Hymns of Hate by Dorothy Parker

A Hate Song

I hate Women;
They get on my nerves.

There are the Domestic ones.
They are the worst.
Every moment is packed with Happiness.
They breathe deeply
And walk with large strides, eternally hurrying home
To see about dinner.
They are the kind
Who say, with a tender smile, "Money's not everything."
They are always confronting me with dresses,
Saying, "I made this myself."
They read Women's pages and try out the recipes.
Oh, how I hate that kind of woman.

Then there are the human Sensitive Plants;
The Bundles of Nerves.
They are different from everybody else; they will even tell you so.
Someone is always stepping on their feelings.
Everything hurts them-deeply.
Their eyes are forever filling with tears.
They always want to talk to me about the Real Things,
The things that Matter.
Yes, they know they could write.
Conventions stifle them.
They are always longing to get away-Away from it All!
-I wish to Heaven they would.

And then there are those who are always in Trouble.
Usually they have Husband-trouble.
They are Wronged.
They are the women whom nobody---understands.
They wear faint, wistful smiles.
And, when spoken to, they start.
They begin by saying they must suffer in silence.
No one will ever know---
And then they go into details.

Then there are the Well-Informed ones.
They are pests.
They know everything on earth
And will tell you about it gladly.
They feel it their mission to correct wrong impressions
They know Dates and Middle names.
They absolutely ooze Current Events.
Oh, how they bore me.

There are the ones who simply cannot Fathom
Why all the men are mad about them.
They say they've tried and tried.
They tell you about someone's husband;
What he said
And how he looked when he said it.
And then they sigh and ask,
"My dear, what it there about me?"
----Don't you hate them?

There are the unfailingly Cheerful ones.
They are usually unmarried.
They are always busy making little Gifts
And planning little surprises.
They tell me to be, like them, always looking on the Bright Side.
They ask me what they would do without their sense of humour?
I sometimes yearn to kill them.
Any jury could acquit me.

I hate Women;
They get on my nerves.

A Hate Song

I hate Men;
They irritate me.

There are the Serious Thinkers---
There ought to be a law against them.
They see life, as through shell-rimmed glasses, darkly.
They are always drawing their weary hands
Across their wan brows.
They talk about Humanity
As if they had just invented it;
They have to keep helping it along.
They revel in strikes
And they are eternally getting up petitions.
They are doing a wonderful thing for the Great Unwashed----
They are living right down among them.
They can hardly wait
For "The Masses" to appear on the newsstands,
And they read all those Russian novels----
The sex best sellers.

There are the Cave Men----
The Specimens of Red-Blooded Manhood.
They eat everything very rare,
They are scarcely ever out of their cold baths,
And they want everybody to feel their muscles.
They talk in loud voices,
Using short Anglo-Saxon words.
They go around raising windows,
And they slap people on the back,
And tell them what they need is exercise.
They are always just on the point of walking to San Francisco,
Or crossing the ocean in a sailboat,
Or going through Russia on a sled---
I wish to God they would!

And then there are the Sensitive Souls
Who do interior decorating, for Art's sake.
They always smell faintly of vanilla
And put drops of sandalwood on their cigarettes.
They are continually getting up costume balls
So that they can go
As something out of the "Arabian Nights."
They give studio teas
Where people sit around on cushions
And wish they hadn't come.
they look at a woman languorously, through half-closed eyes,
And tell her, in low, passionate tones,
What she ought to wear.
Colour is everything to them--everything;
The wrong shade of purple
Gives them a nervous breakdown.

Then there are the ones
Who are Simply Steeped in Crime.
They tell you how they haven't been to bed
For four nights.
They frequent those dramas
Where the only good lines
Are those of the chorus.
They stagger from one cabaret to another,
And they give you the exact figures of their gambling debts.
They hint darkly at the terrible part
That alcohol plays in their lives.
And then they shake their heads
And say Heaven must decide what is going to become of them---
I wish I were Heaven!

I hate Men;
They irritate me.

A Hate Song

I hate Actresses;
They get on my nerves.

There are the Adventuresses,
The Ladies with Lavender Pasts.
They wear gowns that show all their emotions,
And they imply can't stop undulating.
The only stage properties they require
Are a box of cigarettes and a package of compromising letters.
Their Big Scene invariably takes place in the hero's apartment.
They are always hanging around behind screens
And overhearing things about the heroine.
They go around clutching their temples
And saying, Would to God they were good----
Would to God they were!

There are the Wronged Ones;
The Girls Whose Mothers Never Told Them.
In the first act they wear pink gingham sunbonnets
And believe implicitly in the stork.
In the third act they are clad in somber black
And know there isn't any Santa Claus.
They are always going out into the night.
They faint a great deal,
And if anyone lets them get near the centre of the stage
They immediately burst into hysterics.
They unfortunately never commit suicides until the last act---
It's always the audience that pays and pays and pays.

Then there are the Musical Comedy Stars;
The press-agent's livelihood.
They sing about love---in waltz time----
And they dance as if something were just about to break.
They end by appearing in a piece of court plaster
An American flag,
And then the audience has to stand up.
The show isn't considered a success
Until they climb into a flowered-wreathed swing,
And swing far out, over the orchestra----
Oh, that I might be there when the ropes break.

And there are the Emotional Ones;
The ones who say,
"I'll have two lumps of sugar in my tea, please,"
In exactly the same tones as they say
"Yes, it was I who murdered him."
They are forever tearing their hair---
I hope it hurts them.
They shriek at everything,
Usually at the hero,
And they hurl themselves on the floor at his feet
And say that they wish it were all over---
They said something.

Then there are the child Actresses
Who should be unseen and not heard.
They go around telling people about Heaven
As if they were special correspondents.
They are always climbing up on innocent bystanders
And asking them why they look so sad;
They eternally bring their fathers and mothers together,
Which is always an error of judgment.
They never fail to appear in their nightgowns
And then kneel down beside the orchestra leader,
And say their prayers to the spotlight man----
I wish I were Commodore Gerry.

I hate Actresses;
They get on my nerves.

A Hate Song

I hate Relatives;
They cramp my style.

There are Aunts.
Even the best of us have them.
They are always dropping in for little visits,
And when you ask them to stay,
They take it seriously.
They never fail to tell you how badly you look;
And they relate little anecdotes
About friends of their who went into Declines.
Their conversation consists entirely of Insides;
They are never out of a Critical Condition.
They are always posing for X-ray portraits
Of parts of their anatomy with names like parlor-cars.
They say the doctor tells them
That they have only one chance in a hundred----
The odds aren't big enough.

Then there are In-Laws,
The Necessary Evils of Matrimony.
The only things they don't say about you
Are the ones they can't pronounce.
No matter what you do,
They know a better way to do it.
They are eternally searching your house for dust;
If they can't find any,
It is a wasted day.
They are always getting their feelings hurt
So that they can go around with martyred expressions
And say that you will appreciate them when they're gone---
You certainly will.

There are Nephews;
They are the lowest form of animal life.
They are forever saying bright things
And there is no known force that can keep them
From reciting little pieces about Our Flag.
They have the real Keystone sense of humour----
They are always firing things off in your ear,
Or pulling away the chair you are about to sit on.
Whenever you are striving to impress anyone,
They always appear
And try out new words they have learned from the ice-man---
I wish the Government would draft all males under ten!

And then there are Husbands;
The White Woman's Burden.
They never notice when you wear anything new----
You have to point it out.
They tell you about the deal they put through,
Or the approach they made,
And you are supposed to get all worked up.
They are always hanging around outside your door
And they are incessantly pulling out watches,
And saying, "Are you dressed yet?"
They are never known to be wrong;
Everything is always your fault.
And whenever you go out to have a good time,
You always meet them----
I wish to Heaven somebody would alienate their affections.

I hate Relatives;
They cramp my style.

A Hate Song

I hate Slackers;
They get on my nerves.

There are the Conscientious Objectors.
They are the real German atrocities.
They go around saying, "War is a terrible thing,"
As if it were an original line.
They take the war as a personal affront;
They didn't start it---and that lets them out.
They point out how much harder it is
To stay home and take care of their consciences
Than to go and have some good, clean fun in a nice, comfortable trench.
They explain that it isn't a matter of mere bravery;
They only wish they had the chance to suffer for their convictions---
I hope to God they get their wish!

Then there are the Socialists;
The Professional Bad Sports.
They don't want anybody to have any fun.
If anybody has more than two dollars,
They consider it a criminal offense.
They look as if the chambermaid forgot to dust them.
There is something about their political views
That makes them wear soiled décolleté shirts,
And they are too full of the spirit of brotherhood
To ask any fellow creature to cut their hair.
They are always telling their troubles to the New Republic;
And are forever blocking the traffic with parades.
If anyone disagrees with them
They immediately go on strike.
They will prove---with a street corner and a soap box---
That the whole darned war was Morgan's fault----
Boy, page an alienist.

There are the Pacifists;
They have chronic stiff necks
From turning the other cheek,
They say they don't believe in war---
As if it were Santa Clause or the Stork.
They will do anything on earth to have peace
Except go out and win it.
Of course they are the only people
Who disapprove of war;
Everybody else things it's perfectly great---
The Allies are only fighting
Because it keeps them out in the open air
They know that if we'd all go around wearing lilies,
And simply refusing to fight,
The Kaiser would take his army and go right back home.
It's all wrong, Pershing, it's all wrong.

And then there are the Men of Affairs;
The ones who are too busy to fight.
Business is too good,
And men aren't needed yet, anyway---
Wait till the Germans come over here.
They tell it would be just their luck
To waste three or four months in a training camp,
And then have peace declared.
It isn't as if they hadn't dependents;
their wives' relatives can barely buy tires for the Rolls-Royce.
Of course, they may be called in the draft,
But they know they can easily get themselves exempted,
Because they have every symptom of hay fever---
I wish I were the head of the draft board!

I hate Slackers;
They get on my nerves.

A Hate Song

I hate Bohemians;
They shatter my morale.

There are the Artists;
The Inventors of the Nude,
They are always gesticulating with their thumbs,
And sketching, with forks, on table cloths;
They point out all the different oclours in a sunset
As if they were trying to sell it to you;
They are forever messing around with batik;
And hanging yellow tassels on things;
And stenciling everything within reach.
I do hope that Gibson never learns what they think of him:
It would simply break his heart.
Of course, they know that being hung in the Academy
Is just a matter of pull.
They say that James Montgomery Flagg may stoop to mere success,
But as for them,
Let them starve first!
Fair enough!

There are the Writers;
The Press Agents for Sex.
They are forever exposing their inmost souls,
Their "stuff" is always "brutally frank"---
Why, they'd just as soon tell you their favourite flower.
They find their fullest expression in free verse;
They call it that
Because they have to give it away.
they are extremely well read,
They can quote from their own works for hours----
Without a mistake.
They are always pulling manuscripts out of their pockets,
And asking you to tell them, honestly---is it too daring?
They would sit down
And write the Great American Novel
If they only could find a publisher Big Enough.
Oh, well----
Genius is an infinite capacity for giving pains.

There are the Actors;
They always refer to themselves as "Players."
Whenever two or three of them are gathered together
Another little theatre comes into the world.
They are eternally leasing vacant kitchenettes
And presenting their own dramas---with Woolworth scenery.
Of course, there can be no real drama about Fourteenth Street.
If they even walked across Times Square
They'd feel that they had lost their amateur standing.
They ask you what you think of their technique,
And then wait for you to commit perjury.
They thank God that they never descended into commercialism;
They know that they'll never be appreciated---
They don't know the half of it.

And then there are the Radicals;
The Table D'Hote Bolsheviki.
They are always in revolt about something.
Nothing has been done yet that they can wholly approve of.
Their existence is just like Heave---
There is neither marrying nor giving in marriage.
They are re forever starting magasines
And letting Postal Authorities put the finish to them.
Their on ambition is to get themselves arrested,
So that they can come out and be Heroes.
They are always stifled----
Always longing to loose the trivial fetter of Convention,
And go far away---back to the Real---
I wish they'd get started!

I hate Bohemians;
They shatter my morale.

A Hate Song

I hate Actors;
They ruin my evenings.

There are the Juveniles;
The Male Ingénues.
They always interpret the roles of wealthy young sportsmen,
So that they can come running on in white flannels,
Carrying tennis racquets, and wearing spiked shoes.
Whenever the lights go up
They are discovered with their arms around some girl.
They wear their watches and handkerchiefs on their arms,
And they simply couldn't play a scene without their cigarette cases.
They think that the three Greatest Names in American History
Are Hart, Schaffner, and Marx.
They are constantly giving interviews to the Sunday papers
Complaining about the car-loads of mash notes they receive.
They know they have it in them to do something Really Big;
They relate how Belasco told them would go far---
I wish they were on their way!

There are the Movie Heroes;
The Boys who Drove the Wild West Wild.
They are forever fading out into the sunset,
And if they can't pose for a close-up every few feet
They sue the company.
They wear their hair bobbed,
And always look as if they dressed by mail.
They were never known to lose a fight;
The whole troupe of supernumeraries hasn't a chance against them.
They are just bubbling over with animal spirits---
They are continually walking up the side of houses,
Or springing from one galloping horse to another,
Or leaping out of balloons, without parachutes.
And they love to be photographed balancing on one foot
On the extreme edge of the Grand Canyon----
Oh, that I might get behind them, just once!

Then there are the Tragedians;
The Ones Who Made Shakespeare famous.
They are always telling what they used to say to Booth.
And they talk about the old traditions
As if they had collaborated on them.
They make their positively last appearance semi-annually,
And they are just about to go on farewell tour No. 118397, Series H.
They never appear in any role
In which they have to wear long trousers.
If they stooped to play in any drama written after 1700,
They know the Art could never be the same.
They are forever striding around the stage in trick tempests,
And shrieking at Heaven to do its worst----
I wish Heave would kindly oblige.

And there are the Drawing-Room Stars;
The Ones That Swing a Mean Tea-Cup.
They always appear in those dramas
In which the Big Line is "No cream, please---lemon."
They interpret every emotion
By tapping the left thumb-nail with the cork-tipped cigarette.
They are invariably the best-dressed men on our stage---
Their press-agent stays so himself.
They are always standing in the centre of the stage
Saying cutting things about marriage;
And they hang around in property moonlight,
Making middle-aged love.
They cherish secret ambitions
To take off their cutaways and play Hamlet:
They know they could be great
If the public would only give them their just due---
If it only would!

I hate Actors;
They ruin my evenings.

A Hymn of Hate

I hate Bores;
They take the joy out of my life.

They are the Symptom Collectors.
They have tried every specialist once.
They go about, quoting what they said under ether;
They give readings from their fever-charts;
And they carry their cast-off appendixes with them, in bottles----
Just for old times' sake.
They are forever showing you X-ray photographs
Of their quaint crannies and intimate inglenooks.
They say that you can never guess what they suffer,
And then they clear up all doubts.
Every doctor tells them that their case is hopeless----
I'll say it is.

Then there are the Parlor Comedians.
They have memorized the entire series
Of history's favourite anecdotes.
They being by saying that they just heard a new one----
Which is the funniest line in the whole story.
They go in strongly for the kind of humour
That requires special apparatus.
They will go miles to procure an exploding cigar
Of a perforated drinking-galls.
They have a repertoire of sure-fire comedy hits:
They address all waiters as "George."
And they love to call you on the telephone
And say, "this is Police Headquarters speaking."
They save up all their witticisms for you,
And tell you how everyone nearly dies at them----
Nearly dies is right.

There are Gluttons for Business.
They started on a shoe string
And worked their way up to white spats.
They are entirely self-made,
And think that everybody is clamoring for the recipe.
Their life is an open ledger;
They tell you all the inside gossip
About invoices and bills of lading,
And illustrate their talk with diagrams
Showing their increased output throughout the Middle West.
They relate heart-rendering stories
Of hose they haven't had a vacation in ten years,
And how they wish they could go away for a while----
And I wish they could go away from now on.

And there are Amateur Mediums.
They are always fooling around with the spirits.
They are constantly receiving messages from the Great Beyond
Saying Uncle Walter is well
And hopes everybody at home is the same.
They spend every night
Being warned, in dreams, of their friends' deaths.

A Hymn of Hate

I hate Parties;
They bring out the worst in me.

There is the Novelty Affair,
Given by the woman
Who is awfully clever at that sort of thing.
Everybody must come in fancy dress;
They are always eleven Old-Fashioned Girls,
And fourteen Hawaiian gentlemen
Wearing the native costume
Of last season's tennis clothes, with a wreath around the neck.

The hostess introduces a series of clean, home games:
Each participant is given a fair chance
To guess the number of seeds in a cucumber,
Or thread a needle against time,
Or see how many names of wild flowers he knows.
Ice cream in trick formations,
And punch like Volstead used to make
Buoy up the players after the mental strain.
You have to tell the hostess that it's a riot,
And she says she'll just die if you don't come to her next party----
If only a guarantee went with that!

Then there is the Bridge Festival.
The winner is awarded an arts-and-crafts hearth-brush,
And all the rest get garlands of hothouse raspberries.
You cut for partners
And draw the man who wrote the game.
He won't let bygones be bygones;
After each hand
He starts getting personal about your motives in leading clubs,
And one word frequently leads to another.

At the next table
You have one of those partners
Who says it is nothing but a game, after all.
He trumps your ace
And tries to laugh it off.
And yet they shoot men like Elwell.

There is the Day in the Country;
It seems more like a week.
All the contestants are wedged into automobiles,
And you are allotted the space between two ladies
Who close in on you.
The party gets a nice early start,
Because everybody wants to make a long day of it-----
The get their wish.
Everyone contributes a basket of lunch;
Each person has it all figured out
That no one else will think of bringing hard-boiled eggs.

There is intensive picking of dogwood,
And no one is quite sure what poison ivy is like;
They find out the next day.
Things start off with a rush.
Everybody joins in the old songs,
And points out cloud effects,
And puts in a good word for the colour of the grass.

But after the first fifty miles,
Nature doesn't go over so big,
And singing belongs to the lost arts.
There is a slight spurt on the homestretch,
And everyone exclaims over how beautiful the lights of the city look----
I'll say they do.

And there is the informal little Dinner Party;
The lowest form of taking nourishment.
The man on your left draws diagrams with a fork,
Illustrating the way he is going to have a new sun-parlour built on;
And the one on your right
Explains how soon business conditions will better, and why.

When the more material part of the evening is over,
You have your choice of listening to the Harry Lauder records,
Or having the hostess hem you in
And show you the snapshots of the baby they took last summer.

Just before you break away,
You mutter something to the host and hostess
About sometime soon you must have them over----
Over your dead body.

I hate Parties;
They bring out the worst in me.

A Hymn of Hate

I hate Books;
They tire my eyes.

There is the Account of the Happy Days in Far Tahiti;
The booklet of the South Sea Island resorts.
After his four weeks in the South Seas,
The authour's English gets pretty rusty
And he has to keep dropping into the native dialect.
He implies that his greatest hardship
Was fighting off the advances of the local girls,
But the rest of the book
Was probably founded on fact.
You can pick up a lot of handy information
On how to serve poi,
And where the legend of the breadfruit tree got its start,
And how to take kava or let it alone
The authour says it's the only life
And as good as promises
That sometime he is going to thro over his writing,
And go end his days with Laughing Sea-pig, the half-caste Knockout----
Why wait?

There is the Little Book of Whimsical Essays;
Not a headache in a libraryful.
The authour comes right out and tells his favourite foods,
And how much he likes his pipe,
And what his walking-stick means to him---
A thrill on every page.
The essays clean up all doubt
On what the authour feels when riding in the subway,
Or strolling along the Palisades.
The writer seems to be going ahead on the idea
That it isn't such a bad old world, after all;
He drowses along
Under the influence of Pollyanesthetics.
No one is ever known to buy the book;
You find it on the guest room night-table,
Or win it at a Five and Hundred Party,
Or someone gives it to you for Easter
And follows that up by asking you how you liked it----
Say it with raspberries!

There is the novel of the Primitive Emotions;
The Last Word in Unbridled Passions----
Last but not leashed.
The authour writes about sex
As if he were the boy who got up the idea.
The hero and heroine may be running wild in the Sahara,
Or camping informally on a  desert island,
Or just knocking around the city,
But the plot is always the same----
They never quite make the grade.
The man turns out to be the son of a nobleman,
Or the woman the world's greatest heiress,
And they marry and go to live together----
That can't hold much novelty for them.
It is but a question of time till the book is made into a movie,
Which is no blow to its writer.
People laugh it off
By admitting that it may not be the highest form of art;
but then, they plead, that authour must live----
What's the big idea?

And then there is the Realistic Novel;
Five hundred pages without a snicker.
It is practically an open secret
That the book is two dollars' worth of the authour's own experiences,
And that if he had not been through them,
It would never would have been written,
Which would have been all right with me.
It present a picture of quiet family life----
Of how little Rosemary yearns to knife Grandpa,
And Father wishes Mother were cold in her grave,
And Bobby wants to marry his big brother.
The authour's idea of action
Is to make one of his characters spill the cereal.
The big scene of the book
Is the heroine's decision to make over her old taffeta.
All the characters are in a bad way;
The have a lot of trouble with their suppressions.
The authour is constantly explaining that they are all being stifled----
I wish to God he'd give them the air!

I hate Books;
They tire my eyes.

"The Younger Set"
A Hymn of Hate

I hate the Younger Set;
They harden my arteries.

There are the Boy Authours;
The ones who are going to put belles lettres on their feet.
Every night before they go to sleep
They kneel down and ask H. L. Mencken
To bless them and make them good boys.
They are always carrying volumes with home-cut pages,
And saying that after all, their is sonly one Remy de Gourmont;
Which doesn't get any dissension out of me.
They shrink from publicity
As you or I would
From a gift of a million dollars.
At the drop of a hat
They will give reading from their works----
In department stores,
Or grain elevators,
Or ladies' dressing-rooms.
It is pretty hard to get them to show you their work;
sometimes you even have to ask them to.
They are constantly backing you into corners,
And asking you to glace over some little things
That they just dashed off in a spare year----
Read 'em and weep!

There are the Male Flappers;
The Usual Dancing Men.
They can drink one straight Orange Pekoe after another,
And you'd never know that they had a thing.
Four debutante parties a night is bogie for them,
And their talk is very small indeed.
They never claimed to go so big at a desk,
But they can balance a plate of chicken salad, a coup of bouillon,
And guest-room-size napkin,
And make gestures with the other hand.
They are mean boys when the orchestra starts;
They work in so many wise steps
That you can't tell whether it's a waltz or a track-meet.
NO one can tie them. at a charity entertainment;
They say they have often been told
That with their talent
And the way they can wear clothes
They are simply wasting time on the armature stage---
I can't give them any argument to that one.

There are the Black Sheep;
The Boys with Nasty Records.
They are always giving you glimpses of the darker side of life----
Telling you what time they got out of bed yesterday morning
And how many people passed out cold,
And where they went from there.
They virtually admit
That if they ever turned over  new leaf
The bootleg industry would go straight to smash.
They are so inured to alcohol,
That as soon as they've had one cocktail,
They want to go right out and address the Senate.
They are always consulting little red notebooks,
Containing names, telephone numbers, and authours' notes,
And it is an open secret that they have met an actress.
They tell you how they know they are going the pace that kills,
And then they laugh bitterly,
And say, "But what does it matter?"----
They took the words right out of my mouth.

And there are the Heavy Thinkers;
The Gluttons for Head-Work.
They have got up a lot of novel ideas
About everybody having a right to live his own life,
And about marriage being just a few words
Muttered over you by a minister.
They say there may be
Some Supreme Force back of the universe;
They will look into that when they get the time.
Just stand back and give them room,
And they will drop the conventions for the count.
They are pretty low in their minds about America;
they thing that its civilization
Is practically plucking at the coverlet,
And that the Other Side is the only place for intellectuals----
Bon voyage!

I hate the Younger Set;
They harden my arteries.

A Hymn of Hate

I hate Wives;
Too many people have them.

There are the splendid housekeepers;
The Girls Who Shake a Mean Furnace.
Give them a darning-egg, and a box of assorted hooks and eyes,
And they wouldn't change places with Lady Mountbatten.
They keep you right on the edge of your chair
With stories about the stoppage in the kitchen drain,
And how impudent Delia was about those new aprons,
And how they have every reason to believe
That the laundress is taking soap home to her folks.
For comedy relief
They relate how they wise-cracked the butcher
When he told them how veal cutlets had gone up.
Their books are their best friends;
They love to browse in "Thirty Pretty Ways to Cook Cauliflower"
Or "Two Hundred Daring Stitches in Filet Crochet."
They can't see why people should want to go out nights;
Their idea of whooping things up
Is to sit by the sewing-table, and listen for Junior's croup.
They are always making second-hand puddings,
Or seeing whether the blue vase doesn't look better on the piano
Than it did on the bookcase.
Oh, well----
It keeps them out of the open air.

Then there are the Veteran Sirens;
The One Who Are Wedded, but What of It?
They can take their husbands, or let them alone----
But not in the order named.
Any unmarried man above the age of Jackie Coogan
They regard as All Theirs.
They are constantly helping to fix up bachelor apartments,
Or visiting the male sick, with jars of beef tea,
Or picking out oddities in neckwear for their Boy Friends.
If any man they know goes and gets married,
They feel that they have grounds for a breach of promise suit.
They are always talking in low voices over the telephone,
And carefully dropping letters out of their hand-bags,
And going around full of smiling mystery
About where they are having tea.
They say they wish to goodness
They could have a moment to themselves;
They'd give anything if some nice girl would come along
And take some of their admirer off their hands----
Try and get them!

There are the Drooping Lilies;
The Girls Who Could Have Married That Man with All That Money.
They are always parking a secret sorrow,
And you must guess what the unshed tears are all about.
Their husbands may look normal in public,
but they are Little Better than Animals in the home.
You have no idea what they have to put up with----
Their husbands dance with Another Woman
Twice in the same evening,
Or won't read anything but the newspapers,
Or simply refuse to touch spinach in any form.
If they could only bring themselves
To write down what they have been through
It would be the biggest day that Literature ever saw.
Everyone tells them they might have gone on the stage
And become the toast of the town,
Or put the movies on a paying basis,
Or sent the interior decorating business for a loop----
And there they are---yoked to a lot of Clods!
Things may look pretty black for them now,
But some day,
Some day they know that they will get their due----
I hope to God they will!

And then there are the Regular Little Pals;
More Like Friends than Wives.
They go everywhere with their husbands
Just to hold the franchise.
You find them up at the Polo Grounds
Asking which is the Yankee eleven;
Or on the golf links
Making a fifth in a Sunday morning foursome;
Or lending a feminine touch to a poker game----
Going ahead on the idea that a straight is better than a flush.
They are a big help in their husbands' business affairs;
They are always dropping in at the office
For little surprise visits.
They smile happily at you
And ask you what their husbands would ever do without them----
I'll give you three guesses!

I hate Wives;
Too many people have them.

A Hymn of Hate

I hate Husbands,
They narrow my scope.

There are the Home Bodies;
The Boys for Whom the Marriage Idea Was Got Up.
If it wasn't for them
The suburbs would have shut down long ago.
Give them a hammer and a mouthful of tacks,
And you'll never have to worry about where they spend their evenings.
Their business cuts in horribly on their night life.
They can hardly wait to rush back to the love nest
And do their stuff.
If it isn't bobbing the hedge,
It's putting up the new shelf for the preserves.
They take off into corners,
And tell you the latest good one that's going the rounds
About how much they saved by chopping the kindling wood themselves.
They are seldom mistaken for Rudolph Valentio;
The militia has not yet been called out to keep the woman back.
They dress right up to their role;
The neckties launder without a scruple,
The collars were designed when Gramercy Square was considered up-town,
And the suits were tailored by the visiting seamstress.
It isn't as if they never burned up the White Lights;
Every wedding anniversary
They shoot the works
And take the wife to dinner at Ye Golden Glow Waffle Shoppe.
They are always trying to sell matrimony to the old school friends.
Their big contention is
That there's nothing like it----
Where's the argument?

Then there are the He-Men;
The Masters in Their Own Homes.
The news about the equality of the sexes
Hasn't got around to them yet.
Their conception of the perfect woman
Is on who sews buttons on before they come off.
They wouldn't give Helen of Troy a second look
If they heard she wasn't so snappy at darning socks.
They are the life of the household;
If the eggs are done longer than three minutes,
They don't speak until the next month.
If the helpmate is ten minutes late getting home
She has to show a letter from her pastor.
They are great boys on a party;
Any time any one else ask the wife to dance,
They want to plead the Unwritten Law.
Their notion of feminine repartee
Is "Yes, dear, of course you're right."
They say that if things ever got to the point
Where they were not the acknowledged Head of the House
They would never show their faces again----
That's an idea, too.

There are the Steppers-Out;
Married, but What's That between Friends?
They tell you that the wife is a great little woman,
And that closes the subject.
They show you hoe tall Junior is with one hand,
And try to guess your weight with the other.
Their conquests are a dark secret;
They don't tell a soul until after they have been introduced
They are always looking for new talent;
Can they help it if the rumour got out
That all the last year's Follies Girls
Are so many withered violets to them?
They may always be found on dance floors
Tiring out the flappers;
Or in dark corners
Telling fortunes by palmistry;
Or leaning up against tea tables,
Crazed with cinnamon toast.
Try to tell them what devils they are,
And all the thanks you get for it
Is their lifelong friendship.
They may be a bit gay,
But there is no more harm in them
Then there is in Mussolini.
They explain that some temperaments can stand restraint,
But as for them,
Give them liberty or give them death----
I wish to God they'd leave the decision with me!

And then there are the Gloom Kings;
The Gluttons for Sympathy.
They are the human Einstein theories----
Nobody at home understands them.
They have a rough time getting their stuff across;
The wife may be all very well in her way,
But when it comes to Understanding,
She can't make the grade.
If only they had married some raising young mind-reader,
They could have saved themselves a lot of trouble.
They wear cynical little smiles,
And go around giving impersonations of Disillusionment.
They tell you that of course they can never say anything,
But sometimes they almost think you know----
Which is a big estimate.
You can see that they wish the wife all the luck in the world
By the way they relate the plans for what they would do
If they were ever free.
They like to toy with the idea
That they will just drop quietly Out of Things some day;
They laugh bitterly,
And say everybody would be better off if they did----
The ayes have it!

I hate Husbands;
They narrow my scope.

"College Boys"
A Hymn of Hate

I hate College Boys;
They get under my feet.

There are the Boy Butterflies;
The Haberdashers' Livelihood.
Society would be on the rocks without them;
They are as much a part of every tea
AS the watercress sandwiches.
They list all the debutantes
In Graces A, B, and C,
And proceed accordingly.
Once they get into their stride,
The Opposite Sex hasn't a prayer.
They are great boys in the moonlight,
And if there were ever a contest in sitting out dances
They could enter at scratch.
They are always dropping lavender envelopes,
Or returning photographs,
Or leaving word that they are not at home
In case a woman's voice asks for them on the telephone.
They wish to God the girls would leave them alone----
That falls right in with my plans.

Then there are the Athletes;
All Full of Red Blood, or What Have You?
They eat their meat just this side of raw,
They are constantly flinging windows open,
And they can hardly wrench themselves out of their cold showers.
They may be the Biceps Kings,
But if sneak up on them suddenly,
And as them who discovered America,
They have to rack their memories.
They are all due to make a big name in the business world;
Look at the way they can tear telephone books in half,
And bend silver quarters,
And chin themselves seventy-five consecutive times.
When football comes into the conversation,
It turns out that they are the boys who wrote the rules.
They are always doing something helpful---
You find them on the bathing beaches
Forming human pyramids;
Or on country club verandas
Holding rocking-chairs out at arm's length;
Or standing on their hands
In some lucky girl's parlour.
It's rough that they have to be cramped up in cities;
Way up in the clean, cold, silent out-of-doors,
That's where they ought to be----
And now!

There are the Hot Puppies;
The High-Place Hitters.
they may be young as years go,
But they are old in night life.
You would never dream of the wicked things that go on
If they didn't take pity
And clear it all up for you.
They have piled up a nasty record for themselves;
Try and hear if without blushing.
Until nearly eleven o'clock at night,
They talk right back to policemen.
And when it comes to alcohol,
They imply that they can take it or let it alone----
Reading from left to right.
They concede that they are just about as scarlet as they come,
And they perform a mean laugh,
And say that terrible isn't the word for them-----
I heard different.

And there are the Heavy Thinkers;
The Boys That Know the Answers.
Bring up any subject at all
And they'll be glad to set you right on it.
I forget what they go to college for:
It can't be educations,
because they had al that under control years ago.
They don't go so big on a dance floor,
But when the party gets loose,
And Greek irregular verbs are being bandied about,
They are the hit of the evening.
They can hold their audience spellbound;
If it isn't the latest trigonometry problem that's going the rounds,
then it's the good one the boys are telling
About the advantages of the parliamentary form of government.
If they were to appear in public
Without a book under their arm
They would feel as if they had come out without their socks>
They seldom hear, when they are spoken to;
It's because their head are so full
Of little gems of old-world philosophy----
You know the old crack:
Nietzsche abhors a vacuum.

I hate College Boys;
They get under my feet.