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MEN I'M 
NOT MARRIED TO 



:CM 



CN 
IOO 



DOROTHY 
PARKER 



co 




PS 

3501 

D2MW65 

1922 

C.I 

ROBA 



DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY 



MEN 
I'M NOT MARRIED TO 



MEN 

I'M NOT MARRIED TO 



BY 
DOROTHY PARKER 




GARDEN CITY NEW YORK 

DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY 

1922 



COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY 

DOUBLED AY, PAGE & COMPANY 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF 

TRANSLATION INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, 

INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN 



COPYRIGHT, IQ22, BT THE CURTIS PUBLISHING COMPANY 
IN THE UNITED STATES AND GREAT BRITAIN 

PRINTED IX THE UNITED STATES 

AT 
THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS, GARDEN CITY, K. Y. 



PAGE 



CONTENTS 

FREDDIE 2 

MORTIMER 12 

RAYMOND 12 

CHARLIE 13 

LLOYD 21 

HENRY 21 

JOE 25 

OLIVER 26 

ALBERT . 26 



,. 




MEN 
I'M NOT MARRIED TO 



MEN 
I'M NOT MARRIED TO 

No matter where my route may lie, 

No matter whither I repair, 
In brief no matter how or why 

Or when I go, the boys are there. 
On lane and byways, street and square, 

On alley, path and avenue, 
They seem to spring up everywhere 

The men I am not married to. 

I watch them as they pass me by; 

At each in wonderment I stare, 
And, "but for heaven's grace/' I cry, 

"There goes the guy whose name I'd 

wear !" 
They represent no species rare, 

They walk and talk as others do; 
They're fair to see but only fair 

The men I am not married to. 

1 



2 MEN 

I'm sure that to a mother's eye 

Is each potentially a bear. 
But though at home they rank ace-high, 

No change of heart could I declare. 
Yet worry silvers not their hair; 

They deck them not with sprigs of rue. 
It's curious how they do not care 

The men I am not married to. 

I/ENVOI 

In fact, if they'd a chance to share 

Their lot with me, a lifetime through, 

They'd doubtless tender me the air 
The men I am not married to. 

FKEDDIE 

"On, BOY!" people say of Fred- 
die. "You just ought to meet him 
some time! He's a riot, that's 
what he is more fun than a goat." 

Other, and more imaginative 
souls play whimsically with the 
idea, and say that he is more fun 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 3 

than a barrel of monkeys. Still 
others go at the thing from a dif- 
ferent angle, and refer to him as 
being as funny as a crutch. But 
I always feel, myself, that they 
stole the line from Freddie. Satire 
that is his dish. 

And there you have, really, one 
of Freddie's greatest crosses. Peo- 
ple steal his stuff right and left. 
He will say something one day, 
and the next it will be as good as 
all over the city. Time after time 
I have gone to him and told him 
that I have heard lots of vaudeville 
acts using his comedy, but he just 
puts on the most killing expres- 
sion, and says, "Oh, say not 
suchlyl" in that way of his. And, 
of course, it gets me laughing so 
that I can't say another word 
about it. 



4 MEN 

That is the way he always is, 
just laughing it off when he is told 
that people are using his best lines 
without even so much as word of 
acknowledgment. I never hear 
any one say "There is such a thing 
as being too good-natured" but 
that I think of Freddie. 

You never knew any one like 
him on a party. Things will be 
dragging along, the way they do 
at the beginning of the evening, 
with the early arrivals sitting 
around asking one another have 
they been to anything good at the 
theatre lately, and is it any wonder 
there is so much sickness around 
with the weather so changeable. 
The party will be just about 
plucking at the coverlet when in 
will breeze Freddie, and from that 
moment on the evening is little 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 5 

short of a whirlwind. Often and 
often I have heard him called the 
life of the party, and I have always 
felt that there is not the least bit 
of exaggeration in the expression. 

What I envy about Freddie is 
that poise of his. He can come 
right into a room full of strangers, 
and be just as much at home as if 
he had gone through grammar 
school with them. He smashes the 
ice all to nothing the moment he is 
introduced to the other guests by 
pretending to misunderstand their 
names, and calling them something 
entirely different, keeping a per- 
fectly straight face all the time as 
if he never realized there was any- 
thing wrong. A great many peo- 
ple say he puts them in mind of 
Buster Keaton that way. 

He is never at a loss for a 



6 MEN 

screaming crack. If the hostess 
asks him to have a chair Freddie 
comes right back at her with "No, 
thanks; we have chairs at home." 
If the host offers him a cigar he 
will say just like a flash, "What's 
the matter with it?" If one of the 
men borrows a cigarette and a 
light from him Freddie will say in 
that dry voice of his, "Do you want 
the coupons too?" Of course his 
wit is pretty fairly caustic, but no 
one ever seems to take offense at 
it. I suppose there is everything 
in the way he says things. 

And he is practically a whole 
vaudeville show in himself. He is 
never without a new story of what 
Pat said to Mike as they were 
walking down the street, or how 
Abie tried to cheat Ikie, or what 
old Aunt Jemima answered when 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 7 

she was asked why she had married 
for the fifth time. Freddie does 
them in dialect, and I have often 
thought it is a wonder that we 
don't all split our sides. And never 
a selection that every member of 
the family couldn't listen to, either 
just healthy fun. 

Then he has a repertory of song 
numbers, too. He gives them with- 
out accompaniment, and every 
song has a virtually unlimited 
number of verses, after each one 
of which Freddie goes conscienti- 
ously through the chorus. There 
is one awfully clever one, a big 
favourite of his, with the chorus 
rendered a different way each 
time showing how they sang it 
when grandma was a girl, how 
they sing it in gay Paree and how 
a cabaret performer would do it. 



8 MEN 

Then there are several along the 
general lines of Casey Jones, two 
or three about negroes who spe- 
cialized on the banjo, and a few in 
which the lyric of the chorus con- 
sists of the syllables "ha, ha, ha." 
The idea is that the audience will 
get laughing along with the singer. 
If there is a piano in the house 
Freddie can tear things even wider 
open. There may be many more 
accomplished musicians, but no- 
body can touch him as far as being 
ready to oblige goes. There is 
never any of this hanging back 
waiting to be coaxed or protesting 
that he hasn't touched a key in 
months. He just sits right down 
and does all his specialties for you. 
He is particularly good at doing 
"Dixie" with one hand and 
"Home, Sweet Home" with the 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 9 

other, and Josef Hof mann himself 
can't tie Freddie when it comes to 
giving an imitation of a fif e-and- 
drum corps approaching, passing, 
and fading away in the distance. 

But it is when the refreshments 
are served that Freddie reaches 
the top of his form. He always 
insists on helping to pass plates 
and glasses, and when he gets a 
big armful of them he pretends to 
stumble. It is as good as a play 
to see the hostess' face. Then he 
tucks his napkin into his collar, 
and sits there just as solemnly as 
if he thought that were the thing to 
do; or perhaps he will vary that 
one by folding the napkin into a 
little square and putting it care- 
fully in his pocket, as if he thought 
it was a handkerchief. You just 
ought to see him making believe 



10 MEN 

that he has swallowed an olive pit. 
And the remarks he makes about 
the food I do wish I could re- 
member how they go. He is fun- 
niest, though, it seems to me, when 
he is pretending that the lemon- 
ade is intoxicating, and that he 
feels its effects pretty strongly. 
When you have seen him do this it 
will be small surprise to you that 
Freddie is in such demand for 
social functions. 

But Freddie is not one of those 
humourists who perform only 
when out in society. All day long 
he is bubbling over with fun. And 
the beauty of it is that he is not a 
mere theorist, as a joker; practical 
that's Freddie all over. 

If he isn't sending long tele- 
grams, collect, to his friends, then 
he is sending them packages of 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 11 

useless groceries, C. O. D. A 
telephone is just so much meat to 
him. I don't believe any one will 
ever know how much fun Freddie 
and his friends get out of Freddie's 
calling them up and making them 
guess who he is. When he really 
wants to extend himself he calls up 
in the middle of the night, and 
says that he is the wire tester. He 
uses that one only on special oc- 
casions, though. It is pretty elab- 
orate for everyday use. 

But day in and day out, you can 
depend upon it that he is putting 
over some uproarious trick with a 
dribble glass or a loaded cigar or a 
pencil with a rubber point; and 
you can feel completely sure that 
no matter where he is or how unex- 
pectedly you may come upon him, 
Freddie will be right there with a 



12 MEN 

funny line or a comparatively new 
story for you. That is what people 
marvel over when they are talking 
about him how he is always just 
the same. 

It is right there, really, that they 
put their finger on the big trouble 
with him. 

But you just ought to meet 
Freddie sometime. He's a riot, 
that's what he is more fun than 
a circus. 

MORTIMER 

MORTIMER had his photograph 
taken in his dress suit. 

RAYMOND 

So LONG as you keep him well 
inland Raymond will never give 
any trouble. But when he gets 
down to the seashore he affects a 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 13 

bathing suit fitted with little 
sleeves. On wading into the sea 
ankle-deep he leans over and care- 
fully applies handfuls of water to 
his wrists and forehead. 

CHARLIE 

IT'S curious, but no one seems 
to be able to recall what Charlie 
used to talk about before the coun- 
try went what may be called, with 
screaming effect, dry. Of course 
there must have been a lot of un- 
satisfactory weather even then, 
and I don't doubt that he slipped 
in a word or two when the talk got 
around to the insanity of the then- 
current styles of women's dress. 
But though I have taken up the 
thing in a serious way, and have 
gone about among his friends mak- 
ing inquiries, I cannot seem to find 



14 MEN 

that he could ever have got any 
farther than that in the line of con- 
versation. In fact, he must have 
been one of those strong silent 
men in the old days. 

Those who have not seen him for 
several years would be in a posi- 
tion to be knocked flat with a 
feather if they could see what a 
regular little chatterbox Charlie 
has become. Say what you will 
about prohibition and who has a 
better right? you would have to 
admit, if you knew Charlie, that it 
has been the making of him as a 
conversationalist. 

He never requires his audience to 
do any feeding for him. It needs 
no careful leading around of the 
subject, no tactful questions, no 
well-timed allusions, to get him 
nicely loosened up. All you have 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 15 

to do is say good evening to him, 
ask him how everybody over at his 
house is getting along, and give 
him a chair though this last is 
not essential and silver-tongued 
Charlie is good for three hours 
straight on where he is getting it, 
how much he has to pay for it, and 
what the chances are of his getting 
hold of a couple of cases of gen- 
uine pinch-bottle, along around 
the middle of next week. I have 
known him to hold entire dinner 
parties spellbound, from cocktails 
to finger bowls, with his mono- 
logue. 

Now I would be well down 
among the last when it came to 
wanting to give you the impression 
that Charlie has been picked for 
the All- American alcoholic team. 
Despite the wetness of his conver- 



16 MEN 

sation he is just a nice, normal, 
conscientious drinker, willing to 
take it or let it alone, in the order 
named. I don't say he would not 
be able to get along without it, but 
neither do I say that he doesn't 
get along perfectly splendidly 
with it. I don't think I ever saw 
any one who could get as much fun 
as Charlie can out of splitting the 
Eighteenth Amendment with a 
friend. 

There is a glamour of vicarious 
romance about him. You gather 
from his conversation that he 
comes into daily contact with any 
number of picturesque people. 
He tells about a friend of his who 
owns three untouched bottles of 
the last absinth to come into the 
country; or a lawyer he knows, 
one of whose grateful clients sent 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 17 

him six cases of champagne in ad- 
dition to his fee; or a man he met 
who had to move to the country in 
order to have room for his Scotch. 

Charlie has no end of anecdotes 
about the interesting women he 
meets, too. There is one girl he 
often dwells on, who, if you only 
give her time, can get you little 
bottles of chartreuse, each contain- 
ing an individual drink. Another 
gifted young woman friend of his 
is the inventor of a cocktail in 
which you mix a spoonful of 
orange marmalade. Yet another 
is the justly proud owner of a pet 
marmoset which becomes the 
prince of good fellows as soon as 
you have fed him a couple of tea- 
spoonfuls of gin. 

It is the next best thing to know- 
ing these people yourself to hear 



18 MEN 

Charlie tell about them. He just 
makes them live. 

It is wonderful how Charlie's 
circle of acquaintances has widened 
during the last two years; there is 
nothing so broadening as prohibi- 
tion. Among his new friends he 
numbers a conductor on a train 
that runs down from Montreal, 
and a young man who owns his 
own truck, and a group of chaps 
who work in drug stores, and I 
don't know how many proprietors 
of homey little restaurants in the 
basements of brownstone houses. 

Some of them have turned out 
to be but fair-weather friends, un- 
fortunately. There was one young 
man, whom Charlie had looked 
upon practically as a brother, who 
went particularly bad on him. It 
seems he had taken a pretty 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 19 

solemn oath to supply Charlie, as 
a personal favour, with a case of 
real Gordon, which he said he was 
able to get through his high social 
connections on the other side. 
When what the young man called 
a nominal sum was paid, and the 
case was delivered, its bottles were 
found to contain a nameless liquor, 
though those of Charlie's friends 
who gave it a fair trial suggested 
Storm King as a good name for 
the brand. Charlie has never laid 
eyes on the young man from that 
day to this. He is still unable to 
talk about it without a break in his 
voice. As he says and quite 
rightly, too it was the principle 
of the thing. 

But for the most part his new 
friends are just the truest pals a 
man ever had. In more time than 



20 MEN 

it takes to tell it, Charlie will keep 
you right abreast with them 
sketch in for you how they are, and 
what they are doing, and what 
their last words to him were. 

But Charlie can be the best of 
listeners, too. Just tell him about 
any little formula you may have 
picked up for making it at home, 
and you will find the most sym- 
pathetic of audiences, and one who 
will even go to the flattering length 
of taking notes on your discourse. 
Relate to him tales of unusual 
places where you have heard that 
you can get it or of grotesque sums 
that you have been told have been 
exchanged for it, and he will hang 
on your every word, leading you 
on, asking intelligent questions, 
encouraging you by references to 
like experiences of his own. 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 21 

But don't let yourself get carried 
away with success and attempt to 
branch out into other topics. For 
you will lose Charlie in a minute 
if you try it. 

But that, now I think of it, 
would probably be the very idea 
you would have in mind. 

LLOYD 
LLOYD wears washable neckties. 

HENRY 

You would really be surprised 
at the number of things that 
Henry knows just a shade more 
about than anybody else does. 
Naturally he can't help realizing 
this about himself, but you must- 
n't think for a minute that he has 
let it spoil him. On the contrary, 



22 MEN 

as the French so well put it. He 
has no end of patience with others, 
and he is always willing to oversee 
what they are doing, and to offer 
them counsel. When it comes to 
giving his time and his energy 
there is nohody who could not ad- 
mit that Henry is generous. To 
a fault, I have even heard people 
go so far as to say. 

If, for instance, Henry happens 
to drop in while four of his friends 
are struggling along through a 
game of bridge he does not cut in 
and take a hand, thereby showing 
up their playing in comparison to 
his. No, Henry draws up a chair 
and sits looking on with a kindly 
smile. Of course, now and then 
he cannot restrain a look of pain 
or an exclamation of surprise or 
even a burst of laughter as he 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 23 

listens to the bidding, but he never 
interferes. Frequently, after a 
card has been played, he will lean 
over and in a good-humoured way 
tell the player what he should have 
done instead, and how he might 
just as well throw his hand down 
then and there, but he always re- 
fuses to take any more active part 
in the game. Occasionally, when 
a uniquely poisonous play is made, 
I have seen Henry thrust his chair 
aside and pace about in speechless 
excitement, but for the most part 
he is admirably self-controlled. 
He always leaves with a few cheery 
words to the players, urging them 
to keep at it and not let them- 
selves get discouraged. 

And that is the way Henry is 
about everything. He will stroll 
over to a tennis court, and stand 



24 MEN 

on the side lines, at what I am 
sure must be great personal incon- 
venience, calling words of advice 
and suggestion for sets at a stretch. 
I have even known him to follow 
his friends all the way around a 
golf course, offering constructive 
criticism on their form as he goes. 
I tell you, in this day and genera- 
tion, you don't find many people 
who will go as far out of their way 
for their friends as Henry does. 
And I am far from being the only 
one who says so, too. 

I have often thought that Henry 
must be the boy who got up the 
idea of leaving the world a little 
better than he found it. Yet he 
never crashes in on his friends' 
affairs. Only after the thing is 
done does he point out to you how 
it could have been done just a dash 



FM NOT MARRIED TO 25 

better. After you have signed the 
lease for the new apartment 
Henry tells you where you could 
have got one cheaper and sunnier; 
after you are all tied up with the 
new firm Henry explains to you 
where you made your big mistake 
in leaving the old one. 

It is never any news to me when 
I hear people telling Henry that 
he knows more about more things 
than anybody they ever saw in 
their lives. 

And I don't remember ever 
having heard Henry give them 
any argument on that one. 

JOE 

AFTER Joe had had two cocktails 
he wanted to go up and bat for 
the trap drummer. After he had 



26 MEN I'M NOT MARRIED TO 

had three he began to get personal 
about the unattractive shade of 
the necktie worn by the strange 
man at the next table. 

OLIVER 

OLIVER had a way of dragging 
his mouth to one side, by means of 
an inserted forefinger, explaining 
to you, meanwhile, in necessarily 
obscured tones, the work which his 
dentist had just accomplished on 
his generously displayed back 
teeth. 

ALBERT 

ALBERT sprinkled powdered 
sugar on his sliced tomatoes. 



WOMEN 
I'M NOT MARRIED TO 



WOMEN 

I'M NOT MARRIED TO 



BY 
FRANKLIN P. ADAMS 




GARDEN CITY NEW YORK 

DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY 
1922 



COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY 

DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OP 

TRANSLATION INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, 

INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN 



COPTBIQHT, IQ32, BT TH CUBTIS PUBLISHING COMPANY 
IN THE UNITED STATES AND GBEAT BRITAIN 

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES 

AT 
THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS, GARDEN CITY, N. T. 



TO 
MRS. FRANKLIN P. ADAMS 

BUT FOR WHOM THIS BOOK 
MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN WRIT- 
TEN, BUT FOR WHOM IT WAS 



CONTENTS 

PAGI 

ELAINE 2 

MAUDE 7 

ANNE 11 

FLO 15 

BELINDA 16 

BLANCHE ........ 19 

MARGUERITE . 21 



WOMEN 
I'M NOT MARRIED TO 



WOMEN 
I'M NOT MARRIED TO 

"Whene'er I take my walks" you know 

The rest "abroad," I always meet 
Elaine or Maude or Anne or Flo, 

Belinda, Blanche, or Marguerite; 
And Melancholy, bittersweet, 

Sets seal upon me when I view 
Coldly, and from a judgment seat 

The women I'm not married to. 

Not mine the sighs for Long Ago; 

Not mine to mourn the obsolete; 
With Burns and Shelley, Keats and Poe 

I have no yearning to compete. 
No Dead Sea pickled pears I eat; 

I never touch a drop of rue; 
I toast, and drink my pleasure neat, 

The women I'm not married to ! 
1 



2 WOMEN 

Fate with her celebrated blow 

Frequently knocks me off my feet; 
And Life her dice box chucks a throw 

That usually has me beat. 
Yet although Love has tried to treat 

Me rough, award the kid his due. 
Look at the list, though incomplete: 

The women I'm not married to. 

L'ENVOI 

My dears whom gracefully I greet, 
Gaze at these lucky ladies who 

Are of to make this thing concrete 
The women I'm not married to. 

ELAINE 

THERE have been more beautiful 
girls than Elaine, for I have read 
about them, and I have utter faith 
in the printed word. And I ex- 
pect my public, a few of whom are 
just a second more than two 
and a quarter million weekly, to 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 8 

put the same credence in my 
printed word. When I said there 
have been more beautiful girls than 
Elaine I lied. There haven't been. 
She was a darb. Blue were her 
eyes as the fairy flax, her eyebrows 
were like curved snowdrifts, her 
neck was like the swan, her face 
it was the fairest that e'er the sun 
shone on, she walked in beauty like 
the night, her lips were like the 
cherries ripe that sunny walls of 
Boreas screen, her teeth were like 
a flock of sheep with fleeces newly 
washen clean, her hair was like the 
curling mist that shades the moun- 
tain side at e'en, and oh, she danced 
in such a way no sun upon an 
Easter day was half so fine a sight ! 
If I may interrupt the poets, I 
should say she was one pip. She 
was, I might add, kind of pretty. 



4 WOMEN 

Enchantment was hers, and 
fairyland her exclusive province. 
I would walk down a commonplace 
street with her, and it would be- 
come the primrose path, and a one- 
way path at that, with nobody but 
us on it. If I said it was a nice 
day and if I told her that once 
I told her a hundred times she 
would say, "Isn't it? My very 
words to Isabel when I telephoned 
her this morning!" So we had, I 
said to myself, a lot in common. 

And after a conversation like 
that I would go home and lie 
awake and think, "If two persons 
can be in such harmony about the 
weather, a fundamental thing, a 
thing that prehistoric religions ac- 
tually were based upon, what 
possible discord ever could be be- 
tween us? For I have known 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 5 

families to be rent by disagree- 
ments as to meteorological condi- 
tions. 

"Isn't this," my sister used to 
say, "a nice day?" 

"No," my reply used to be; "it's 
a dreadful day. It's blowy, and 
it's going to rain." And I would 
warn my mother that my sister 
Amy, or that child, was likely to 
grow up into a liar. 

But, as I have tried to hint, 
beauty was Elaine's, and when she 
spoke of the weather I used to feel 
sorry for everybody who had lived 
in the olden times, from yesterday 
back to the afternoon Adam told 
Eve that no matter how hot it was 
they always got a breeze, before 
there was any weather at all. 

It wasn't only the weather. We 
used to agree on other things. 



6 WOMEN 

Once when she met a schoolgirl 
friend in Hyde Park whom she 
hadn't seen since a year ago, out 
in Lake View, she said that it was 
a small world after all, and I told 
her she never said a truer word. 
And about golf she didn't think, 
she said one day, that it was as 
strenuous as tennis, but it certainly 
took you out in the open air 
well, that was how I felt about it, 
too. So you see it wasn't just the 
weather, though at that time I 
thought that would be enough. 

Well, one day we were walking 
along, and she looked at me and 
said, "I wonder if you'd like me 
so much if I weren't pretty." 

It came over me that I shouldn't. 

"No," I said, "I should say not." 

"That's the first honest thing 
you ever said to me," she said. 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 7 

"No, it isn't," I said. 

"It is, too/' was her rejoinder. 

"It's nothing of the kind," I 
said. 

"Yes, it is!" she said, her petu- 
lant temper getting the better of 
her. 

So we parted on that, and I 
often think how lucky I am to 
have escaped from Elaine's dis- 
trust of honesty, and from her 
violent and passionate temper. 

MAUDE 

MAUDE and I might have been 
happy together. She was not the 
kind you couldn't be candid with. 
She used to say she admired hon- 
esty and sincerity above all other 
traits. And she was deeply inter- 
ested in me, which was natural 
enough, as I had no reservations, 



8 WOMEN 

no reticences from her. I believed 
that when you cared about a girl it 
was wrong to have secrets from 
her. 

And that was her policy, too, 
though now and then she carried it 
too far. One day I telephoned her 
and asked her what she had been 
doing that morning. 

"I've been reading the most 
fascinating book," she said. 

"What book?" I asked politely. 

"I can't remember the title," 
she said, "but it's about a man in 
love with a girl, and he " 

"Who wrote it?" I interrupted 

"Wait a minute," said Maude. 
I waited four minutes. "Sorry 
to have kept you waiting," she said. 
"I mislaid the book. I thought I 
left it in my room and I looked 
all around for it, and then I asked 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 9 

Hulda if she'd seen it, and she 
said no, though I asked her that 
the other day about something 
else, and she said no, and later I 
found out that she had seen it and 
put it in a drawer, so I went to the 
library and the book wasn't there, 
and then I went back to my room 
and looked again, and I was just 
coming back to tell you I couldn't 
find it when here it is, guess where, 
right on the telephone stand. Who 
wrote it? Hutchison is the author. 
A. M. S. no, wait a minute 
A. S. M. Hutchinson, not Hut- 
chison. There's an 'n' in it. Two 
'n's' really. But I mean an 'n' 
between the T and the 's.' I mean 
it's Hut-chin-son, and not Hut-chi- 
son. But what's the difference 
who writes a book as long as it's a 
good book?" 



10 WOMEN 

There may have been more, but 
I was reasonably certain that the 
author's name was Hutchinson, so 
I hung up the receiver, though the 
way I felt at the time was that 
hanging was too good for it. 

I had dinner with her that night 
at a restaurant. 

"Coffee?" asked the waiter. 

"No," I said. And to her: 
"Coffee keeps me awake. If I 
took a cup now I wouldn't close 
an eye all night. Some folks can 
drink it and not notice it, but take 
me; I'm funny that way, and if I 
took a cup now I wouldn't close an 
eye all night. Some can, and some 
can't. I like it, but it doesn't like 
me. Ha, ha! I wouldn't close an 
eye all night, and if I don't get 
my sleep and a good eight hours 
at that I'm not fit for a thing all 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 11 

the next day. It's a pretty im- 
portant thing, sleep; and " 

It was important to Maude, self- 
centred thing that she was. Here 
was I confiding to her something I 
never had told another soul, and 
she wasn't merely dozing; she was 
asleep. I rattled a knife against 
a plate, and she awoke. 

It was a good thing I found out 
about her in time. 

ANNE 

In winter, token the ground was white, 
I thought that Anne would be all right; 
In summer, quite the other way, 
I knew she'd never be O. K. 

SHE liked to go to the theatre, 
but what she went for was to be 
amused, as there was enough sad- 
ness in real life without going to 



12 WOMEN 

the theatre for it. She told me 
that I was just a great big boy; 
that all men, in fact, were just 
little boys grown up. I took her 
to a movie show, and she read most 
of the captions to me, slowly; and 
when she read them to herself her 
lips moved. She never took a drink 
in days of old when booze was sold 
and barrooms held their sway 
that is my line, not Anne's but 
now she takes a cocktail when one 
is offered, saying, "This may be 
my last chance." Women, she told 
me, didn't like her much, but she 
didn't care, as she was, she always 
said, a man's woman. Just the 
same, folks said, she told me, that 
she was wonderful in a sick room. 
And so, what with the movies 
and one thing and another the 
winter passed. She was glad I 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 13 

was a tennis player, and we'd have 
some exciting sets in the summer. 
No, she said games. I should have 
known then, but I was thinking of 
her hair and how cool it was to 
stroke. 

Well, one May afternoon there 
we were on the tennis court. It 
belonged to a friend of hers, and 
it hadn't been rolled recently, nor 
marked, though you could tell that 
here a base line and there a service 
line once had been. 

I asked her which court she 
wanted and she said it didn't mat- 
ter; she played equally rottenly on 
both sides. Nor was that, I found 
it, overstating things. She served, 
and called "Ready?" before each 
service. When she sent a ball far 
outside she called "Home run!" or 
"Just out!" And if I served a 



14 WOMEN 

double fault she said either "Two 
bad" or "Thank you." When the 
score was deuce she called it 
"Juice!" And when I beat her 
6-0 as you could have done, or 
you, or even you she said she was 
off her game, that it was a lot 
closer than the score indicated, 
that she'd beat me before the sum- 
mer was over, that didn't the net 
seem terribly low or something, 
and that I wasn't used to playing 
with women or I wouldn't hit the 
ball so hard all the time. 

Little remains to be told. Anne 
is now the wife of a golfing banker. 
Wednesday night I met her at a 
party. 

"Golf?" she echoed. "Oh, yes. 
That is, I don't play it; I play at 
it. Tennis is really my game, but 
I haven't had a racket in my hand 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 15 

in two years. We must have some 
of our games again. I nearly beat 
you last time, remember." 

FLO 

I HADN'T seen Flo since she was 
about fourteen, so when I got a 
letter asking me to call I said I'd 
go. She was pretty, but the older 
I get the fewer girls I see that 
aren't. 

Of course I ought to have 
known. The letter was addressed 
with a "For" preceding my name, 
instead of "City" or the name of 
the town, Flo had written "Local." 
Even a professional detective 
should have known then. 

It was just her refined vocabu- 
lary that sent me reeling into the 
night. She wondered where I 
"resided" and how long I'd been 



16 WOMEN 

"located" there; she had "pur- 
chased" something; she said 
"gowned" when she meant 
"dressed"; she had "gotten" tired, 
she said, of affectation. She said 
she had "retired" early the night 
before, and she spoke of a "boot- 
limber." 

And as I was leaving she said, 
"Don't remain away so long this 
time. Er you know hath no 
fury like a woman scorned." 

BELINDA 

I REMEMBER Belinda. She 
was arguing with another young 
woman about the car fare. "Let 
me pay," said Belinda; and she 
paid. 

"There," I mused, "is a perfect 
woman, nobly planned." 

I met her shortly after that, and 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 17 

she came through many a test. 
Once I saw her go up to an ele- 
vated railroad station, hand in a 
nickel, and not say, "One, please." 
Once I asked her about what day 
it was, and she said "Wednesday" 
without adding "All day." She 
spoke once of a cultivated taste 
without adding "like olives," and 
once said "That's another story" 
without adding "as Kipling says." 
And once and that was the day I 
nearly begged her to be mine 
when she said that something had 
been grossly exaggerated she failed 
to giggle "like the report of Mark 
Twain's death." 

So you see Belinda had points. 
She had a dog that wasn't more 
intelligent than most human be- 
ings; she wasn't forever saying 
that there was no reason why a 



18 WOMEN 

man and a woman shouldn't be 
just good pals; she didn't put me 
at ease, the way the others did, by 
looking at me for three minutes 
and then saying that good looks 
didn't matter much to a man, after 
all; she didn't, when you gave her 
something, take it and say coyly, 
"For me?" as who should say, 
"You dear thoughtful thing, when 
you might have brought it for 
John D. Rockefeller." And she 
didn't say that she couldn't draw 
a straight line or that she had no 
card sense or that she couldn't 
write a decent letter. 

She could write a decent letter. 
She did. Lots of them. To me, 
too. She wrote the best letters I 
ever read. They were intelligent, 
humorous, and why shouldn't I 
tell the truth? ardent. Fervid is 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 10 

nearer. Candescent is not far off. 
And that is how I lost her. 

"P. S." she wrote. "Burn this 
letter, and all of them." 

A few weeks later Belinda said, 
"At the rate I write you, my let- 
ters must fill a large drawer by this 
time." 

"Why," I said, "I burn them. 
They're all burned." 

"I never want to see you again 
as long as I live," she said. "Good- 
by." 

And my good -by was the last 
communication between me and 
Belinda. 

BLANCHE 

Blanche is a girl 

Fd hate to wed, 
Because of a lot 

Of things she said. 



20 WOMEtf 

"Excuse my French" 

When she says "Gee-whiz!" 
On the telephone: 

"Guess who this is" 



You ask her did 
She like the show 

Or book, she'll say, 
"Well, yes and no.' 



For the "kiddie" she 

Buys a "comfy" "nighty"; 
She says "My bestest," 

And "All rightie" 



"If I had no humour, 

I'd simply die," 
Says Blanche. ... I know 

That that's a lie. 






I'M NOT MARRIED TO 21 

She wouldn't marry; 

ff Ohj heaven forbid! 
"Men are such brutes!" 

You said it, kid. 

MARGUERITE 

MARGUERITE was an agreer. 
She strove, and not without suc- 
cess, to please. She hated an argu- 
ment, one reason perhaps being 
I found this out later that she 
couldn't put one forth on any sub- 
ject. But I had theories, in the 
days of Marguerite, and I wanted 
to know whether she was in sym- 
pathy with them. One of my 
theories was that a lot of domestic 
infelicity could be avoided if a 
husband didn't keep his business 
affairs to himself, if he made a con- 
fidante, a possible assistant, of his 
wife. I had contempt for the 



22 WOMEN 

women whose boast it was that 
Fred never brings business into 
the house. 

So I used to talk to Marguerite 
about that theory. When we were 
married wouldn't it be better to 
discuss the affairs of the business 
day at home with her? Certainly. 
Because simply talking about them 
was something, and maybe she 
could even help. Yes, that was 
what a wife was for. Why should 
a man keep his thoughts bottled 
up just because his wife wasn't in 
his office with him? No reason at 
all; I agree with you perfectly. 

About politics : Wasn't this man 
Harding doing a good job, and 
weren't things looking pretty good, 
everything considered? He cer- 
tainly is and they certainly are, was 
Marguerite's adroit summing up. 



I'M NOT MARRIED TO 23 

Well, I had theories about books 
and child labour and pictures and 
clam chowder and Harry Leon 
Wilson's stuff and music and the 
younger generation and cord tires 
and things like that, and she'd 
agree with everything I said. 

Then one night, as in a vision, 
something came to me. I had a 
theory that it would be terrible to 
have somebody around all the time 
who agreed with you about every- 
thing. Marguerite agreed. 

I had another theory. Don't 
you agree, I put it, that we should- 
n't get along at all well? And 
never had she agreed more quickly. 
I thought she really put her heart 
into it. 

And we never should have hit it 
off, either. 



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WOMEN I'M 
NOT MARRIED TO 




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