February 22, 2018

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Have a spunky New Year

We mine the Free Press archives for advice that still applies today (...or doesn’t)

From "Boy Tells Girl by George Anthiel," published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Jan. 27, 1940.

Come on, girls, let Uncle Antheil give you a lesson for the new year. It may be a little late to make a list of resolutions. But tack this one on the very bottom of the list.

My little resolution is: "I will have some spunk this year."

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From "Boy Tells Girl by George Anthiel," published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Jan. 27, 1940.

 

Come on, girls, let Uncle Antheil give you a lesson for the new year.  It may be a little late to make a list of resolutions. But tack this one on the very bottom of the list.

"If you're one of those women who never have occasion to dress elegantly but do enjoy a long skirt for cocktails and dinner, look for such fashions as today's for service the winter through," reads this article by Prunella Wood from January 1940. "The tailleur, left, is in black crepe, gold-clipped at the deep V decolletage and split down the bodice in back. Its accompanying jacket is gold-threaded and not too brief to look pretty on a larger woman.</p></p><p>"The one-piece dress, right, is designed in sizes up to 44 and is every bit as slenderizing as it seems in the sketch." </p>

"If you're one of those women who never have occasion to dress elegantly but do enjoy a long skirt for cocktails and dinner, look for such fashions as today's for service the winter through," reads this article by Prunella Wood from January 1940. "The tailleur, left, is in black crepe, gold-clipped at the deep V decolletage and split down the bodice in back. Its accompanying jacket is gold-threaded and not too brief to look pretty on a larger woman.

"The one-piece dress, right, is designed in sizes up to 44 and is every bit as slenderizing as it seems in the sketch."

My little resolution is: "I will have some spunk this year."

I think women ought to think about it more often. I'd like you to be admired because you showed spirit. Here is a list of things in which you can show spunk.

  1. Be too spunky to lower your ideals.
  2. Be too spunky to be a doormat for any man.
  3. Be too spunky to let your love make you weak and over-sentimental.
  4. Be too spunky to drag the fine love of your heart to the level of an affair.
  5. Be too spunky to resort to cheapness and vulgarity
  6. If you are a mother, be too spunky to pamper your children because it is easier to give in than to work on the problem of developing them into decent citizens.
  7. Be too spunky to let the other fellow dictate your mode of living.
  8. Be too spunky to be scared into telling lies.
  9. Be too spunky to be afraid to admit a mistake.
  10. Be too spunky to admit defeat. Pick yourself up (or the pieces) and get going.

Today's letter is from a woman who seems to need the whole list:

Dear Mr. Antheil: My husband lives my whole life for me. I have to stay home alone while he goes out every night in the week. I can't go places with girls when I am invited. I do obey him, but I get awfully disgusted.

He tells me if I don't like it I can leave. He thinks he can do anything so long as he provides for me and the child. He does not enjoy staying home with me or taking me out. I hate to leave my home but what is the use of living so miserable a life?

I am 30, and have been living this way for 11 years. Do you think I am too old to leave my home and try to find happiness? — Claire

Dear Claire: Oh, no, your husband is not living your life for you. You are living the kind of life he imposes on you and which you want to live or you wouldn’t do it.

He may do the things he wishes and you may not be able to help that. But you can help living your life the way you live it.

The first thing you must free yourself from is not your husband – but your own idea that he can make you do what you don’t want to do.  Why do you say you obey him? Are you a child? 

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