DECEMBER 21, 1938
NEW YORK, Tuesday—As I went into the airport station in Washington yesterday afternoon, I noticed a striking looking woman with a bunch of chrysantheums. While I walked up and down waiting for the plane to be ready, I again noticed her talking to two gentlemen, but I restrained my desire to stare. Finally she came up to me and said: "I am Rose Bampton who sang for you last year and I am glad to see you again." In excuse for my apparent rudeness, I could only plead that day clothes make one look different than evening clothes.
The truth of the matter is that I have acquired the habit of looking at no one when I am out by myself. I realize it is behaving rather like an ostrich, because I base this on the theory that if I don't recognize people they will not recognize me. However, there are two drawbacks to this procedure. One is that I sometimes miss people that I would like very much to see, as would have happened in this case if Miss Bampton had not spoken to me. The second one is that unfortunately people recognize me just the same and probably think I have gone "high hat."
I arrived in New York City in plenty of time to put a few Christmasy finishing touches to my little apartment before my brother and four friends came to dine. We went to see: "Kiss The Boys Good-bye," a play written by Clare Boothe Luce. That she is clever and that the lines are entertaining, nobody will gainsay. This play does not leave quite as unpleasant an impression with me as did her play: "The Women." The whole cast is good and Helen Claire acts Cindy Lou Bethany very well. In spite of all her ridiculous patter and the reliance on ancestors and duty to a "class," there is something fine in the little girl who swallowed all the insults to herself but finally butted the gentleman who attacked the class in which she believed. And the boy who was stupid, even though he could make his stables pay, was a relief in that welter of people, all "intelligent" poseurs stupidly searching for emotional thrills.
We all of us know such people but most of us get away from them as much as we can. I am waiting for the play which I think Clare Boothe Luce will someday write when the bitterness of the experiences which she has evidently had are completely out of her system. That play may be a great play, for it will be written about real people and the cleverness will not be just superficial turns of word and phrase, but there will be depth and meaning and understanding. I hope she won't delay too long.
The short time I spent at the Ambassador Hotel after the play was very pleasant. The exhibition dancing was charming and Miss Chaney and my brother actually succeeded in getting five other couples on the floor to dance the Virginia Reel. They did it very well considering that it was new to most of them. I noticed with amusement that one of the girls seemed to be panting for breath, which shows, I think, that the younger generation can not "take it" as well as the older ones can.
(Copyright, 1938, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 21, 1938
Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University Old Main Building, Suite 406 1951 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20052
- Brick, Christopher (Editor)
- Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
- Black, Allida M. (Editor)
- Binker, Mary Jo (Associate Editor)
- Alhambra, Christopher C. (Electronic Text Editor)
Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project
Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.
Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.
MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30
TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28
Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance
archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.
TMs, AERP, FDRL