Frowzy Wives and a Foretaste of Purgatory ~1886


A hungry man, pressed for time, perhaps hot an labor-stained, comes home for dinner; if he finds a freshly laid table awaiting him, with a neat little wife who has taken a few moments to tidy herself after cooking, ready to give him a hot and savory dinner, and looking as if she had not taken too much trouble to prepare either the dinner or herself for his coming, the chances are that he will feel an involuntary inclination to freshen himself before beginning his meal: if, on the other hand, he is greeted with the unwelcome sight of a disorderly table, ill-cooked food served in slovenly fashion, and a frowzy wife without a suggestion about her of the trim girl who first attracted his fancy, no one can blame him if he throws himself into his chair unwashed, bolts his food surlily, and hurries away from such a foretaste of purgatory.

Just here a bit of the philosophy of common life fits admirably, – the adaptability of persons to circumstances; the ever-recurring forbearance with the individual idiosyncrasies of different members of the family; consideration for personal traits and peculiarities. Every newly married wife, and some old ones, would do well to heed this little commentary on careless living.

Source: Miss Corson’s Practical American Cookery and Household Management, Miss Juliet Corson, 1886.

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