DECEMBER 18, 1937
The most colorful reception of the year is the Diplomatic Reception. Usually it is the gayest and most light-hearted. Perhaps it was my own mood, perhaps there was something in the mood of our guests, but it seemed to me that one and all of them wore more serious expressions on their faces, and that there was a certain tension in the air.
The men's uniforms and decorations were as gorgeous as ever, the women's gowns and jewels were as beautiful, but as you heard the names called out you couldn't help but think of world events.
The President's new naval aide Captain Woodson had his first experience at a big reception last night, and I think he was rather nervous. At first he stood beside my husband and Colonel Watson the Military Aide stood opposite and announced the names. Then they changed places about a third of the way through and Captain Woodson went through the ordeal of announcing. There flashed through my mind an amusing children's story about "Boom Boom," a clown, and I promptly murmured to both gentlemen that they should change their names and titles and become the generals "Boom Boom!"
When the President went upstairs, Secretary Hull went with him and some of the newspaper people said to me: "Won't you get us up, where we can hear the conversation. How can you stay down here when anything as interesting as a conversation between the President and the Secretary of State is going on? " The truth of the matter, of course, is that if anything of a confidential nature is going on, I would far rather not be aware of it, because then you cannot be blamed for any information that may leak out.
Women are supposed to be the curious ones of this world, and I suppose we are curious about the little things of life, though even in the minor details I think my sense of desiring to know what is other people's business has diminished very greatly. I still have a great curiosity about subjects of any kind which have been closed books to me in the past, especially about people in general and the things which motivate us. This does not extend to the realm of my immediate surroundings!
The midnight train to New York and a most gray and gloomy day here to greet me this morning. It is mild and warm but certainly not very pleasant weather.
A few personal appointments this morning and lunch at the Algonquin Hotel with our son, Elliott, and his wife who are in New York City for a few days on business. They brought me my Christmas present, two enchanting photographs of Chandler and Elliott, Junior and I am glad to have them now when I can really take time to enjoy them, rather than later when the Christmas rush has completely overwhelmed me. I hope to have another glimpse of them before they leave this afternoon to return to Texas for Christmas.