there is no such thing as history

Posted on October 8, 2008
Filed Under culture, history | 1 Comment

A story from the Daily Mail about three women, completely devoted to recreating the past

Joanne Massey, 35, lives in a recreation of a 1950s home in Stafford with her husband Kevin, 42, who works as a graphics application designer. Joanne is a housewife. She says:

I love nothing better than fastening my pinny round my waist and baking a cake for Kevin in my 1950s kitchen.

I put on some lovely Frank Sinatra music and am completely lost in my own little fantasy world. In our marriage, I am very much a lady and Kevin is the breadwinner and my protector.

Enlarge time warp wives

Joanne Massey: ‘Living like this makes me happier’

We’ve been married for 13 years and we’re extremely happy because we both know our roles. There is none of the battling for equality that I see in so many marriages today.

What’s wrong with wanting to be adored and spoiled? If I see a hat I like, I say ‘Oh, we can’t afford that’ and Kevin says: ‘You have it, I’ll treat you.’

I don’t even put petrol in our Ford Anglia car, which is 43 years old, because I think that is so unladylike. I ask Kevin to do it.

I make sure our home is immaculate, there is dinner on the table, and I look pretty to welcome my husband home.

My kitchen is an original ‘English Rose’ design, with units made from metal, which was very much the ‘in thing’ then.

We bought it from a family in Scotland who saw our advert in an antiques magazine.

They had it in their garage to keep tools in, so it needed renovation. I have an original Kenwood Mixer, the phone is bright pink Bakelite, and even my crockery is original 1950s.

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One Response to “there is no such thing as history”

  1. Cat Sparks on October 8th, 2008 4:13 pm

    Back in my art school days I was friends with a girl who I’ll call Charmaine. She was heavily into the 1950s rock & roll style thing: swing dancing, big old cars and beefcake boys with Bril Cream combed through their hair. Charmaine’s wardrobe contained nothing manufactured after 1965 – including her underwear, which was all vintage panties, stockings and suspender belts.

    Her life seemed to be one long string of soap-style microdramas; entanglements involving her handsome boyfriend, his equally handsome best friend and a bevy of girls who looked and danced just like her. The boyfriends all looked the same to me. Hard to tell guys apart when they don’t speak, dress to match their cars and spend their lives flat on their backs tinkering under the chassis.

    Monday mornings would often begin with her dragging me aside for a heart-to-heart. Her period was late… would the baby belong to her boyfriend or his best mate? Some girlfriend or other had betrayed her deepest secret… how would she ever be able to trust again in this crazy mixed up world?… etc. She was living a Teen Dream Girls Club annual, c1950 and I was utterly facinated, taking special note of the way she always used to reapply her lipstick after lunch and say such things as ‘now I feel human again’. Eventually, I began to understand my role in her world. I was playing the character of frumpy playground confidant; plain Jane to her Doris Day. In truth, she knew nothing about my life. As far as she was concerned, there wasn’t really anything to know.

    We lost touch after art school, but I ran into her on millennial New Years Eve, at a concert in the Domain, front row of the audience for a 15 piece latino band. ‘I’ve quit my job’, she told me, gesturing to a hot young guy on stage. ‘He’s my new boyfriend. I’m going on tour with the band as their manager.’

    I never saw Charmaine again.

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