The Plight of the Sunday Mirror Girls and Real Estate Agents.

Me and mother 1995?

Me and mother 1995?

Estate agents are not far behind car-salesmen in the popularity range of professions. Even joining the army or becoming a police man are judged far above them. In the fifties, teaching was also a somewhat dodgy profession to pursue. It makes me wonder whether that might be the reason that our school kids don’t seem to be doing all that well. Apparently 45% of adults in Australia do not possess proficient spelling and math skills. But, if someone studied law, (even for those within the 45% semi-literate range)the prestige barometer would run red-hot. I noticed that amongst our elderly neighbours’ granddaughters, some are doing a university degree in ‘design.’

If job security is important I reckon, estate agents and car salesmen will probably be better placed than lawyers or designers. Australia has one of the highest rates per capita of lawyers in the world, and as for design, the Ikea flat pack with Allan key has taken care of that. Many are out of work and even barristers are scrimping around trying to make a quid. It’s in science and engineering that the future beckons and holds the best prospects.

Selling cars or houses does depend on smoothness and swiftness in seizing up the customer. If the pitch is overly keen, it might make the buyer a bit reluctant. There is the tendency of many people to go against a proposal if put too strongly. Lately Helvi and I are back ‘in the market’ as the parlance go, looking at houses. Even if just to spend time away from our own house. I like looking through other peoples houses. I quickly scan the bookshelves. Of course, bookshelves are not guaranteed.

Back in the fifties, my poor dad used to try and see through neighbours windows, hungry for sighting books. They were very rare. The best, in those years was a horse-betting guide or a real estate section resting seductively on top of little tables. In our house, my mother used to put The Catholic Weekly on top of any reading material. She held hope that we all would go through out teens wholly beholden by men of the cloth. We soon saw through their voodoo tricks. How can anyone take to walking on water and virgin births?

One of my friends remarked; ‘why do your newspapers have all those holes in them? I admitted, ‘because my mum cuts out all the provocative pictures of girls.’ Those photos used to be displayed in Australian Newspapers, especially the afternoon papers. The same papers also used to have screaming headlines with ‘SHOCK SEX’, or a whole page with just one three letter word ‘WAR.’ My mum thought she could save her family, possibly including her husband, from filth and decadence perving on grainy images of swim suit wearing girls.

As soon as we hit the car driving range we would pretend to go to church on Sunday. We all sat inside my old V8 Ford single spinner outside the church. We would take turns in getting snippets of the main sermon before getting back in the V8 and continue the perve on the Sunday Mirror paper girls, before we presented them home for mother to get her scissors out for. It is an endearing image I still treasure.

My mum was brought up together with her sister in an orphanage. She lost both her parents when very young. The orphanage was run by nuns in Amsterdam. As a child she took me to this orphanage and introduced me to some very old nuns who were still alive from the time she was a little girl. The orphanage was stone-cold with marble stairs. Her sister was there too, but strictness by the nuns separated them. She was forbidden to have contact with her. Her sister was my dear Aunt Agnes.

I surmised she must have got her staunch religious beliefs from that period. Her cutting images from newspapers that might invite her sons into carnal pleasures might well have been her intention to save us, and for that I have respect and my love. Of course, she failed, but that is a different matter. Apart from the cutting pictures she was also the eternally undefeatable worker and optimist.

A really great mother.

41yjSAQeq1L__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ oosterman treats

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23 Responses to “The Plight of the Sunday Mirror Girls and Real Estate Agents.”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    Bless your mother, she’d be proud of her Gerard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      She was always supportive and even towards the end she held hope that her schizophrenic son, Frank, would be cured and even hoped he would get a good woman. She prayed for years. It did not happen. He remained as he was. I think she started to loose faith in a just God and actually was relieved by her new found truth. Quite a turn around.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. rod Says:

    ‘The orphanage was stone-cold with marble stairs. Her sister was there too, but strictness by the nuns separated them.’

    These nice Christians!

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the orphanage was named ‘maagden huis,’ translated, ‘home for virgins’. A few books have been written about this Amsterdam place. Some very critical.
      Mother had to get up very early each day, attend Mass and scrub those marble stairs.
      Her cutting newspaper images of bikini girls would stem from that very strict childhood by the nuns.
      Yet, she never complained about this orphanage. However, towards the latter part of her life, she gave all religion away and seemed to have found peace with that.

      Like

  3. GP Cox Says:

    Your mom tried to protect, but life has a way of creeping in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You are right. She wanted to protect us, yet our masturbatory practises triumphed regardless of the missing newspaper bikini clad girls. The stillness of our lonely spiritless suburb would light up and be rocking with the antics of her five teenage sons.

      Liked by 3 people

      • GP Cox Says:

        I can imagine!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Big M Says:

        I remember seeing the former US president, Carter being interviewed. The previous interviewee had discussed masturbation in the US. I think he was a psychologist, or sociologist, who had done some research. Anyhoo, Jimmy’s opening line was that had been a vigorous practitioner of what the other young feller was talking about, but in older age, only had a passing interest. Not sure if he was allowed to look at the page two girls, or not?

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I did not see that interview. Even so, Carter was quite candid considering society’s shyness of the issue at that time.
        Poor George was caught by his mum going through some glamor magazines, with one thing leading to another.

        At least George’s mum did not cut out the pictures. I mean, the magazine would have just been left with the staples and some ads for Pine-O-Clean.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. shoreacres Says:

    My mother was a newspaper clipper, too, but for her it was recipes she wanted to try. When I went off to college, she expanded her range, and sent me cartoons, Pogo comic strips, and columns written by Donald Kaul, a Des Moines Register favorite.

    As for the nuns: judging all by the actions of a few is a logical fallacy, sometimes known as overgeneralization. A conclusion about a group drawn from an unrepresentative sample, especially a sample that is too small or too narrow, can lead to trouble. It seems to be everywhere these days. See: politicians, Millenials, gays, the poor, the rich, Muslims, Christians, Jews, black people, white people, immigrants, etc., ad infinitum. Would that we could clip some of these logical fallacies out of our lives! I’m as bad as the next person — I need to keep reminding myself to actually think about what I’m saying!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I don’t know, Linda.

      I am sure there are many good nuns. My mother did not complain about her treatment at the orphanage. Yet, cutting pictures out of newspapers to prevent her sons committing sins that, according to her Catholic faith, deserved eternal hell, did not come about by experiencing love and care. She had no parents to love her.

      With the daily revelations in Australia by abuse of priests and churches, shows it not to be overgeneralization. It was very common.

      My mother gave her religion away in her final years.

      Even in the early seventies she stumbled on a TV program whereby I was interviewed about the vasectomy. She was remarkably sanguine about it. She said; “sure Gerard, I would have done the same. I had too many children.” Yet, let the little children come,” was the law by the church. My dad just tagged along with whatever his wife believed.
      I never expected to hear that.

      I remember my Aunt Agnes in always sending me those strips of Erik de Noorman. It is funny how those things stick in our minds.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. jennypellett Says:

    You paint a great picture of your mother…she could well have been Irish!
    On the design matter – I would guess that even engineering requires a certain amount of design input.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, design creeps into most facets of life, Jenny. ‘Having a design’ on something is a common expression.

      My mother never looked back or ruminated about what has been.

      Towards the end of her life she did talk a lot about the little she remembered about her parents as a very young child. Both her parents died when she was too young.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. petspeopleandlife Says:

    I know your mom was a really good lady but my, oh my, cutting out pics from the newspaper? I wonder how long she believed that she could shield her children from the “perverted” humans that were and are lurking around every corner?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Ivonne. She was a good mother and she grew up in a orphanage run by nuns. I am sure her ways of dealing with her children was based on love and care. But her fear of her children turning in sex monsters because of pictures in the Mirror or Sunday telegraph wasn’t based on much fact or any science.
      In her days, women used to bath in costumes that are not all that far from the present day Burkini.
      The modern Burkini designed by Australia presently banned in some French beach towns, is now a huge export from Australia.
      It has become a fashion statement and it prevent skin cancer a lot better than the skimpy bikini or sun-creams.

      Liked by 1 person

      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        Yes, the Burkini is good to wear to prevent skin cancer and so on. My question is why not? The law is baffling to me and reeks of sexism and bigotry. How strange have the governing powers of so called civilized countries become.

        Like

  7. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Imagine the challenge your mom would have with today’s Internet, Gerard.🙂 –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  8. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Lovely story, though I am heartbroken for you mother and sister. When a child loses their main carers, it seems the height of cruelty to separate them from the only remaining family. My few years in a convent as a child cure me completely of religion.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, that girls orphanage was an institute that came about caring for Amsterdam’s female street urchins of the 19th/20th century. My mother was not a street urchin but had lost both parents.
      I am sure they would have been around in many cities.
      I am curious about the few years you spent in a convent, Hilary.
      We now know what was done to the boys in orphanages. We have a Royal Commission going red hot on the abuse of both boys and girls in many religious institutions.
      No wonder we are so callous towards refugees. We give back what was given to us.

      Like

  9. Lonia Scholvinck Says:

    Nu begrijp ik waarom het Maagdenhuis bezet werd in the sixties!

    Like

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