January 21, 2013

New Highlighting Conditioner; Diary of a Provincial Lady and a Mad Housewife


How many decades will I spend on this earth before I realize that if I want my hair to be lighter/highlighted, I should lighten/highlight it rather than purchasing a lightening/highlighting shampoo/conditioner? What is it, I wonder, that appeals to me about the shampoo/conditioner route? Is it that it costs more, takes longer before any result can be expected, and doesn't work?

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I'm reading the 1930s book Diary of a Provincial Lady on Alexa's recommendation. I think I read it a few years ago, also on Alexa's recommendation, and that I enjoyed it then too. It reminds me a bit of the 1960s book Diary of a Mad Housewife, which I liked very much but am uncertain about recommending it to you, because I found it so very compelling in my early twenties, and there are many things I found compelling in my early twenties that I would not now want to recommend to others. Both books are the sort where you think, "Goodness, so many things are so DIFFERENT now---and yet so many thoughts/ideas/feelings are the SAME!"

One thing catching my attention in Diary of a Provincial Lady is how the old custom of calling hours and paying calls and so forth was probably very good for people's social lives. Just think of how many blog posts you've read about how impossible it is to meet friends in adulthood, and/or how hard it is to know how to get the friendship going once a potential has been met. Do I call her, or is that weird?, It feels almost like dating!, etc. With the old custom, we would all be FORCED to get together with practically every other woman in town!

Which is, of course, the downside. The idea that we would also have to actively maintain relationships with women we actively didn't want to be friends with is a bit out of step with current attitudes. And yet it would result in more good friendships overall, plus the fun of choosing calling cards. Though it would be quite hard on those of us don't much feel the drive to have friendships, but perhaps we could develop reputations for old-fashioned 2000-era non-social-calling eccentricity. Hm. Well, we will have to decide if all the trade-offs are worth it, if we are ever given the opportunity to re-ignite the custom.

8 comments:

Sarah said...

I've actually had the same thought process re: the concept of paying calls. I concluded that for me, sadly, the suckitude JUST outweighs the benefits so I think I'm glad we aren't compelled by politeness to be friends with everyone anymore. But again: JUST barely.

Bibliomama said...

Second that. When I don't feel like seeing anyone it would be like purest torture to be forced to. But I would love knowing that I was going to see the people I liked at that time. Like this Saturday at the Robbie Burns Day party our friend is throwing. Although with calling hours I wouldn't have to eat haggis. Hmmm...

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Ive read all 4 of the Provincial Lady books. I've always liked the idea of having someone around to tell people I'm "not at home" when actually I am reading & don't want to be disturbed. In a small village or a housing development I think it would be useful to have calling cards & those old customs to welcome new people. Then people can choose who they want to get to know better & who they want to be "not at home" too.

I suppose accepting a friendship request on Facebook is similar. I know many people who are Facebook friends with people they don't really like in real life but feel they can't not friend on Facebook because they are also friends with other women they do like.

The one where she goes to Russia is very interesting because Communism was all still so new, even to the Russians

Nicole said...

Diary of a Provincial Lady is one of my favourite books, ever. EVER. It's actually my comfort read when I'm feeling sad. My very favourite scene is when she speaks with a writer and asks where she would read his work. He says his work is not, and never will be, for publication.
"Thought passes through my mind to the effect that this attitude might with advantage be adopted by many others."
Hahahaha!!! God, I love that book. I might just have to go reread it just from typing this.

Suburban Correspondent said...

I've often thought that visiting blogs was like paying calls. And, instead of a calling card, I leave a comment.

Liz Botts said...

I love the idea of paying calls in theory, but in practice probably not so much.

I read some book from the 1950s about etiquette, and one of the recommendations was to clean up toys and such right before lunch in case you had visitors in the early afternoon.

It would be nice to know my neighbors better. We know people's names and such but not much else.

CARRIE said...

My daughter and I just finished reading "Little House on the Prairie" (which I had never read until now). The entire time I kept wondering about how Caroline Ingalls handled everything that was expected of her as a pioneer woman/wife/mother. It is good to read books like this because while there are many things about the time I admire (like being out in nature/not sitting in front of an Xbox all day), there are things I am so, so glad we no longer do. Like build our own homes and dig our own wells.

Marie said...

Hi! Leaving a calling card, er, comment saying I came by. I enjoy dropping in every so often. I really enjoyed your posts about letting go of perfectionism over the holidays. Now I'm going to have to track down this book!