Coffee, Tea or Me? The Uninhibited Memoirs of Two Airline Stewardesses is a reprint of the 30-year-old memoir of two stewardesses(now known, of course, as flight attendants). The book was actually ghost-written by a fellow named Donald Bain; he must have had a great time listening to those two ladies.
The tales are told first-person, through the eyes of Trudy Baker. "Trudy Baker" and "Rachel Jones" are pseudonyms and the airline they worked for is not mentioned by name. In fact, I searched online and couldn't find any information, whatsoever, about their true identities. I'd have thought the two would have been unmasked, by now. Interesting.
Trudy and Rachel's tale begins with a little background: Trudy's desire to see the world and escape from her small-town Texas life followed by a similar but shorter bit about Rachel. Trudy and Rachel were roommates at stewardess training school and became fast friends practically from the moment they met. In spite of their reputation as trouble-makers, they also managed to end up flying together once their training ended.
Originally printed in 1967, the book now serves as an excellent lesson in social change. Anyone remember the concept of "swinging"? Think "nice word for sleeping around". How about dressing nicely to travel? Remember a time when all flight attendantss were pretty and unfailingly friendly? If you can remember the days when flight attendants never frowned, you're really old. Sorry. Kidding, kidding, just kidding. At least, I think I am. It's certainly true that American women would not tolerate the kind of restrictions Trudy and Rachel experienced. "Call a woman too fat to employ in 2007 and they'll sue the pants off you," is the thought that crossed my mind as I read about Rachel doing calisthenics in a hotel room.
Trudy and Rachel's story simply could not occur, in our day; and, that's what makes it so fascinating. When they became stewardesses (or "stews"), women were hired for their looks and even a pound or two of weight gain was grounds for suspension. They had to be single and pregnancy was verboten. Training packets contained cosmetics, certain men known as "stew bums" went out of their way to hang out with stewardesses, troublesome passengers were the exception and air rage didn't exist. The book is not overly graphic or detailed about their exploits, but it was pretty racy at the time of its release; and, even now, it's a little strange to read about the drunken parties and the litany of lovers from a variety of countries and professions.
Coffee, Tea or Me? is an enjoyable and entertaining memoir--not a work of literature, by any means, but definitely worth reading if only for the glimpse into the past. There was never a point at which I laughed out loud, but I did smile at some of their antics.
Coming up: Kid goes back to school; husband returns to work. Oh, wow, I cannot tell you how anxious I am for Monday. This week was Spring Break for the kiddo and hubby took off all but one day. Kiddo got his learner's permit after eight failed attempts to gather all the correct papers and arrive at the driver's license bureau at the proper time; and, hubby bustled around the house, mostly removing doors from their hinges (???why???) and threatening to paint them. He managed to paint one side of the front door and I've been advised that, "You have to push it a little." I must have given him a really funny look because he defended the door. "It's not the door, it's the weather stripping," says he.
And, of course, there was that deal with our beloved kitty cat. Sunshine is looking perkier every day. Actually, she's looking a little expensive, also. Sunshine asked me to pass a kiss along to everyone who sent good wishes. And, of course, I said, "Gross, I'm not going to lick all those people." Yes, I'm joking, again. She'd give all of you a love rub, if you dropped by, though.
We took a drive up to Oxford, MS to see Faulkner's home - up Friday night and back on Saturday (just in time to pill the cat - what fun!). Thanks to Andi for the excuse. Now, I've got to sit down and write up an article about Oxford's bookish atmosphere for Estella's Revenge. Okay, I wrote it down so I can't get out of it. Someone kick me if I don't sit down the moment the guys leave the house.
Also coming up: Thinking Blogger post. Not that I've had time to think about who to nominate, with my husband going around unhinging the house. I haven't forgotten, though, that it's my turn to nominate.
Remind me to take a photo of: the treasures I've acquired during the past couple of weeks. I had a little too much fun with the gift cards, I'm afraid.
Gotta quit because: I'm getting glared at and the spouse claims it's his turn on the computer. What he doesn't realize is that I must grant him a turn. Silly man. Guess I'll go read.
Bookfool in search of a 48-hour clock.