Like many other couples their age, 49-year-old Mandy Jones and her husband Gary, 48, were struggling to save their failing marriage. That’s when they hit upon a unique solution – they decided to give the 1950s lifestyle a try. Now, the couple from Staffordshire claim that the change has actually saved their marriage.
So what’s so great about the fifties that it could bring Gary and Mandy closer to each other? Well, some might find this regressive, but Mandy says that she now cooks for her husband every night, just like most women did back then. So Gary gets to come home from work every night to a ‘dutiful’ wife and a wholesome 1950s dinner.
And that’s not all – Mandy, a part-time caterer, spends all her free time cooking, cleaning and darning Gary’s socks. She dresses in vintage frocks, drives a 1949 Chevrolet and listens to rockabilly records on her jukebox. She strongly believes that all women should adopt a similar lifestyle if they want to keep their man happy.
“It may seem strange and we get the odd nasty comment, but this way of life works for us and has saved our marriage,” Mandy said. “We love everything about the 1950s, from the clothes to the way of life. Since we started living like this I’ve been a better wife and Gary and I are closer than ever.”
Interestingly, the couple had bonded over their love of rockabilly and fifties’ fashion, when they first met 30 years ago. But in the last five years, their passion for all things 50s has reached new heights. They were quite bored of regular life: “Gary and I were sick of the same routine and we were bickering on a daily basis,” said Mandy. “We spent our weekends drinking at the pub until the early hours and it just got so boring.”
So the couple decided to change every aspect of their lives to match the fifties, starting with their house. They redecorated their entire home, including their kitchen, which is now an American diner-style eating space. “The diner was converted to the place it is now about a year ago, to incorporate quite a few original fifties items and some retro modern items to give the actual fifties feel” said Gary.
Their house is filled with all sorts of vintage memorabilia – old radios, telephones and even a 1961 original jukebox imported from South Carolina – all in mint condition. Mandy has perfected vintage hairstyles and makes her own retro-style clothes to impress her husband. And in their free time, the couple go Lindy Hop dancing or visit vintage fairs. “We’re absolutely madly in love with the life of the forties and fifties – dancing every weekend,” said Gary.
According to Mandy, “After a bad day there is nothing better than putting our jukebox on and doing a quick Lindy Hop,” Mandy added.
The couple said that they’ve met a lot of people with similar interests and made a lot of friends along the way, some even as far off as Australia.
“The lifestyle that we lead, pretty much in the fifties style has done wonders for our relationship – it’s given us a common interest. It’s a hobby that we both do together and it’s made us both stronger,” said Gary. “1950s marriages definitely work better than marriages these days,” Mandy added. “The divorce rate is so high at the moment and it never used to be in the past.”