Betty Bradeen’s Daily Chat
Vacation time is the time to relax in more ways than one. Relax the etiquette of home life, of social life, and forget that it is necessary to be formally introduced before speaking to your next door neighbor. There are pleasant acquaintances to be made everywhere, and if you miss them it is your your own fault. Promiscuous acquaintances are not desirable, but that class is not usually found in wholesome neighborhoods—it is found in big cities, on trains and boats and in other public places, and no wise woman seeks it.
A great deal of censure fell to the share of a clergyman's wife when a new appointment took him to a small, but cultivated city. He won lasting popularity because he filled his role perfectly and treated all of his parishioners with the deference due those who paid his salary. He was more adaptable than his wife, who been brought up rather fashionably and gave more attention to money and smartness than her husband’s position warranted. A single call, demanded by etiquette, was all that some of the plainer members of the flock received and complaints came naturally from the neglected ones. It never hurt anybody to be affable. One often meets women who scorn to do such favors as passing the salt and pepper at a public table, when no waiter is at hand.
Every man will donate a seat to a handsomely dressed woman—the true gentleman makes no distinction, but respects womanhood as a whole. One of the most fashionable women I ever met is adored by her servants because she treats them with consideration. She is sympathetic with their troubles and interested in joys. A maid who served her for 10 years is remembered every Christmas with a check for $l0, although the woman left her five years ago. There is a vast difference between spoiling employes and treating them kindly. In the former case, shiftlessness is passed over —in the latter men and women are expected to earn their money. It may be hard to pull them up to the demands of cold weather living, but nothing is lost by relaxing the system a trifle during the vacation season. All new acquaintances do not turn out satisfactorily, but there is the likelihood of never meeting them again. The world is large enough to swallow many disagreeables.
If there are any women who are treading the beaten track to which they have become familiar in earlier seasons, they are not good to themselves. They may have to work just as hard through the day, but they might relax at night. They could make a fresh toilet, the simpler the better, and spend the evening outdoors, preferably in pleasant company. Housewives can give up all but necessary serving and read and rest as do the women who board away from home. Hard and fast rules are not for mid-summer — there is genuine sport in seeking novelties, and as many of them as possible. There is nothing like a touch of roughness to tone up a jaded taste if one reaches such a state. – Betty Bradeen, 1910
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