Women of the ‘30s were, above all, modern. They had ingenuity, smarts and guts. Faced with the worst economic crisis in history, they still managed to do it all. One out of every four women worked outside the home, while the others worked hard as homemakers (cooking, cleaning, entertaining guests with wit and style) with perfectly coiffed hair. They were hardly the weaker sex. Their need for laughter, love, friendship and passion prevailed.
In the 1930’s, True Romance Magazine gave cash prizes to readers who sent the best letters on the subject—“The Happiest Moment of my Life.” This week we launch our new “Blast from the Past” blog with the September, 1934 first place winner, Mrs. J.W.C. who was awarded $25. Here’s her Happiest Moment:
Jealousy Is Half-Baked Joy
Jim and I were practically engaged, when Cousin May came to spend the summer with mother and me. She was pretty, gay and talented. She could sing, play the piano, swim and drive any car. I couldn’t do a thing but keep house and cook!
As the summer advanced, I was actually ashamed of myself, for I was filled with anxiety that I might lose Jim to her. How could he help falling in love with such a girl!
One day Mother received a telegram announcing the coming arrival of other guests. Jim was delegated to meet them at the station, twelve miles away. Of course, he wanted someone to accompany him. I insisted Mother and May go, as I had a cake to bake, but May refused emphatically.
“It’s your place to go,” she said. “I’ll bake the cake—just give me a good recipe to follow.”
“Sure,” agreed Jim, in smiling admiration. “I’ll wager she can bake a cake! She can do anything!”
We returned with the guests and found May with red-rimmed eyes, a burned arm, and a sodden, sticky, flat mess on the table before her.
“Why.” I exclaimed in an experienced voice, “It’s too rich. Didn’t you follow the recipe exactly?”
“Sure did,” she retorted. “Mixed the butter and sugar, but you didn’t put down how much cream to put in.”
“Cream? Did you think you had to put cream in it?”
“Why, yes, it just says—`cream butter and sugar thoroughly,’ so I dumped in a cupful.”
How we laughed, guests and all—Jim, too, regardless of May’s anger and confusion.
It was the happiest moment of my life. The humble little cook and dishwasher had scored one over her brilliant cousin! Evidently Jim noticed, because today I am Mrs. Jim.
—Mrs. J. W. C.