One of my favorite television shows as a child was The Munsters. This popular TV show aired on CBS in 1965 and featured the home life of a family of sweet, gracious-living monsters. The household included the head of the house and Frankenstein’s monster, Herman Munster; Grandpa (a.k.a Count Dracula), the somewhat over the hill infamous vampire; Marilyn Munster, the strikingly beautiful niece that is considered to the be “ugly duckling” of the family, and Eddie Munster, the werewolfish son with pointed ears that howls at the Moon. To me, the most intriguing character of the Munster household was the gracious, elegant, and charming Lily Munster, who is the matriarch of the family. Watching Lily Munster move through her life, one can learn a lot about etiquette, manners, and poise. Let me explain.
Lily is the daughter of Grandpa (Count Dracula), so she is, well, a lady vampire. But don’t let that fool you. Lily possesses the manners of a queen, the charm of Juliet, and the homemaking skills of a traditional 1950’s housewife. Lily is a strong woman. She is clearly in charge of the Munster household. She is a great mother to Eddy, a supportive and loving wife to her Frankenstein husband, Herman, and a supportive Aunt to her niece, Marilyn. Watching Lily is a refreshing experience. In fact, over the years, Lily has taught me some very valuable lessons as a wife, lady, and homemaker.
Lily Lesson #1: Be A Great Housewife
Lily is a great housewife. Make no mistake about it. Although the sitcom has her carefully arranging cobwebs in her house to get them just right, using a reverse vacuum cleaner to blow dust around her house, and cooking Vulture chowder in a black cauldron, Lily Munster is the quintessential housewife! She keeps her house clean and tidy. She is always pictured wearing a frilly apron on over her pink and black shroud. She also wears the traditional hair scarf around her head to keep her jet black and gray-streaked hair out of the food she is preparing. Mrs. Munster makes sure that her family is served a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and she always has some kind of treat baking in the oven like spider cookies or devil’s food cake. Lily makes all her food from scratch including oatmeal for breakfast and roasted dragon for dinner. Lily is also an amazing housekeeper. She always tells Herman that she cleans nine rooms and a dungeon every day. That’s a real accomplishment. She must have a cleaning schedule for sure!
Lily Lesson #2: Exhibit Poise & Manners
Lily is also a graceful creature oozing femininity on every level. She walks with the poise of a model. She is never boisterous or lacking in manners. She makes sure that her guests feel welcome and serves tea and cookies to them. Lily delicately pours the tea, asks how many sugar cubes they desire, then politely hands her guests her finest china cup and saucer. Her every movement is like watching smoke rise into the air. Her movements and behavior are always lady like. Lily is always reserved and uses proper English. Her old-world charm and etiquette demonstrate that even a “monster” can be perceived as charming and elegant.
Lily Lesson #3: Family is Priority
Lily Munster is the perfect wife, mother, and daughter who always places her family first. Her family is her priority and that is apparent in every episode. In a few shows, Lily takes a job as a model, a palm reader, and a welder. She joins the workforce in order to earn some extra money to help Herman with the finances and to buy her husband a present for his birthday. Despite working all day, when Lily returns home, she immediately puts on her apron and heads to the kitchen with Marilyn to prepare the family dinner. No takeout meals for The Munsters. Lily makes sure that the meal is well balanced and even makes her own salad dressing (well she uses cactus juice, but you get the idea!) Lily also makes sure she is dressed to the nines every day that that her dramatic make-up is applied to perfection. Her long hair is always groomed, and her lipstick is never smudged.
Even when she sleeps, Lily makes sure she is wearing a lovely night gown with matching robe. Her hair is always covered with a sleep cap, so it keeps it perfect and smooth. Lily is proud to be a lady. You can tell in the way she acts and moves. Lily has an air of confidence about her and she is often the most intelligent person in the room. But she always makes sure to praise her husband, father, and son for their accomplishments. Often the lady of the house is the cog in the family wheel. Life circles around her. Lily is the cog for the Munster family. She is the voice of the reason, a caring and loving soul, and a traditional housewife.
After watching The Munsters for five decades now, I have concluded that Lily Munster is the quintessential lady and I want to be just like her when I grow up! 💋