Oct 21, 2011

Wisdom from Mamie and Ike

Their wedding portrait

I recently finished reading Mrs. Ike written by Mamie Eisenhower's granddaughter, Susan Eisenhower. It was a VERY enjoyable read, all 339 pages of it!

I thought I'd share a short list of quotations from the book that I especially liked. I thought you might enjoy reading them as well:

  • Mamie said, "...tired bedroom slippers and runover heels were a sure way to lose a husband, whether one realized it or not..."
Mamie ...was a great believer in always dressing up for her husband, never allowing him to see her when she wasn't looking her best.  She would even change for dinner in the evenings--either into a cocktail dress or, if they were being more informal, into a long flowing caftan or tea gown.
  • Once when Mamie kept Ike waiting, it went like this:  Ike said, "You have kept the president of the United States waiting!" To which she retorted, "Oh, I thought I was dressing for my husband."
Ike said, about the Kennedy administration, "I am sick and tired of hearing alleged leaders scoff at a balanced budget...Is it so wicked to show some respect for the pioneer qualities of thrift and energy?"
  • Their granddaughter said after Mamie died, "Though enormous gains have been made for women especially, a great deal has been lost for us all.  The focus on family and friendship that had once been of paramount importance has taken second place in our busy and harried lives.  This has been one of our country's greatest losses."

Mamie in her inaugural gown:

The golden years:


Mary said...

I like this!

Roxanne said...

Mary--Come back and see my pictures! Somehow I accidently pushed "publish" before I finished the post!

DrJulieAnn @ Modern Retro Woman said...

I love, love, love that she thought it was important to always be dressed for her husband.

History views her as kind of matronly compared to Jackie but obviously she cared about her looks.

I'm going to put this book on my reading list.

Packrat said...

Sounds interesting. :)

Roxanne said...

DrJulieAnn--You'll love the book. It was definitely a great way to see ALL of there life experiences put together rather than the presidencey as a separate thing.

Mamie did not hold back when he tried to pull rank on her, though LOL!

K Quinn said...

My mother loves to tell me how my grandmother always dressed for my grandfather....this as I wander around in ripped sweats, dirty slippers, and well you get the idea.
This looks like a good book to pick up.

Roxanne said...

K Quinn, you described my current clothing exactly. That's why I wrote down Mamie's quote--to hopefully give me a bit of inspiration to upgrade!

I mean, I was ALWAYS dressed nicely when we were dating. It wasn't chiffon and pearls, but it definitly looked better than what I now wear!

I love how Mamie had her ideas and wasn't concerned with what other people thought. What SHE thought and what Ike thought were her only concerns.

The book was really, really good. I hope you do get a chance to read it. I think you'll enjoy it.

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