Against a Man’s Giving Birthday Gifts
TO HIS PATIENT WIFE
Mrs. Peeved hummed a little tune as she busied herself in sorting out a tangle of embroidery silks, and glanced coquettishly across at her husband.
“John,” she said, “do you remember you used to call me your little valentine, because my birthday came such a little while before St. Valentine’s day itself.”
“Uh-huh,” said Mr. Peeved, looking as uncomfortable as a man usually does when wooing days are recalled. “What of it?”
“Well, I just wondered, that’s all,” said Mrs. Peeved. “I was thinking how nice it would be if you would buy me one of those lovely heart-shaped boxes with silk stockings in them for a present.”
“Stuff and nonsense,” retorted Mr. Peeved. “You’re old enough to wear lisle ones. Besides, there’s no use giving birthday presents when you get to be over for-…”
“John!” interrupted his wife, and Mr. Peeved subsided.
“It’s nice of you to pretend to hide it,” she went on, shaking a playful finger at him, “but the secret’s out.”
“What secret,” blustered Mr. Peeved, “come—out with it; what’s your game? Can’t a man read his paper in peace without being badgered about birthday presents and such stuff?
“Don’t I support you? Buy your clothes? What’s the use of asking me to buy silk stockings. You’d better ask for a ton of coal.”
Mrs. Peeved took up her embroidery scissors thoughtfully.
“There’s a mistake, I guess,” she said. “They called me up from McCary’s today and asked for you. I told him I could tell them anything they wanted to know, and they said they’d lost the card to go in with the silk stockings and what should they do.
“Of course I thought it was a surprise for me—I told them to send them right along.”
Mr. Peeved retired behind his newspaper and Mrs. Peeved looked at him grimly.
The Washington [DC] Times 10 February 1911: p. 10
Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: There is an entire play by Ibsen in that last sentence….
Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes
You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.