Jul 29, 2011

Decorum and Privacy--From 1946

When standing about in conversation, do you worry about where you should place your hands so that you look poised and confident? Should they go in the pockets? HEAVENS, No! How about behind your back a la Jo March (2 points if you can name the book reference!)? Unladylike, of course.

Well, if you've been stumped about this issue, I have help for you! Click on the picture below and all will be well:

If you were a teenage girl in the 40s, you might have had trouble with family members not respecting your space. (I still have trouble getting my 9yo not to follow me into the bathroom.) According to this excerpt from the July, 1946 issue of Woman's Day, it's all about mutual ("Mutual I'm sure!"--Name the movie referenced for another 2 points!) respect for one another's dignity:

A little privacy--a letter for just you and a place to experiment with the leg paint in--is something others have and you don't. Families are possessed of a very juicy curiosity about everything you do...No sooner do you stack your legs against the wall to improve the circulation, than someone bounds through the closed door and knocks herself out with gags about whether you're doing this to clear the brain or the skin that covers it. It's not that families are prying, although the brat stage is--it's just that they can't help being interested in what goes on in your life. Nor can they squash being funny about it. Certainly we, and probably you, are not above airy comments on our sister's dates. By and large this give and take is a very healthy affair. At the same time everybody in the club is entitled to privacy. It has something to do with respecting a person's dignity.

As soon as I've finished writing this post, I am SO going to go and stack my legs against the wall to increase my circulation! I'll skip the leg paint, though...

I have such a small family that privacy isn't really an issue. It just sort of naturally occurs (except for the bathroom company). I do think it's important to make some effort for DELIBERATE privacy. I don't mean "me time," per se, but rather a time to withdraw for a short while with requested (announced) lack of interruption to be able to refocus and think about all that we have to be grateful for and need to be ready to do. Think about your family, your circumstances, your responsibilities. Pray about them. Hear and obey the voice of the Father so that you can do what you're supposed to be doing, and do it well.

If you want to stack your legs while you're doing that, go for it!


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