putterings       422   <   423   >   424       index

I don’t know just where we are now.

      How many of us are abject slaves to “things.” It nearly kills me to clean house, says one, for I’ve so many “things.” They all have to be cleaned and dusted twice a year and a good many have to be repaired. It takes me all the time, says another, to keep my house even decently tidy. We’ve so many “things” it takes one woman all her time to care for them. And so we go, all of us, wearing our energy away, puttering our time away, enslaving ourselves to “things.” What kind of “things”? Oh, curtains and portieres and draperies and couch covers and sofa pillows and crazy quilts and vases and things you buy at the ten-cent store and cheap pictures and tag ends of dishes that you’ve no use for and which you bought at a sale, and rugs and carpets and blankets and birds in cages and artificial palms and wax flowers and enlarged pictures and statuettes and rocking chairs and big heavy wooden bedsteads and tabourettes and pedestals and knickety-knackety stands and all of those other things which installment stores advertise as making a house look “homey.” They make it look more like a second-hand store.
      If we could work a reform in house furnishing we should have wrought a miracle in the health and spirits of the women who take care of the houses, and so in the care and training of children and in the happiness and success of the marital relation, and so to the next generation and then the millenium would be here. But women will keep on being the slaves of Things...

      ...I don’t know just where we are now. I’ve sort of lost interest in — Things.

— Della Thompson Lutes, “Things,” in her feature “’Twixt You and Me”
American Motherhood 35:2 (August 1912) : 102-104
U Illinois at Urbana-Champaign copy/scan (via google books) : link

Della Thompson Lutes (1867 or 1871? -1942), writer (stories, memoirs, housekeeping/cooking/etiquette books), editor
wikipedia : link

“Della Thompson Lutes,” by Lawrence R. Dawson, in
in Philip A. Greasley, ed., Dictionary of Midwestern literature (Vol. 1, 2001) : 331-332
borrowable at archive.org : link

27 April 2024