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Hostess with the Mostess

by habituallychic

06 . 11 . 08

Do you ever have the feeling that maybe you were born in the wrong era? My friends have long suggested that I would have made a perfect 1950’s housewife and I can see their point. I am great at taking care of other people. I love to cook and throw parties. I can sew and actually enjoy cleaning. I also happen to look great in a cinched waist dress. It’s no wonder I became an interior designer. It’s the closest career choice. It’s really too bad I don’t have somone to greet at the door with a martini at the end of the day. Cocktail hour at home seems infinitely more elegant than happy hour at a bar these days! Anyone else feel the same way?

Comments Closed

  1. Robin June 11, 2008 | 1:16 am

    I’m with you on everything except I don’t enjoy cleaning. I think I would have enjoyed the non-TV forms of entertainment of that era (a new movie every week, cocktail parties that were from 6 to 8 so you could go out to dinner, and actually having conversations vs texting/email). But I would not have liked to have been as suppressed as women were back then. I enjoy my freedoms too much.

  2. {black, alligator} June 11, 2008 | 1:25 am

    I don’t actually think the idea of the housewife/hostess is gone in the 21st century, I think it has just shifted to more of a working woman/networking kind of a deal. Look at the Desperate Housewives of New York City, I think they had alot of the 50’s hostess thing going on!

  3. Red River Interiors June 11, 2008 | 1:59 am

    Women have surely come a long way from the 50’5…trust me on that one. I also love conversation and the freedom to reinvent myself every decade if I so desire. We are less stuck in a mold… not of our choosing. We have the freedom to marry later, have one or no children, desire to be a CEO, travel the world…alone, and still be acceptable in the culture.
    That’s worth more than anything I’ve experienced in my 40+ yrs.
    WE still are free to hostess and entertain which I absolutely love…WE just have more options now… Fay

  4. Anonymous June 11, 2008 | 3:00 am

    I agree with you completely about cocktail hour at home being more elegant than happy hour at a bar. The picture you posted reminded of the cocktail parties my parents had in the 60’s – the big band music on the stereo, everyone dressed nicely, the oysters, and probably cheese and crackers. I love big band music to this day because of the memories it evokes.

  5. my little apartment June 11, 2008 | 4:08 am

    yes, yes, yes, um yes, and yes! I’m exactly the same! i just hosted my first party in my finally-finished apartment and the biggest compliment came when I came out to serve some friends fresh drinks and one girl put her head in her hands and wailed “You’re depressing me– I’ll NEVER be as good a hostess as you are!”

    cleaning up the next morning was almost as fun as the party itself…

  6. kate (pm) June 11, 2008 | 4:17 am

    I don’t look great in a cinched waist anything, have limited skills in the kitchen (though I’m improving) and am an interior designer only in my heart & soul.

    However, I do know you feel!

    *sigh* Truth be told, I’d prefer someone greeting ME at the door with a martini at the end of day. Of course, in return I’d still prepare one of my “limited” dinners. Especially after the day I had today.
    Enjoying your blog! 🙂

  7. Anonymous June 11, 2008 | 12:50 pm

    Wow….great to read your comments. No doubt that you will be greeting someone with a martini in the near future. You know that there are millions of guys that would do anything to meet a girl like you. You have definately got it going on!

  8. Be the change..... June 11, 2008 | 1:09 pm

    Well, I’m male, but I feel the same way and am often told I’m a good ‘housewife’ LOL. I love cleaning and throwing parties – I don’t have the nickname ‘marty stewart’ for nothing!

  9. Jen June 11, 2008 | 1:24 pm

    I completely resonate with you on this one and have always felt this way!

  10. An Aesthete's Lament June 11, 2008 | 2:34 pm

    I would make a great housewife, frankly, since I’m seriously into everything from arranging flowers to convening with the cook about the day’s menu … but with one caveat … the Mister would have to be well off … couture costs, you know …

  11. Easy and Elegant Life June 11, 2008 | 2:41 pm

    I’m a terrible housekeeper, but Mrs. E. and I soldier along just so we can have those parties. We started with trying to recreate the party scene from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and have evolved somewhat. I doubt there is a bar that can hold a candle to a good mix of music and guests at a drinks party at home. And by now, our friends know to dress when they come over.

  12. smallrooms June 11, 2008 | 2:57 pm

    Hey! Nobody’s has noticed that in the old 50s films and photos, parties were held in smaller and more intimate rooms. Small rooms make it so much easier to connect and have fun. But nowadays, I have to wonder aimlessly through 8,000 square feet of reception rooms before I can find a friendly face. That is not a party. That’s a painful workout, especially if I’m wearing Manolos.

  13. That Girl Designs June 11, 2008 | 3:17 pm

    Yes, I feel the same way, but I should have been a young adult in the 60’s. I totally agree with the idea of happy hours at the home with close friends.

    BYW: I’ve tagged you to join in the game. Details on my blog. I hope you will play.

  14. T8 June 11, 2008 | 3:30 pm

    I do think many things (especially cocktail hour) were more elegant in the 30’s-40’s-50’s. But I appreciate the advances in equal rights, etc.


  15. Amy June 11, 2008 | 3:43 pm

    Ditto, Habitually Chic, Ditto! Love the pic!

  16. Fifi Flowers June 11, 2008 | 3:59 pm

    Pour a cocktail… it’s Happy Hour somewhere!

  17. maison21 June 11, 2008 | 4:59 pm

    maybe you should be the new martha (one without a stick up the rear:

    we could get you your own lifestyle program- “habitually chic” with your hostess with the mostess, heather clawson”. it would be packed with interior design tips, recipes, entertaining ideas, cleaning tips, etc., all from a modern, urban perspective- NOT a matha “make sure you have a chicken coop for for fresh eggs anytime” country life fantasy.

    the intro to every show could be you opening the door in a cinched waist dress and offering your guests (and tv audience) a cocktail…

    i think we need to set up a meeting with the style or food networks asap. i want an executive producer credit for coming up with the concept, btw. 😉

  18. Motor City Jeanne June 11, 2008 | 5:15 pm

    I most definitely can relate. I’ve actually thrown 50s vintage cocktail parties, where people were encouraged to dress accordingly. The 40s/50s are my favorite era and I’m drawn to decorating my home mid century modern, as well.

  19. Easy and Elegant Life June 11, 2008 | 5:29 pm

    m21 speaks words of wisdom… it’d be a surefire hit with a huge share.

  20. My Castle in Spain June 11, 2008 | 5:57 pm

    Oh….i totally agree on this one.

    I love fixing a drink for my darling . and occasionally inviting friends over but here in Spain, people love bars!

  21. Sheila June 11, 2008 | 8:24 pm

    I so agree with you. I’m originally from the Caribbean and being the gracious homemaker and elegant hostess is bred into us…I try to maintain a bit of that in my everyday life…

    …but have not acquired the “enjoy cleaning” gene as of yet!

    Thanks for the lovely reminder…

  22. Susan June 11, 2008 | 9:02 pm

    I do love the whole having a party in a small space deal..the dressing up…the cooking, decorating and serving people….I am not so much in love with the whole 50’s role playing of dutiful wife and obedient crap.

    oh snap!

  23. Habitually Chic June 12, 2008 | 2:10 am

    Woo hoo! I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I guess I didn’t exactly mean I would be a dutiful wife, although, I probably would be to some extent. But I think the era of gracious manners and no cell phones and internet would have been heavenly.

    Maison21, you crack me up! Perhaps if the show comes to fruition you can be my sidekick. The Gayle to my Oprah if you will. Can’t you just picture the fun we would have?!

  24. Joanna Goddard June 12, 2008 | 2:21 am

    this made me laugh — how cute! i love the cinched waist dress comment:) i agree about cocktail hour, maybe you could start a cocktail hour everything thursday with bring-your-own gin! 🙂


  25. porter hovey June 13, 2008 | 12:39 pm

    I love that picture of you! It was one of my favorites!!!

  26. Silvina Bidabehere June 14, 2008 | 9:14 pm

    I just discover your blog and feel so much like you! Just today I posted something similar about this great era of cocktails and ballroom dances! Greetings from Buenos Aires, Silvina.

  27. pve design June 17, 2008 | 1:16 am

    I was certainly made for that era, I agree with you.
    Throwing a cocktail party here this weekend and am in hopes of a beautiful night as we plan to throw it outside on the patio. Cocktail hour at home is so much more more elegant.

  28. Tara, Your Savvy Girl! June 27, 2008 | 10:57 pm

    Oh, I agree! I think I might be one of the few women my age that loves afternoon tea, would rather wear a dress than pants, knows how to make the classic cocktails and still has a pen pal (think very hip New York girl and very savvy Texas girl send envelopes packed with articles, postcards, photos, and gifts)!

  29. Michelle April 10, 2009 | 4:23 pm

    Oh lordy yes. My husband tells me every day that I look like I have been teleported from 1920 and am now trying to make my way in the future. I have to say I agree with him.