Some Ways of a Widow.
Did you see her last week—the Merry Widow? She was here in all the crowds, walking up and down the corridors of the hotels, sitting in all the cafes, at the street corners buying roses—all in black, deep black from head to foot.
With a crepe veil to her heels, a widow’s ruche, a widow’s bonnet, a dress so short that it looked like a little girl’s high-heeled slippers, silk stockings and an entrancing display of white neck and well rounded arms, seen quite clearly and most becomingly through the shadowy thinness of her gossamer frock!
Blonde she was, and tall, and rosy was she and pink and white, and, oh, so fetching, so alluring, so intriguing!
No! she wasn’t some one just made up for the part; she was a widow, a real widow. Her husband had been dead three great, long months, and she was out here looking for a substitute.
She was quite frank about it, they tell me.
Every time she heard of a nice, comfortable, middle-aged man, she inquired anxiously, “Is he married?”
Every time she passed in her drives and perambulations a handsome house, surrounded with fine, ample ground, she said quite naively, “I wonder who lives there. Now, if I could find somebody who would give me a house like that ”
And she likes the town immensely. Oh, immensely. There were so many good looking men here—prosperous, don’t you know, and well groomed! They looked as if they knew how to take care of a wife.
Oh, she was quite respectable—member of the church, and all that kind of thing—and yet b-r-r-r! it makes me shiver to think of her.
I wonder if there are many like her in the world? Absolutely cold-blooded, calculating, going out to look for a husband as if they were looking for a cook or a gardener? So much for so much!
Yellow hair, blue eyes, rosy cheeks, a taste in dress, a soft voice, nice white hands and a cooing way of talking. For Sale in the Open Market! Who’ll buy? Who’ll buy?
How long will it be before the Merry Widow finds a husband, do you think?
She won’t take just anybody—she’s very particular.
What She Demands.
He must have plenty of money, oh, plenty! And know how to spend it. She wants a limousine, of course, and a touring car, and she’d like a roadster—one that she can drive herself. And she must have a town house, or, anyhow, a town apartment, and something in the country. Any simple little thing will do, so that there are enough bathrooms, and not too far from the country club.
The man must have position, either in business life or in the clubs. She couldn’t stand it to be married to a “nobody.” But, outside of these little things, she’s very broad-minded. Education, refinement, character, principle, reputation, brains, kindness, honesty, courage—what do all these things amount to anyhow? They won’t even pay for new tires on the new car.
Love, fidelity, faith, trust, deep respect, true devotion—they talk about those in the best sellers. The Merry Widow isn’t in the least interested—not in such minor matters.
And yet—I haven’t a doubt that some one will fall in love with her and marry her before the year is out.
And not one of his friends will apply for a letter of guardianship or try to send him to the home for the feeble minded, on the day the engagement is announced.
I’m glad I saw the Merry Widow and heard her talk, and watched her sweet little manoeuvres. I thought her type was as extinct as the dodo.
And here she is, alive and busy, just as she was when grandmother wore a hoop skirt and did her hair in ringlets and thought no delicate-minded woman should ever listen to a proposal of marriage without sinking into a swoon.
We don’t change so awfully fast, after all, do we?
South Bend [IN] News-Times 6 September 1920: p. 5