Don’t’s for the Summer Man: 1904


Edna Wallace Hopper

Edna Wallace Hopper in the New York World delivers herself of the following advice to the man who stays in town during the time his wife is away on her vacation:

Don’t look too resigned on the day of your wife’s departure—women sometimes change their minds.

Don’t wear your gladdest rags the day after. Be moderate. A gradual change in the style of your attire is less noticeable.

Don’t at any time affect too jaunty a manner or too noisy raiment. You are undoubtedly young and lovely, but there might be the suspicion of the would-be-“devil-of-a-fellow” about you, which the knowing instantly ticket as belonging to the man left behind.

Beware of the fascination of the peek-a-boo waist—the man hanging on the strap may belong to her.

Don’t start in with $10 dinners the first week. The summer is long.

Don’t mix your drinks just because it’s summer. It’s a strong stomach that knows no turning.

Don’t assume a virtuous air with your green complexion and say you are sticking too close to your desk and expect people to believe you.

Don’t forget to go to bed. You will look better the next day at the office.

Don’t invite too many bibulous friends to the house. They don’t improve the appearance of things.

Don’t play poker on the best polished mahogany table. Chips scratch.

Don’t fail to change your address if your next door neighbors are at home. You will save yourself future trouble if you do.

Don’t forget to visit the family the first Sunday or two. You will enjoy your week in town better and your wife’s vacation will probably be extended.

Don’t forget the box of candy, new magazines, and, if possible, a trifling present when you do visit your family. Your popularity will surprise you.

Don’t send a telegram saying that important business detains you in town. Your infant daughter won’t believe that gag nowadays.

Don’t acquire too many roof garden songs. Your office boy couldn’t teach them all to you.

Better wait till afternoon before writing your daily epistle to your family—your hand will be steadier. A little shaking is an obvious thing.

Don’t expect much sympathy from your family when you dilate upon the horrors of being left in town all through the hot summer. They know a thing or two, sometimes.

San Francisco [CA] Call 2 September 1904: p. 8

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: It was an American tradition for city-dwellers to send their wives and children to the sea-side or the country to avoid the worst of the summer heat. It was a great hardship for family men who had to eat all of their meals at restaurants or clubs, who whiled away the lonely evening hours with drink, card games and vulgar songs, and who, longing for the touch of a female hand, sought the company of peroxided blondes in low haunts they otherwise would have shunned. Desperation does strange things to lonely men….

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.





2 thoughts on “Don’t’s for the Summer Man: 1904

  1. Pingback: Mrs Lucian’s Seaside Flirtation: 1906 | Mrs Daffodil Digresses

  2. Pingback: Spoken Between the Courses: 1905 | Mrs Daffodil Digresses

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