Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"The snows of yesterday"

The war came. My friends fell away, most married and soon were showing their young bodies much swollen in parks, and, later on, were sitting with their fair and dark hairs pinned up, in new cotton Mother Hubbards, playing watch-dog to baby carriages. They looked very youthful, more than I did, and very vapid, as if they had never been to school and never read a book. They looked like themselves at the age of four; and soon — after that — but I'm advancing the clock a bit — they had with them replicas of themselves at the age of four; and by that time had aged, looked careworn, a bit thinner, and were urging me to go back to Mother, get married, think of the older values. They kept asking me if I believed in those ideological salves; if ideology itself was not the soporific of the people and whether women especially ought not to go back to the old race-ways. Later on, this emptiness of head gave them heartaches. They became unhappy with their husbands. If their husbands were away at war, needing something to think about, they became the most serious possible little nuns of the progressive school movement and worried about diet, and should you spank Junior! But where were the lively, smart girls of my adolescence — where are the snows of yesterday?

— from Letty Fox: Her Luck, by Christina Stead, published in 1946.

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