The Pittsburgh Press (November 15, 1940)
PENALTIES OF PROMINENCE
By Mrs. Walter Ferguson
According to reports, neither Mrs. Roosevelt nor Mrs. Willkie wanted her husband to be elected President in 1940.
This attitude is easy to understand. Although the office is the highest in the land, it is also the most grueling, and takes the deadliest toll of energy and health.
In a more limited way, all women married to prominent men pay for their share of such prominence by certain acts of self-sacrifice. They have less satisfactory home lives; often they see little of their families. Their existence is a round of demands upon their energy, ingenuity and disposition. They are also under the ceaseless strain of “keeping up with their husbands” – oh fearful phrase! For living up to it is sometimes a large order.
Wives of notable men must know how to entertain and be entertaining. They must exercise tact whether they feel tactful or not. They are obliged to keep up with the fashions in dress and social customs besides showing an eager interest in scores of civic, state and national causes. They have to be on their physical and mental toes every minute, and a good many are saddled with the additional job of keeping their men out of the danger zones where predatory females infest the social waters as man-eating sharks infest the seas.
There’s a lot to be said for the simple life, and in the matter of marriage it is by far the best way of life for women. When your husband comes home in the evening all tired out from a hard day’s work in an office, factory or field, and sits down at your side for a comfortable after-dinner snooze – say, Lady, maybe you don’t know it, but you’ve got happiness by the tail feathers.
No need for you to be envying women who are married to Presidents or Senators or other bog shots. A great deal of this circus-parade stuff which seems to hold such allure ends just about like a circus parade too – in the lots back behind the sideshow tents.
For happiness isn’t a question of sitting in a grandstand box – it’s a matter of getting all the unalloyed joy from companionship and home and everyday routines that we can grab.