How I Spent My Dollar, part 2; Lelia Printz; 1925

Not very long ago, my aunt gave me a dollar to spend anyway I wished. I went to the city to spend the afternoon and I also spent my dollar. I paid a quarter to see a movie, a quarter for a new magazine and because my best girl friend had one and because I wanted one like her, I bought a harmonica for fifty-five cents. Then I bought a nickel’s worth of candy to eat on my way home. I didn’t have a very good time either, for the movie wasn’t as good as I expected it to be and my best hat got wet!

Party Dresses from 1925

When school time came, Mother asked me how many dresses I had that were good enough to wear. She said, “Well, you ought to have at least one more gingham dress but I cannot spare the money now.”

It was then that I began to wish I had saved my dollar for here is what I could have bought with it.

Three yards 33-inch gingham—75 cents
One spool of thread—5 cents
Three skeins embroidery floss—10 cents
One Farmer’s Wife pattern—10 cents

Total—One dollar

This is how I spent my dollar and how I could have spent it had I been wiser at the time.

Note: Lelia was living with her widowed mother when she wrote this story. A year later she married Ray R. Figg and together they raised a family in their home state of Indiana. Hopefully, she shared this lesson with her children, all girls–Evelyn, Rosemary, Wilma and Shirley. Lelia died a widow in 1994, at the age of 88. 

How I Spent My Dollar, Part 1; by Irene Tibbetts; 1925

I am going to tell you about a dollar I spent.

It is very seldom I go to the city to trade, so when I do I always have a list of things I must have and a list I would like to have if I have enough money left. The last time I was in trading I had bought all my necessary things and was wondering what I would like best to get for Mother as it was near her birthday. A little girl and boy came into the department store and were looking around when I heard the little girl ask the clerk the price of a book. It was $1.98 and the children had only a dollar. So I asked them why they wished that book in particular and the boy said that they had seen their mother look at it the day before when she was in there and it was her birthday that day so they thought it would be nice to give it to her.

I gave them my dollar to pay for the book. I hope their mother is pleased, as my mother had to do with a box of handkerchiefs. Let’s hope she was pleased enough to make up for the way I felt not being able to give my mother more! I’ve often wondered since, was it foolish of me or not?

 

Don’t Save Your Pretty Things For Wife #2; 1937

 

Whenever I am tempted to put pretty things away and not use them I think of a neighbor I had. She was fine to visit with over the garden fence or in my home, but it was no joy to go into her home. It was beautiful–but the polished floors were covered first with new rugs and then with old rugs and where there wasn’t any “rug” there were heavy papers, so you couldn’t possibly mark the floor. The chairs were all covered so they wouldn’t get dusty or scratched. She never used her best dishes for fear they would get nicked or broken. Her beautiful linens were laid away, so they wouldn’t wear out. Children were not welcome in the house, as they might leave a mark or fingerprint on something.

One day Mary died of heart failure.

Within a year Joe was married again. All the old rugs and coverings disappeared, the costly china is used everyday and on wash days the most beautiful linens hang on the line. Four  healthy, sturdy boys have come to bless the home.

As we see them learning to swim, having water fights or sailing boats in the bathtub, sliding down the banisters or playing train with the furniture, we wonder, “What would Mary say if she could see all this?”

We are thoroughly convinced that we, ourselves, shall use and enjoy all our pretty things and not save them for wife number two.

 

 

Are Wives Loyal? 1937 & 1938

Letter 1–

It seems I am never with some of my married friends–girls my own age as well as those of the older generation–but they are complaining about their husbands, or criticizing them, one way or another.

Perhaps you would not call that a lack of loyalty, but I feel that it is.

I have been with these same husbands a lot, and have been more or less in their confidence. It is seldom, if ever, that they say one word in criticism of their wives. Is it because the wives are so nearly perfect in their husband’s eyes? Or do they, perhaps, see our faults, but are loyal enough to say nothing about them, even to close friends?

After all, we marry of our own volition, and surely should not expect our husbands to be faultless, when we ourselves are not.

Letter 2–

The other day I overheard two women talking about their husbands. Each seemed to be trying to make hers out the worse–nothing especially bad, just ordinary “meannesses” and I could not help but wonder what they would think and feel if their husbands “visited” the same way.

Why isn’t it just as easy to say, “John likes me to have meals on time,” as it is to say, “John is always so cross and unreasonable if I am behind with the meals”? Both statements can be true but how differently they sound when saying them to a group of other women!

One evening I knew my husband would be away late on business so I started the chores and was milking when a neighbor came in. She watched me for awhile and then said, “I wouldn’t milk any man’s cows. He could do it himself if he was late.”

“Well,” I replied, “I’m not milking ‘any’ man’s cows, I’m milking our cows.”

There wasn’t any answer.