The Brides Book by Dorothy Stote
The Brides Book may be from 1939 but it’s advice is just as relevant for the modern day gal as the olden day one. Women still need advice on marriage, surplus hair (my lower back, seriously God, fuck you for making me this way), scarf arrangement and the function of artificial flowers.
The book was written by authoress Dorothy Stote who also penned the infamous “Making the Most of Your Looks,” which turned into Vogue or Grazia or Shout or a giant eagle or something.
Anyway when I came of age there was a big ceremony and nibbles, and this book was given to me by my mother.
“Darling,” she said after the guests had all left. “Darling, it’s time to think about settling down. Your eggs aren’t getting any riper and I am fed up of looking at a facebook feed of all my friends at their kids wedding.”
“But mother,” I said, taking off my ceremonial chastity belt.”It’s hard enough finding a parking space outside my house after six, let alone finding someone to make me a cup of tea every fucking morning.”
“Read this,” she said handing over 50 Shades of Grey. “Then read this,” and she gave me The Brides book. “My mother gave it to me and her mothers mother probably didn’t give to her, but live it, learn it and find yourself a husband. YOLO.”
So I am reading it, hoping to ensnare myself some kind of dowry. Do women get dowry’s?
I DONT KNOW, THATS WHY I HAVE THE BOOK.
I didn’t read it all to be honest. There are whole chapters dedicated to riding horses. I don’t have a horse, nor these MC Hammer style pantaloons.
So I read all chapters relative to me.
(Just so you know, if someone asks me to marry them, its probably because I tricked them into getting me pregnant, but luckily the book had advice on how to handle this.)
I like Dorothy’s style. She calls the fat parts of my body “figure weaknesses,” and offers the solution of a girdle. I have often thought of my bingo wings as a weakness rather then a strength, and frankly they undermine me when I make important socio economical or moral points.
She tells us we must strap ourselves in as much as possible. After all your feet will spread without shoes, your hands will spread without gloves, your head will spread without a hat and “the body, like the shoesless foot, begins to spread without a girdle.”
Like a sausage without a skin. I WILL WEAR A GIRDLE.
She offers practical advice. Tells it like it fucking is. No love yourself for who you are, but secretly hate yourself and cry in changing rooms and its okay to have a normal body, but really it’s not, diet without really dieting all the time.
Stotes calles the honeymoon “the elastic period,” i.e the stretching of vagina. She also speaks of the Trousseau a lot. What is a fucking Trousseau? A french trout? Man I was so confused. It could have been cleared up with a quick google search, but I decided it was a term for one of those guys you fancy whose really good looking and knows it. And you pretend you don’t fancy him. But you do. And so do all your friends.
I liked that Stotes doesn’t spell everything out for me. Like, I had to do some real thinking to work stuff out. For example in the Lingerie section she asks.
“Brasserie? Yes or no.”
I was all like “No, fucking way. I’m married. You can’t strap me into one of those boob hats anymore. I will not be oppressed.”
But she says yes. Yes to brasserie. She states yes, but not too big or small, coz your boobs will droop.
At that point I was buying all her advice and all the bras, until we got to the section on wollen underwear?!
“One can look just as trim and attractive in wool as in silk.”
FUCK THAT. No man is going to want anything to do with my undergarments after I don a wollen g string and attempt to arrange the lint in the pocket.
There is no mention of periods.
Not even a sly mention of periods.
Not even a “when your body is unable to elasticate for the mans joyful expression of love, hide yourself in the pit of shame and make french fancies.” I began to wonder if periods were a modern invention, or a lie, but then I spotted the advert for these slinky things.
Imagine belting yourself into one of these sexy nappies. That has gotta make you feel the urge to to elasticate.
So Stotes talks about weddings for ages, and I was about to get bored then… LOOK A FRYING PAN MADE OUT OF GLASS
But back to weddings, JESUS, I can’t believe there is so much for the bride to think about other then not looking fat in her wedding dress. There are decorations, guests, hats, stationary, how to write thank you notes when bought candlesticks …
There is also post wedding fat face advice. It simply says “No turbans.”
During the ten minutes I flicked through this book, taking photos of the funny parts, I really began to see the whole point of marriage. It’s like a career choice.
“The girl who is going to be married is starting out on a brand new adventure. That adventure is her job, an exciting one, but a job just the same.” Like nowadays, am i right girls? They don’t call it a job for no reason? AMIRITE?
But seriously, amirite? I have never been married, do you have to punch in? Is there a time clock and do you get double pay on bank holidays? Do you get to have part time jobs in other men?
Dor Stotez also hates smelly women. Thats one of her pet peeves.
There is NO excuse to smell like BO, or not be “dainty,” and when it comes to your breath. Fucking forget it. No man is gonna marry a woman who has breath.
There is a section on entertaining in the home, and how a “talkie,” is a novel way of amusing guests. Haha. Talkie. There is also the mild threat of expulsion from the community if you allowed your guests to be bored at any point, so there was whole reams of games you could play, such as “Cards in the Hat.” Apparently people try and throw hats at a card. That sounds stupid.
Sadly no suggestion of keys in a bowl. Or jello shots. And conversational topics should be kept light.
Overall this book was a smorgasboard of usefullness. It had information on insurance, as well as how to arrange the living room, rear a child and make the perfect gateaux. I would recommend it to any woman alive today. I think you can probs pick it up from Foyles, or I might leave it outside my house for a bit later if you want.