Editorial: Colonel's lady (8-28-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (August 28, 1941)


By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Inquiries from brides of her acquaintance prompted Nancy Shea to write a book. It is called The Army Wife (Harper & Bros.) Being a long-term helpmate rto a lieutenant-colonel, she is qualified to instruct the fledglings.

Incase you are thinking of falling in love with a soldier, read this book first. If love hasn’t quite jelled, it may stop the process; if it has, you will be able to view the future with rosier anticipations. Because being any kind of wife with success depends largely upon your enthusiasm for the job.

Life is hard on brides, and Army life is more so. There are cast-iron social formulas which the civilian’s wife never has to bother about – snmd which Mrs. Shea knows by heart, and tells.

Every soldier of course is a male animal – as well as a member of the fighting forces – so underneath that sappy uniform breathes the eternal masculine. Army brides must learn to manage that too.

It is interesting to discover what I had previously guessed to be true – that Army officers are just like other husbands in certain respects. For example, there is a code which says their wives must not ask them to trundle baby carriages when they are dressed up, nor expect them to carry bundles home from the grocery. It’s beneath their dignity.

Did you ever meet a man who didn’t feel put upon if asked to bring so much as a head of lettuce from town? Probably not, because this is one of the surest ways to outrage the feelings of a man, no matter what his trade. The soldiers get around it by making it strictly against military codes.

The book merely proves one thing, and it’s something all gals ought to know – that wherever you find him the male animal is full of funny whims, and successful wives must humor them.