Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Man... if ever I had to choose which First Lady was my favorite I can promise you Mamie Eisenhower would NEVER be anywhere near the top of the list. True... she was soooo 50s but still... what the fuck was with those BANGS?? I mean. Come on. Had she no mirror?? Ike never said: uh... about those bangs? LOSE 'EM! On the other hand, I do have to admit that as we speak I am listening to my Kindle, hearing a pretty good biography of none other than: Mamie herself.
Why on earth I would ever READ such a book about this First Lady is nuts. But... truth be told it's because I do have to admit she had pretty interesting takes on being a lady. My FAVORITE take is a quote that I read recently and it knocked my socks off.
“Mamie believed that once a woman reached the age of 50, she was entitled to stay in bed until noon.”
OMG. I could totally be this woman's best friend. In spite of the fact that to me, she was nothing to ever write home about in the least. Once I heard this quote however, I did a complete 180 degree turn in my interest in this woman. All of a sudden I thought to myself: time out. I SO have to learn more about this nothing more than ordinary woman and hence the download of her biography onto my Kindle. Come to find out: while she's no Eleanor Roosevelt or Jackie Kennedy, she did in fact fit into her times pretty damn well. Besides... I'm totally intrigued with her love of the color pink. But I'll get to that later.
Let's first get back to the issue of her belief system regarding staying in bed until noon. You have no idea how wholeheartedly I have to ditto that dictate. And frankly, I'm adopting that concept the best I possibly can, especially in these heated months of summer. Afterall... what the hell does one after 50 even need to DO before noon other than eat breakfast? For the past year, I've even decided that any appointments I have to make are never to be made before 11:30 a.m. In fact... 1:30 p.m. is even better. Any time after that btw, simply cuts into my daily nap time but whatever. All I can say is: what a great credo Mamie came up with. Thank you Mamie for your oh so wise words of wisdom! Which by the way, could very well be her only wisdom throughout her lifetime. Anyway...
There are a couple of other things that intrigue me about her. Case in point: Mamie's adoration of the color pink, as I mentioned above. Turns out everyone of the bedrooms she and Ike ever lived in was decorated in almost the exact same way... with green moss walls and pink decor. Especially her bed linens. In their Gettysburg home even her bathroom fixtures were all pink which is kinda funny given that when my parents built their first home in the early 50s not only was their bathroom in some sort of decorating magazine but get this: their entire bath room was pink and black! To this day I still can see the black and pink tiling of their shower. There must have been a tub, probably pink, too, but I can't picture it in my head anymore... I'll have to ask my sister about that I guess. Bottom line:
Indeed while First Lady, Mamie was well known for loving pink. In fact, her inaugural gown was... naturally... pink with 2000 rhinestones on it. Long pink gloves, pink beaded Judith Leiber clutch purse for which I have to give her points. And guess what? My Mother too, had a stunning beaded pink cocktail dress and the most beautiful pink beaded pocket book you ever saw. Talk about Mom being completely in the style of the 50s. Oh yeah... need I even tell you that every fancy dress I ever wore as a little girl was pink?? To this day, were there never any men in my life, I could so have done my bedroom decor in white and pale pink. Maybe I'll do that for my 75th birthday as a present to myself, men or no men.
Another thing that impresses me about Mamie is that while she came from pretty fancy schmancy beginnings, when she married President Eisenhower she knew right off the bat she'd have to bring her style of living waaaay down. Goodbye high life. Hello army life. And let me just tell you... it was not easy in the least. Were it me... I'd have left the hubby 1-2-3, I think. Seriously. If they moved 21 times, they moved 121 times... to all sorts of Army posts in and out of the country. Of course the big pay off was when they finally moved into the home of all homes... the White House but who's counting. And by the way... who the hell KNEW that after WWII Ike was immediately asked to become President of Columbia University in New York. Which he accepted but he had to give up to uh... become President of a much larger group of people: The United States of America.
And in case anyone is interested in genealogy here's a tip for you. Mamie's son John, had a kid named David who then fell in love with Julie, whose father was none other than the ever popular Richard Nixon. Too bad Julie lost major points in my book, bringing her down to a minus zero since she defended her father to the nth degree during the Watergate crisis. Really Julie? Even I saw right off the bat that your Dad was a lying, conniving, good for nothing lousy anti-semitic prick. But moving on...
I do have to say I've enjoyed learning all about Mamie and Ike and if nothing else, Mamie was a devoted wife and mother. Her signature bangs however are STILL a sad story as far as fashion goes. Who in their right mind curls bangs all the way up to the hairline?? Even her own mother asked: Huh? What the hell?? No wonder the world went crazy over Jackie O. as the next First Lady. Which reminds me... how long you think it took Jackie to switch up all of Mamie's pink bedroom designs? Think: seconds!