Pinny Porn?!

Thanks to a friend who pointed to this article, I now know it has a name! Pinny Porn! Or as many know it, Domestic Porn.

It is funny, I did start following the Rosie Little Things blog a year ago out of pure fascination. It doesn’t help then to follow things like Glamorous Housewife, Organized Jen, or any number of Martha Stewart-like publications; they make me ill because I actually enjoy them, while also making me think my home isn’t clean or organized enough.

My knowledge of Joan Crawford and her personal cleaning tips is enough you would think. At least I don’t sew quilts, or pillow cases, or make crazy Christmas decorations while spending ridiculous amounts of time obsessing over wrapping paper — that’s asking too much. Interesting how the idea of the career woman, get out of the kitchen and into the board room, and “having it all” has slowly started to backlash?

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I wasn’t always like this; a person who got excited about a vaccuum cleaner, or was into cleaning, cooking, and being all domestic-like. I owned two utensils and some plastic drinking cups, the rest was paper plates baby! My beer came in 40oz. and my housemate supplied the wine glasses. A man once asked me in a very serious tone where my snifter glasses were — he should have known better.

No, the domestic interests happened when I got engaged, less than a month after turning 22. I don’t think I ever bought a bottle of fabric softener until then, and I certainly never baked a damn thing in my life. Husband and I decided to get married in a rather quick manner during one wild weekend after not seeing each other for 9 years, but the actual ring followed promptly after I made steak for the first time. I will never forget the look on his face, and I knew it was stuff like this that would make him put up with the rest of my crap in the long-run. So I stocked up on all those books, Hints and Tips, Home Comforts and even a few Martha Stewart magazines in the mix. It really did become entertainment and a weird fixation more than anything. But, it creeped into my everyday life and I try to be all house wifey, as he actually enjoys it. I’m also the one who came with a tool box to the relationship and I know how to caulk a bath tub! Frankly, I would rather being doing housework, little projects, and errands than any number of day jobs out there that women think they need to feel like they have a career and worth.

Now I make fancy cocktails, peel potatoes, bake cake and cookies from scratch with no recipes (I’m that good, I just wing measurements), have scented shelf liners, and clean surfaces with yellow plastic gloves on. There are only two things I can never get the hang of: ironing and folding laundry. It just isn’t my thing. My husband on the other hand, is the ironing MacDaddy in our household. Purchasing a Rowenta iron for him is still referred to as the best birthday present he ever got (“I love this iron!” he will randomly exclaim). But, not only do I now have sets of stemware for every kind of drink, I have the snifter glasses, at last.

Speaking of housewives and the “what did you do all day?” question, do you remember this cartoon? “Wild Wife”

Thanks Joan, I Feel Dirty Now

People asked me to write a little review of my totally overpriced paperback: “Joan Crawford, My Way of Life” that I broke down and bought at auction. It has since been reprinted in the wake of FX show “Feud”. I’ll try my best to remember the main lessons I learned.

Was it worth the money I spent, and do I agree with all the 5 star reviews on Amazon? Eh, not quite. Though there are some paragraphs that are pretty funny, and if anything the tone just confirms the “Mommie Dearest” book wasn’t that far from the truth. I like how she talks about how perfect her marriage was to her last husband, minus the black eyes and constant slappings. In fact I think 3 of her 4 husbands slapped her quite often. The structure and lessons taught in this book is very close to former Miss America — and ventriloquist — Vonda Kay VanDyke and her teen advice book in some aspects. And I won’t lie, there are some good points, but some are just unrealistic for average people.

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Joan likes to gloss over stuff, like how her children were raised (she still refers to her youngest girls as “the twins” even though they were in fact born a year apart), her marriages, and the beatings she took as a kid. One story she thought was funny: She divorced 2nd husband Franchot Tone, and since she had miles of monogrammed towels and linens, she had one of her maids unpick every fiber from the “T” in everything with tweezers. Can you image how sore your hands would get? She then tells of how the maid was listening to the radio — almost done with this bullshit task — when she hears over the radio, “Joan Crawford has just married actor Phillip Terry in Las Vegas!” Joan thinks it is hilarious that the maid stormed out and said she quit. Yes Joan, hilarious. What’s even better and she fails to mention is that Joan Crawford wasn’t even her real name; it was name chosen as part of a movie fan magazine contest.

Joan also tells us that her German maid is named Mamacita because Joan was impatient about something and yelled to the next room “Mamacita!” because she couldn’t remember the maid’s name. The maid responded, so the name stuck. Look, here’s Joan on one of her many trips to Africa, totally overdressed for the villagers of course…

And I love how a bulk of the photos are dedicated to just how she and her maid pack and put tissue in all her clothes and then wrap them in plastic for all of her oh-so-busy goodwill trips and Pepsi bottling plant openings. 12 pieces of luggage is totally normal for her. I like how really, the lesson goes: Step 1.  Select your outfits Step 2. Get your maid to pack them. See…

Okay, so what lessons do I remember from Joan — besides the fact that she finds a way to tell you how busy she is on every page? Yes, she is that busy, busy enough her own children know to never disturb her without an appointment. Her phone rings off the hook you know, and she plans everything down to the detail.

Let’s see, I totally stock all the food items she lists not to stock: Bread, pasta, avocados, meat, sugar, potatoes, rice, olives, beans, butter, cheese, cream soups….well heck Joan what am I supposed to eat? Oh that’s right: cottage cheese and chicken livers, bacon, eggs benedict, meatballs, and bacon covered in peanut butter ?! Um, okay that seems a little strange.

Surprise parties are always supposed to be a restaurant…always!

Your housework should be done before your husband comes home, he shouldn’t even know what a vacuum cleaner looks like.

You should look nice and be fragrant when your husband comes home, because he probably works with much better looking and younger women than you.

Don’t ever talk about yourself or even so much as speak much when your husband and his friends are around, because nobody cares.

Get a job of some sort, otherwise people will think you are boring.

Sometimes men don’t want their wives to work, because they’re afraid they won’t get as much tang.

Before applying make-up, scrub your face with a washcloth. Really scrub she says. Harder, harder, I said scrub dammit!

Wash your hair in cold water with 6 eggs.

Your foundation make-up should be applied everywhere, neck, boobs, even to the back of the neck!

Everything should be monogrammed. Everything!

Inventory your closet 4 times a year, because you might have dust in the corners.

If you can buy off-the-rack clothing, you are brave, it is so much easier if you design your own clothes and have a dressmaker make them for you. Also, your liner and shoe fabrics should always match.

You probably have a lot of physical flaws. Freak out about them more, have photos taken of you from every angle and get them blown up to 8×10″ glossies. Study them, study how bad your physical appearance is and correct it.

Get a 3-panel mirror, because your ass is probably bigger than you think it is.

Exercise your legs the most, because men are leg watchers.

Scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees is best, because you might miss stuff in the corners.

Thanks Joan I think I’ll manage.