My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Wednesday—Well, I saw a play last night, "Women." It is the first play I have seen for many weeks. It is clever, amusing in spots, but underlying it is real tragedy. I do not know the author, but I am happy indeed that I do not have to associate very often with the women she gave us on the stage, nor for that matter, with the men who are present even though absent in the flesh.

They must have been such dull stupid little men, to have cared at all at anytime for such dull and cruel "cats." I know there are people like that in the world, I even know some women who perhaps might behave as these women did, but I have a curious feeling that you would not associate with them except very casually. I have long thought that it is what is inside of an individual which draws to them people of their kind. You can not say certain things to certain people, you can not tell certain types of stories before certain people, and if men or women have real interests in life, they can not possibly degenerate, it seems to me, into the people with whom we associated on the stage last night.

I have no patience with the mother and her advice, but I have no patience either with the one woman who was supposed to be "good" and was so stupid. It is never so much what people do in this world as the reasons why they do it, which really makes a difference. Sacrifices are not so important as the reasons for which you sacrifice, and no sacrifice is any good which remains ever present as such. I got a feeling that the real trouble with the men and the women in this play, if you have known them in real life, would have been their absolute insincerity with themselves as well as with everybody else. I came out longing for a little, honest clean talk, without any sham or pretense and the ability to face a situation honestly between two people and talk it over like rational human beings who did not want to hurt each other any more than was necessary, but who knew the value of truth above everything else in the world.

This morning I went up and spent some time with Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Gould of the Ladies Home Journal, getting some suggestions to work over in "my story." It is interesting to me how many people in reading the same thing react differently. Everyone looks I think for what they themselves would like to feel in any book, and perhaps the real value of anything that is written is the fact that a goodly number of people will find states for them something which they have long felt but have been unable to put into words. At once they will grasp it and say "there is something which I have always wanted to say!"

Some frivolous shopping and now I must rapidly change my dress and go up to the broadcasting station as we have to work another hour to be sure that we read just so many words a second. Having a different person interview you makes each broadcast more difficult because every individual reads or speaks at a different tempo. A week ago I did this Seattle with my daughter. Time flies!

E.R.
TMsd 12 May 1937, AERP, FDRL