Thomas and Eleanore pt. 1

I also have some unintentionally funny vintage books that aren’t about pattern making. I have two books I really like. The first is What Men Don’t Like About Women by Thomas Horton, copyright 1945. With the war on, I don’t know how he got it published although he does write excrutiatingly well. He’s also vitriolic, contemptuous, misogynistic and contradictory; the only women he thinks are of any value are prostitutes. For some reason, he likes prostitutes, considering them to be virtuous gems of femininity.

The book I like to read alongside of Thomas is Glorify Yourself by Eleanore King (1942). This is a beauty and charm book. I don’t know how she got her book published during the war either (obviously, rationing wasn’t strict enough). The book was actually her Master’s Thesis for her degree in Education (!). Eleanor is the opposite of Thomas, she is unabashedly superficial who’s only focus is to have the most radiant eyes, the best posture, the most attractive legs, and how to hold your hands correctly (when you’re standing and when you’re sitting-it’s different). Eleanore has the IQ of a pound cake.

Anyway, I like to read these two side by side because I can only imagine what one would say to the other were they in the same room. They’d hate each other. For example this is what Thomas says about women and walking:

Their contempt for the art of walking.
Occasionally life gets so complicated that the only refuge seems to be a walk -in the park, on the sea shore, or just in the street. When a man gets into his funk, eternal romantic that he is, he often picks for his companion a woman -to his boundless regret. The fact is that it is absolutely impossible to have a pleasant time walking with a woman. She will stop at store windows, she will chatter about her bowel movements, she will relate the sad tale of what her nephew said last Thursday to her uncle from Poughkeepsie, she will orate on the value of women getting together to reduce the price of fur coats for working girls, and so on -when all the man wants is the mere presence of a silent sympathizer. The result of such a walk, of course, is that the man returns home in lower spirits than before- and determined never to see that chatterbox again.

And here is what Eleanor says about women and walking:

9. Hip Action.
If you are not sure whether or not you “wiggle behind” as you walk, get a friend to watch and check. Be sure you get a friend who is sympathetic with your problem. Spread your fingers and put one hand on each buttock. Now, walking slowly, feel any undue movement. If it’s there to a noticeable extent, put a book on your head. Again walk that straight line, with your hands on your buttocks, as just instructed, carefully straightening your knees before you place the heel each time. You have to practice just this much for a week, concentrating on it alone. Even the worst “wiggly hips” can be corrected with conscious effort. You may need only several turns back and forth to accomplish it -but master it you must, for undue hip movements give a woman an ordinary, squawish mannerism and spoil her whole well-bred, cultured appearance.

Eleanor goes on for an entire other paragraph, complete with further exercises toward the reduction of one’s “wiggly hips”.

Tune in next week for further adventures of Eleanor and Thomas.

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  1. christy fisher says:

    REDUCTION of wiggly hips??? Honeeee..When I lose the wiggle..I KNOW I am in a FUNK..!!

  2. Eric H says:

    That’s being a little contemptuous of a pound cake, don’t you think? I didn’t realize that native american women were known for their “wiggly” walk.

  3. Debbie Soles says:

    It should be illegal Kathleen to make me laugh this friggin hard in the morning…oh gawd..

    In reference to Eddie boy..can we say “Jack the Ripper”!!ROFL

    Now wait, I’m confused on the wiggle test…does your friend put their hands on your buttocks, or is this a self examination..are we supposed to use Eddie’s book on our much do we spread our fingers…book on head, hands on buttocks..and then the wiggling…crap, I can’t even chew gum and walk!!LOL

    Blatant repressed homosexuality…oh lordy!!

  4. Diane says:

    If these two were to get together Eleanor would have to learn to walk like a prostitute and Thomas would have to walk a few steps behind her focused on the wiggle in order to boost his “spirit”. Nothing really changes!!!

  5. mamasmina says:

    Oh, I just love this! I am in the process of leaving a job largely because of a “persistent pattern of discrimination”. Eleanor is an idiot; but I have to say that most of us would consider a nice walk on the beach an opportunity to “communicate”. Spirit my ass -so to speak.

    Thomas, like most men, thinks that women should be seen and not heard. His only saving grace is that he admits it.

    I think she meant that your friend IS supposed to put her hands on your buttocks. How else could she gauge the arc of your wiggle.

  6. Glad to see someone else publishes an occasional book review, too!

    If you fnd these books amusing, you might also like Oscar Levant’s “A Smattering of Ignorance,” which has an original copyright date of 1939. My 1946 paperback reprint is turning into dust, but his tales about music, movies, and comedy are fascinating and hilarious.

  7. Sharon says:

    Ok so how many of you got up and tried it? Lol
    I thought hmmm…, still laughing….can’t walk straight. Passed full length mirror looking like the big hair gal in Mars attacks! not good. still laughing….

  8. georgie says:

    I am 16 years old and I watch your program on a dish network channel…
    I am always watching ur fashion designs but I am not sure how to get on ur website so I can see everything you have designed…
    I am very interested in all your designs. They are very special and different.
    [That is why i like them]

    If it is possible can you please send me your website addres so i can visit it and see all your special designs…

    yours sincerely


  9. Amy says:

    I am reading Horton’s book right now. I bought it at a used book sale and it is amusing and offensive at the same time. It really makes you notice the differences between then and now

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