DECEMBER 8, 1936
NEW YORK—Here I am back in New York having a characteristically busy day in spite of the fact that I planned to do nothing but Christmas shopping this week, and such things as might be classed pure diversion!
My train was half an hour late and therefore I was the last to arrive at a meeting of the Committee on the Achievement Award given by the Chi Omega Society each year to an outstanding woman.
These are some of the nicest meetings I have ever attended. We always talk about people in whom one can not help but be interested and it is particularly diverting to get the different points of view of the members of the committee because we all represent such different phases of existence!
At luncheon when we talk of anything that comes into our heads, we found ourselves discussing the possibility of retaining the maximum of intuition, which is a woman's natural gift, and yet cultivating the powers of reason which are as a rule more predominant in a man. From that we went to the habit we have all fallen into of talking and writing about communism and fascism and forgetting to discuss democracy which is after all our great interest.
From there I went to a business meeting and at four o'clock attended the sale for the blind. Then a few minutes at the dentist and another business meeting at the Todhunter School.
I have been reading some very interesting stories on Presidents' wives which I hope will appear in print before long, for to many of us some of the ladies have hardly had a name much less a personality. They really were interesting and in different ways left a mark on their time. Peggy Eaton while not that of a wife of a President is interesting because she affected a whole administration, upset a Cabinet and the ladies of Washington both American and foreign. She behaved as thoughtlessly as groups of men and women often have in the past and still do in the present.
It is curious how much more interest can be evoked by a mixture of gossip, romance and mystery, than by any facts however interesting or startling they may be. We read daily about people being killed in Spain, not only soldiers but women and children. We know that in this country many people have not enough to eat or proper medical attention or an opportunity to live a normal life, but none of these situations evokes the same passionate interest as a story which is after all largely conjecture.
I had the pleasure of meeting Helen Wills Moody today and as it was the first time I had ever seen her, I was very much interested. She is charming to look at and it must be a great satisfaction to achieve success in something which you do physically and then also achieve it in an art such as painting. It is an art to play a game like tennis really well, however, so perhaps her two achievements are not so widely divergent as one might think.