1954

Robert Duncan comes home to the little woman…

Dinner-for-the-man-of-the-houseHe’ll be home in a minute. Just in time to pop upstairs to change into a pretty frock and cheer up my makeup before he walks through the door. After all, there are always girls at the office, and boys will be boys! A quick application of Revlon’s Flaming Desire and a squirt of Paris Mist and I am ready. Just in time to put on my new lacy apron, and get down to the kitchen. We can’t have him hungry can we! I pause for a moment to look at our beautiful bedroom with its stylish padded headboard, neatly made bed (with hospital corners) and the new eiderdown in mint green with its sewn rose patterns and fashionable sheen. The truly wonderful print of Tretchicoff’s Blue Chinese Girl, an anniversary present from Robert (along with the Minute Mop), looks fine above our bed, and you can hardly see the dent where it fell off the wall and landed on the Teasmaid.

But I must stop thinking for myself like this. I haven’t even checked the boiled potatoes yet, and the roast probably won’t pass his fastidious inspection. Oh dear. Will he storm out of the house and have a light ale at the Feathers, threatening not to get back until the end of Emergency Ward Ten? If that happens I will simply die.

Downstairs. I tidy away my copy of Woman’s Weekly – I don’t want him to know where I get my secrets from do I – and lay the table, being careful the new wooden handled cutlery is straight and the hunting scene mats are shiny clean. I even try to get most of the stains off the stainless steel bowls.

A final clean and polish, final check that I have ironed his shirts to perfection, and I think I’m ready for the fabulous man who has made my life complete, by deigning to marry me – and include me in the wonder that is his life. A lucky girl indeed.

Footsteps on the pathway. Final opportunity to straighten myself up in the gilded mirror (which Robert gave me for my birthday) and I’m ready. Key in the door…

“Hello darling!” He beams, sweeping me up in his strong manly arms, “Good day? Enjoy the washing in our new twin tub? Sorry, your new twin tub!” (Christmas present.) “Did you get the new shoes like Princess Margaret in Saxone’s?”

“Oh Robert,” I say, bursting into tears, “I have something to tell you. I went out today without my gloves. Will you ever forgive me?” I see his face darken, but then he surprises me and I fall in love all over again. “Never mind! What’s for supper? Spam loaf? Frankfurter casserole? Bad for my urinary problem but so what!”

What did I do to deserve such a wonderful man? He goes into the lounge, kicks off his shoes and asks me really nicely to clean them and put them away. So considerate. And then he shouts “Where’s my tea?” He’s always been a great romantic.

Dinner is a success. He enjoys the mutton pot roast, and said my two custard tartlets were delicious. I feel I am beginning to reach the high standards he has set for me. He even suggests I keep the remains of the supper in the fridge! (Valentine present.) ” Not the fridge?” I quip. “Our new fridge?” We laugh heartily at this humorous badinage and I once more admire his shiny well cared for teeth. Thank goodness he gave up smoking when cigarettes got to 3/11 a packet.

There is just time to Hoover the floor before we go to bed. (Easter present.) He goes up, telling me sweetly not to spend too much time clearing up his discarded socks, pants and the tartlet he threw at the wall, and I am alone to reflect on my perfect life. I stand there grinning, staring into the middle distance as I lean on my Hoover, and wondering if Robert will include me in his all-expenses-paid weekend in Paris next time.

Finally I clean my teeth with the Ultrabrite, slip on my shortie nightie, and slip into our cosy nylon sheets.

I hope he doesn’t want to take me tonight. The window cleaner wore me out…