Parties Are Fun But Messy

Parties are fun but messy; vintage newspaper illustration

I found this gem tucked into the front cover of one of my thrift sale etiquette books. Since the type is a little small and hard to read in the scan, I just want us all to appreciate this intro.

Parties Are Fun, But Messy
by Marion Dietrich, News Beauty Editor

With the season to be jolly comes much to be jolly with – food, beverages, toys. But the cleaning problems may be unjolly for mother. This household guide may be helpful.

As an internet content creator, I can really identify with Marion. Yes, her words were given the dignity of paper instead of an SEO ranking, but this right here is churned-out, traffic-bait content. It’s no fun to write, and I want to give her a thumbs-up on her terse and unapologetic intro.

As a mother, however, I kind of want to kick her in the shins. Actually I should probably kick her editor in the shins, as I’m sure this was handed to her in the morning editorial meeting and then she had to go figure out how to fill X column inches with recycled cleaning tips. And just look at this illustration!

Parties are fun but messy; vintage newspaper illustration

This monster-mother is so filled with rage at the table carelessly littered with pop bottles that she’s basically attacking the presumably jolly celebration that had been going on without her. The disembodied arms of her inconsiderate family members wave at her to stop, to no avail. The longer I look at her, the more miserable she seems, trapped in the role of the family work-horse and kill-joy.

So I supposed the person I really should kick is the illustrator, along with every ad agency between 1945 and now who has created a version of this long-suffering mother character to sell crap to real-life mothers.