How to be a Woman?

This will be our last trip down Memory Lane for a while. I hope you have fun with today’s post and think about how your female characters live.

We’re bombarded with ads today and we were yesterday, too. How to be a woman? I was trying to figure all of this out as I was growing up. I knew I wanted to be a Proverbs 31 woman, but she was really embodied in my grandmother Bagley, Precious. (She called me Precious, too). I hope I’ve gained wisdom since the 1970s. I do know I’ve gained years!

So what was television saying?

Martini and Rossi on the rocks? I want to go to a party! But apparently I need to figure out how to decline a beverage that looks like coffee combined with cherry cough syrup.

Would I be safe on the road without a man?

My mother never used Shake and Bake since Daddy doesn’t like chicken but I cook with it sometimes. And no, it’s not better than my Southern fried chicken.

This one left me puzzled. Why does this woman want a man to buy a ten-cent cigar? Is he really rich if he spends ten cents? And how come they show (even for that time) a very, very old dime?

My mother saved and used S&H Green Stamps. One time she redeemed many books and ordered a recliner in turquoise vinyl. The color didn’t go with the blue paint in the living room, so she had the living room repainted in gold. Finally, it ended up with Grandpa Bagley. I’m not sure it matched their room, either. But they didn’t repaint. And the turquoise vinyl lived on. And on. And on…

Makeup: Seems all women need it, at least on television. I guess you can say I took this message to heart!

I don’t remember much in the way of kissing with Kissing Potion but I do remember an icky shine and the sweet tang of artificial strawberry flavoring.

Shouldn’t every woman want to be a Charlie girl?

I never liked this commercial for Love’s Baby Soft. Then again, I was wearing Charlie perfume.

This woman takes on way too many tasks with Enjoli, a perfume I also wore.

Ah, hose that might not snag!

Apparently I needed to learn how to make coffee for my husband. Although now, a husband can just go to Starbucks. Or you can buy a Keurig. Ain’t life grand?

Your turn:

How about you? What, if anything, did you learn from media as you were growing up?

What influenced your characters?


34 Responses to How to be a Woman?

  1. Deanna Stalnaker October 13, 2016 at 5:14 am #

    Love it. Brings back memories. My mom saved s&h green stamps too! I wish we had them again! My husband has a turquoise vinyl recliner (inherited from his parents) down in his “man cave”. I loved the old commercials especially because they came with the vintage TV shows. They are the best!

    • Tamela Hancock Murray October 13, 2016 at 7:40 am #

      Deanna, I wonder if it’s the same model my mother bought with Green Stamps. By the way, avocado green appliances last forever, too!

  2. Angie Dicken October 13, 2016 at 5:15 am #

    Such a fun post, Tamela. I just had to share–in 7th grade, i was part of a group project and we had to put on a news cast set in the 1970’s…I was in charge of the commercial and found an ad for Kahlua in that time period. Having no idea it was an alcoholic beverage, I did a cute little jingle. Wonder what my teacher thought about that?!!

  3. Riley Bates October 13, 2016 at 6:24 am #

    I learned that every mother was overwhelmed and all they needed to make everything ok was a bubble bath with Calgon.

  4. Robin Bayne October 13, 2016 at 6:43 am #

    Ohhh, don’t forget, you have to know how to have an “Aviance
    Night!” LOL

  5. Tamela Hancock Murray October 13, 2016 at 7:43 am #

    Oh my goodness! I forgot all about that one!

  6. Teresa Haugh October 13, 2016 at 7:51 am #

    My friend is the daughter of the Aqua Velva Man. He came to visit at church and sat by me and patted my hand.

  7. Teresa Haugh October 13, 2016 at 7:55 am #

    And I was a Charlie girl, too. If I weren’t allergic to it now, I think I would still wear it!

    • Tamela Hancock Murray October 13, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

      Teresa, you’ve inspired me to look for it. Hope you’ve found an awesome new perfume you enjoy!

  8. Jaime October 13, 2016 at 8:18 am #

    Oh I love this! I remember giving my mother Kissing Potion and Baby Soft for Christmas gifts! And my goodness was that lip stuff ever greasy!

  9. Samantha October 13, 2016 at 8:27 am #

    Fun commercials! I always loved the Budweiser ones with the Clydesdales and their dog friend. They never made me want to chug-a-lug, but I definitely want one of those horses.

  10. Patti Jo Moore October 13, 2016 at 8:48 am #

    Thanks for this trip down Memory Lane, Tamela – – and I was also a Charlie girl!! Ahhhh….being young in the 70s makes for some fun memories now. My daughters enjoy hearing my stories about how things were “back then” LOL. 😉
    Thanks again for sharing these memories and smiles. 🙂

  11. Pam Farrel October 13, 2016 at 8:59 am #

    Great reminders and we can apply these things today . . in how to write to be REMEBERED. One thing I did learn from media growing up– yeah, they often LIE. For example, the “Camel” man all handsome, fit, athletic, handsome — smoking. My dad smoked and at 35 he looked like he “was rode hard and put up wet” to use the horse rancher terms– he died early. This reminds me to be HONEST and to be a writer who does her research, so when I recommend something it is Biblical and truthful!
    Thanks for inspiration and challenge today

    • Tamela Hancock Murray October 13, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

      Pam, that’s a good point. It seemed everyone smoked back then. When I was a little girl, several men would smoke at the church door every Sunday before going in to the service. I walked past them, in underneath a cloud of smoke. I’m sorry about your dad. My uncle has to take continuous oxygen now thanks to his smoking habit.

      It’s always wise to be discerning in every purchase.

  12. rochellino October 13, 2016 at 9:11 am #

    Tamela, don’t know if you are a country music fan but how about songs from the period that informed women how to be more, or less, of just about everything.

    Who could forget;

    Harper Valley PTA – Jeannie C. Riley – 1968
    Stand by your man – Tammy Wynette – 1968
    You ain’t woman enough to take my man – Loretta Lynn – 1966

    and so many, many more!

    • Tamela Hancock Murray October 13, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

      What a fun video!

      The song by Tammy Wynette that I recall most fondly was released when I was a little girl: “Don’t Liberate Me.” It’s on YouTube. It doesn’t have a fun video, probably because the lyrics would be considered dated now, though they express the feelings of a God-fearing married woman.

  13. Carol Ashby October 13, 2016 at 9:24 am #

    Shake and Bake – maybe not as tasty as your home fried, Tamela, but much healthier. Frying wasn’t big with my Canadian mother.

    I went into a male-dominated career in the mid-70’s, so I guess I’ve always been pretty resistant to how advertising defined being a woman after high school. I was not the “normal” female for the time, even if I did sew my wedding dress and my interview suit and bake bread from scratch. I’ve always maintained that women’s work was whatever I wanted to do, and men’s work was what I didn’t. Anything involving sewage and truly heavy manual labor is by definition a man’s job.

    I write female characters that do what they think is right and not necessarily what their society expects – some of me in there, I guess.

    Ever notice that the Proverbs 31 woman is a businesswoman, trading in real estate, investing the profits in farming ventures, and manufacturing textiles for sale?

    • Tamela Hancock Murray October 13, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

      Indeed, Carol, I think homemakers are some of the most savvy people around!

  14. Sheri Dean Parmelee October 13, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    My theme song growing up was “I Enjoy Being A Girl.” I have still held to that June Cleaver vision of being female but updated her to give her a career while still allowing my female characters to be women first.

  15. Loretta Eidson October 13, 2016 at 6:32 pm #

    Such memories. Those were the days! It wasn’t a commercial for women, but I do remember…Brylcreem, a little dab will do ya.

  16. Martha Rogers October 13, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

    LOL. I didn’t learn anything from TV because it wasn’t invented yet. We finally had a TV in 1953 when I graduated from high school. Never got to watch it much until after college and then I worked, got married, had a family and whatever was on TV from ’63 on was mostly for the boys. Shows like My Three Sons, The Brady Bunch, and Carol Burnett were most popular in our house. I do remember some of the things you mentioned, but never really used any of them except Shake and Bake.

    After 80 years, I have so much stored in my memory bank that sometimes it takes a lot longer to go through the files and remember what I want, but it’ll eventually show up. . . maybe a day or two later. 🙂

    • Tamela Hancock Murray October 14, 2016 at 6:43 am #

      Martha, when you have time to go through those files, let me know! I’d love to share your memories with you!

      My grandpa bought a TV in 1956 just so he could watch the baseball games. 🙂

      • Martha Rogers October 14, 2016 at 8:37 am #

        Okay. 🙂 I’m trying to write some down as I remember them so the kids will have a look at my life and how God has been so faithful throughout the years.

        My grandpa’s favorite show was Texaco Star Theater and no one, I mean no one dared plan anything else during that hour. Mimi’s was I Love Lucy, and I watched so many with her. We had such a fun time laughing together.. That’s a great memory

  17. Laura Conner Kestner October 14, 2016 at 6:44 am #

    The most fun blog post I’ve seen in a long time – thank you, Tamela!

  18. Christine L. Henderson October 15, 2016 at 9:20 am #

    Like your last note about making coffee. I’ve never been a coffee drinker and my husband doesn’t mind that I don’t make him coffee. What I appreciate is that he makes me pots of tea.

  19. Susan Karsten October 18, 2016 at 5:49 am #

    In light of the divorce epidemic going on at the time, I hated the coffee commercial with the line: “My wife, I think I’ll keep her”.

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