

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