Looked Pretty Seedy

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, April 25, 1913:  Had company a little while this afternoon. I am sure I looked pretty seedy.

Source: Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine (November, 1913)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Hmmm. . . Was Grandma wearing ragged, patched clothes? Was her hair a mess? Did she look any different from how she looked on other days? Why was she so self-conscience about her looks?

31 Responses

  1. She was probably still worn out from her graduation and just enjoying being finished with school.

  2. The more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s a saying that seems to make a lot of sense, especially when it comes to young women being self conscious of their looks. This is a delightful idea for a blog, and I look forward to more posts!

  3. Sounds like the sort of unexpected company I get when I am still mucking about in my pyjamas at the weekend. Always cause for red cheeks but I never seem to learn!

  4. When I saw the title of your post, I thought it was one of my other blogger friends writing about spring seeds!
    You just have to wonder what Grandma didn’t like about the way she looked…

  5. Maybe she was having a bad hair day :)

  6. My mom says when she was young everybody wore really old clothes and tied kerchiefs around their heads to clean the house. I had such an image of her!
    By the way

  7. Sounds like the company may have been unexpected, and your Grandma wasn’t dressed to receive visitors.

  8. I can empathize… Even today if someone stops in an I’ve been out gardening (or whatever chore is at hand) I feel self-conscious and less than my best.
    However… the apron you chose to show? LOVE it!

    • I selected the illustration because it was in a magazine for dairy farmers–but I agree that the apron is adorable. Back then farm magazines included a women’s section that contained pictures of dress patterns that readers could order.

  9. It always seems like I look seedy when someone stops by or my husband wants to go out unexpectedly. :)

  10. I wonder who the company was? It sounds as though she wanted to impress them. I wonder if it was your grandfather who dropped by? :)

  11. Hmmmm! I suspect her company was a fella! :)

  12. Nothing a cute apron couldn’t fix I’m sure. Can’t image how long it took to do your hair with those crazy old tools

  13. One of the definitions of “seedy” on http://www.thefreedictionary.com is “tired or sick”, and she mentioned being tired the day before. Maybe that’s what she meant? I’ve never heard the word used like that before.

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