Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Stuff Grumpy Old Men Like

Another humorous pictorial spread from the January 1948 issue of Woman's Home Companion is here for your enjoyment. We Can Dream, Can't We? is part manifesto of the modern husband, part nonsensical Andy Rooney-style rant. As with the last set of pictures from the same issue, the original captions are printed here (in italics) along with my own comments (non-italicized). The photographs were, once again, by Tony Verti, and the captions remain uncredited. Ladies, take notes!:

What do men expect a house to do for them in the way of masculine comfort? To find out we went right to the men themselves. We talked to them, looked at their houses, made a poll to see what they secretly yearn for at home, what their pet peeves are--and we found out! Here are the answers interpreted by artist Ben Stahl.

Well-stocked refrigerator for midnight snacks is most men's idea of pure bliss--a small bird, cheese, icy beer head the list.

This blissed-out husband can't even take the food out of the refrigerator, put it on a plate, and sit at a table like a civilized human being! Nope, in the ultimate show of laziness, he just pushed his stool up to the fridge and is wasting a lot of electricity by leaving the door open while he chows down! Second, what in the world is the need for such a gigantic knife? This picture is just distressing! I think Pops here should just keep dreaming.

Place to make a mess in. All men yearn for a spot where they can pursue a hobby, a corner in the house where they can scatter papers, drop ashes, saw wood or do what they please when they please. Artist Ben Stahl dreams of a studio like this.

Apparently, this is the room where your husband wants to paint portraits of mysterious French women and throw crumbled paper on the floor!

Solid comfort--big comfortable lounge chair with a place to put feet up, radio handy, jumbo ash tray, good light for reading--all too good to be true?

No, I think this is the most reasonable request. So, according to this poll, most husbands feel they are underfed and have no time and space to relax and/or pursue creative hobbies. Now, let's discover the darkest secret of all: what irritates husbands most!


Men know what they don't like in households too.

Violated newspapers, mussed, scattered or simply first-read, rank as heinous household crime. Men take news seriously.

As well they should. This man doesn't look irritated by the the condition of the newspaper so much as by the article he's reading. This looks more like the face of a man who has just read an article about how the durned guv'ment are raising the taxes again. Or maybe he's reading about the rising crime and lamenting about 'kids today.'

Tearing open cereal box instead of cutting along the dotted line is considered minor outrage, brings forth wistful plea.

Ah, yes, it would appear junior did a poor job of opening the cereal box in his excitement at getting the toy prize before his siblings. Still, this can be easily rectified, so it's best to let old Pappy know that he shouldn't get his blood all in a boil over such small things!

Clothes-hanger-in-use perched on top of closet door makes closing door difficult--is anathema to average man.

Well, I guess he spends the entire weekend making the rounds and pointing out everything he finds irritating, doesn't he? Couldn't he just... hang the dress elsewhere instead of posing for a photo?

Fragile tables laden with bric-a-brac are felt to be a deliberate plot against men. So are bitsy ash trays, wobbly vases.

Too ridiculous to even comment on! Find some excuse to get him out of the house when he starts sizing up the table legs and ranting on about plots against his masculinity!

All men to the fore on this one--stockings drying on the shower rail. Only thing worse is to find them soaking in bowl.

Yet he seems to be giving this a begrudging thumbs up? Maybe it's best to let him have his art studio if it will prevent all the complaints!


Maria said...

I forgot to say that I think this man became Fred the Baker of Dunkin' Donuts fame. This article was written before it became time to make the donuts.

Amy M said...

I just found your site while searching for info about Mary Lee Taylor. This is the funniest thing ever! I love how he is so starving that he must sit in front of the open fridge. And the art studio Hee hee! What a husband!!!