B: I’ve been listening to that song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” all month and I don’t understand. What grown women who is old enough to date still lives with her parents, brother and aunt?!
Me: Hey! I was still living with your Nana & Poppop when I met your dad!
This lead to a discussion of what American life was like in the 1940s, when this song was written. Women got married earlier back then and, more than not, did not have a job. Most men and and women went straight from their parents’ house to their own when they got married. The maiden aunt in the song had never been married and was now living with her brother or sister (maybe their parents had passed away) because that’s the way it was.
Until we entered World War II, when most of the men were shipped off to war and the women were needed en mass in the workplace to replace the men and, most importantly, work in factories that made military essentials. They had freedom, responsibilities and pride like they may not have ever had before. They were glad to be contributing, to help their country, and keep their minds off, even for just their shift, how much they worried about their fathers/brothers/boyfriends/husbands. While the men were fighting for the world’s freedom, the women kept this country running.
Unfortunately, when the war was over, and the surviving men came back home, the women were pushed out, told to go back to keeping house and hosting luncheons and let the men take over again. It was very hard for many them! They were told they weren’t needed, weren’t wanted, anymore. We had a really good discussion about this!
B: Thanks for telling me all of this, Ma. I really enjoyed talking about it. :o)