27 Apr 2011

The Wedding Gift: A Sneak Peek

Sorry that I haven't blogged in a little bit. I got an e-mail from someone asking if I was "dead in a ditch" - which was actually nicer than the e-mail I got from the person who was upset that I posted that 1960s  "Cheerless Chubbies" article.

According to the lady on the other end of the e-mail, "the overweight and the obese are the last group of people that are apparently 'Ok' to bully, discriminate against, and make fun of." - which means that I shouldn't have giggled at a doctor referring to an overweight kid as a "little fatty". Now that I've been schooled, I've added "the overweight and obese" to a chart I created of The Last Group of People That Are Apparently OK To Bully. Anytime anyone claims to "be the last group", I update my list. In any given day, it could be Muslims, smokers, atheists, Christians, stay-at-home moms, people without children, the mentally ill, lady politicians, skinny people, celebrities, people who say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays", liberals, conservatives, the homeless, The Obamas, women with huge strollers, Southerners, high fructose corn syrup lovers, poor white people, poor black people, rich white people, little people, anyone who says the word 'retard', organic farmers, soldiers, and McDonalds patrons .... Boy - there sure are a lot of groups out there that think they're the only ones being treated unfairly by someone! But today, it's only overweight people until somebody tells me otherwise.

So, as you can see, I'm not dead in a ditch. Well, not yet anyway. I've been working, working, working and that's kept me mostly away from the Internets. Part of why I had so much work to do was because I'm about to depart for a very special wedding and needed to finish my projects ahead of time.  

Depart for a wedding? You don't mean ...



The bride will be wearing a fascinator!

WHAT?!? HOW?!! But you're so ...

You guessed it - I'm about to take a royally long plane ride to ....



Oh.  (Please click - it will be worth it.)

Save your disappointment and get happy - this trip is to attend and take part as a bloated bridesmaid in MY SISTER'S wedding. Her first! (And I'm told to mention, probably her last.)

In honour of that, I went about finding wedding gifts that they'd like. First, I wrote a cheque, because, frankly, that's the only thing people are really guaranteed to enjoy. Then I found the sort of things that I'd like: vintage magazines from the month they're getting married - just to see how times have changed.

For my future brother-in-law, I gave him a sense of what it was like NOW vs. THEN ... as told by Esquire's April 2011 and April 1961 issues:

It's Matthew McConaughey vs. a polo-playing centaur. Which will take its shirt off first? My money's on McConaughey.

The modern Esquire seems to be much more health and fitness oriented while the Esquire from 50 years before is far more geared toward worldliness, swilling drinks and smoking cigarettes. It's funny how many ads feature a man smoking, even if the product has nothing to do with tobacco:

If you love Mad Men, you really must get your hands on a 1960s Esquire. It is oh-so Don fucking Draper. I didn't flip too heavily through the vintage magazine as it's a present after all, but here's one more snippet from it; a look at the new car prototypes coming out of Italy. There were a few models that did actually make it to consumers - but the one that really caught my eye sadly didn't - the Ghia Selene II:

A car with a bar and television in the backseat. The quantity and the intensity of the fatalities that would occur if that car had ever made it to the road would truly be epic. Epic.

For my sister, I took this theme to an extra level (c'mon - sister!). Here's today's Ladies' Home Journal - a magazine you can be sure that she's probably never read based on those clearly-not-her-demographic cover stories:

And then here's the issue from April 1986, 25 years ago:

I found her the same April magazine from 50 years ago:

And another from 75 years ago:

And finally the Ladies' Home Journal from 100 years ago - the April 1911 copy:

It's Mariska Hargitay vs. the Huxtables vs. Jackie Kennedy vs. an uptight looking woman vs. some seagulls! Which cover interests you more? Me too - totally the seagulls.

The sad news is that two of these magazines decided to take their sweet, sweet time in the post - so I haven't received them yet! Wah! This means I still haven't found out what the women of 1986 want! I do, however, have the 1961 and the 1911 versions - and man, are they fun.

I've actually already shared part of the contents from the 50-year old magazine - that's where the recently mentioned story about overweight children came from. But since my sister is getting married, I figured I'd share a bit of the 1911 magazine, as it deals quite a bit about weddings and married life - and holy eff, have we ever thankfully changed.

I can take the corsets. I can take the gelatin molds (yes, they were even sickeningly into them back then). But I cannot take the snotty, stuffy, judgey morality-policing that seemed to be in such vogue then. I can't help but read these aloud in a voice that rolls the 'r', jumps octaves in a single sentence and has a certain Julia Child-ness to it, if Julia Child was a humourless hosebag. Please feel free to do the same. And, yes, your roommate / spouse / children / dog will think you're crazy.

Ah, yes, we've all read about those horrible tragedies that occurred due to such silly rice and confetti throwing at weddings. How dreadful. And worse - how tactless. Sweet Smurf only knows how discouraged the easily-offended writer of that article would be if she knew my husband and I blasphemously participated in such horse-play as high-fiving each at the altar. Shmaaaaawh.

While I haven't discussed it with her, I do hope my sister plans to have children right away. Because to not do so is not just immoral, it's "vulgar":


And while I personally find worth in learning and exploring the "domestic arts" - I'm really not into telling other people how to go about their own marriage and careers. My sentiments are in direct contrast to this high-horsed writer who considers anything that takes away from domestic duties - like stupid things like reading and art - will set you up to have an unhappy marriage:


Also, my sister musn't forget that she's basically about to become property. AS LONG AS THE WORLD STANDS:


And the grossest part? Those were all written by women. Way to betray your sex, ladies. The magazine is clearly evil, which is confirmed when we learn about The Girls' Club and its chosen insignia:

One member coos over her "diamond swastika pin over which the girls are wild". That's nice - but I have a feeling the girls became less enchanted with at piece of jewelery thirty years later. Fashion can be so fickle!

There's way more ... which I'll share sometime later, but for now, I'll leave you with this last comforting piece of advice - it's always your fault:



Karen 8:20 pm, April 27, 2011  

There's a woman of a certain religion that I know who always claims to be the "last group" that people can mock. How wrong she is - as you pointed out.

Great article. Really interesting to read a different generation's perspective on things!

Tans 9:38 pm, April 27, 2011  

Oh Jen. Once again your posts are so helpful in determining who is on the "them" side of us v. them. Though I feel conflicted today as I seem to be against myself as an overweight married women who chose to not have any children. This is a quandry indeed. Perhaps I should go mull it over with a martini and a nice steak while I plan our next vacation to an all inclusive kid free resort.

Yeah. That should keep me out if public enough fir the focus to return to the next target du jour. *heehee*

Michelle Moore 12:30 am, April 28, 2011  

Wow. There are no words for the snippits of articles. Except, are you effing kidding me?!
If things go bad, your fault. No kids? Your fault. HAHAHAHAHAH!
Right, because it's NEVER the fault of the MAN. Words written by women who didn't know any better.

As a girl who is, shall we say, thick... even I snickered at "little fatty". Come on! Sense of humor people! This stuff was written decades ago, and is hysterical.

Blair Frodelius 8:14 am, April 28, 2011  

Word of the Day history lesson: "The word swastika came from the Sanskrit word svastika, meaning any lucky or auspicious object, and in particular a mark made on persons and things to denote good luck. It is composed of su- meaning "good, well" and asti "to be" svasti thus means "well-being." The suffix -ka either forms a diminutive or intensifies the verbal meaning, and svastika might thus be translated literally as "that which is associated with well-being," corresponding to "lucky charm" or "thing that is auspicious." - From Wikipedia

Di Smith 3:09 pm, April 28, 2011  

You know, I've always dreamed of being a time traveler (yah, I'm a dork - get over it), but this article sure opened up my eyes. One can never escape from idiots, no matter how far back one goes. Can't wait to hear more about what the other issues say.

Marsha,  8:58 pm, April 29, 2011  

Inquiring minds need to know: what exactly were those young folks doing at weddings with storks- and how did it cross the lines of decency?

Unknown 10:52 pm, May 09, 2011  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown 10:55 pm, May 09, 2011  

Also, hindsight is always 20-20 isn't it?

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Need words? I'm a Toronto-based freelance writer who injects great ones into blogs, websites, magazines, ads and more. So many services, one lovely Jen (with one 'n').

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