FEBRUARY 7, 1938
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Here I am at Hyde Park spending two days exclusively in sleeping, eating and taking the air. I will be on the midnight train tonight bound for Washington, and very grateful for the time I have had up here. It is just as well, however, that I cannot stay too long a time, for I am afraid I should begin to feel that cities were never meant to be permanent habitations for man.
I have had a little time to look over some of the clippings which have been sent to me in the past few days. I am appalled at the amount of space newspaper writers have filled with nothing more important than the possibility that a woman might bob her hair! I did not bob it and when that was discovered, my reasons for not doing so were also given. I received letters commending me for cutting off my hair and letters berating me for being so undignified. I thoroughly enjoyed an anonymous postcard with the following poem:
To say her hair is bobbed. That knot
To help hold down Eleanor's hat,
For there are times when she must go
A-riding where the winds do blow.
If bobbed, you'd steal a hat of hers."
This furore reminds me of a story which a lady in New York told me the other day. Her husband had been at a dinner and his neighbors told him some rather astounding things which I was supposed to have done. She repeated them all to me and when I said, rather mildly, that I hoped he had denied the tales, she said, "He did tell them that it didn't sound much like you."
Of course, the tales had less foundation than the story of my bobbed hair, for I did cut off a little hair on the sides, whereas I had done nothing faintly resembling the gossip which had been told the gentleman at the dinner.
I couldn't help being amused, however, at the thought of a world filled with beauty and tragedy, happiness and sorrow, all to be recorded in our daily papers and conversation, and then we fuss about such little things—the way a woman wears her hair, and: "My dear, did you hear that Mrs. So and So has just done....."
There is a new play, "Save Me The Waltz" coming to Washington tomorrow. There are a number of people in it who are of interest to me and I regret that I cannot go to the opening night. I will be able to see it later, when the cast has a chance to shake down a bit. I wish no critics were allowed at any play during the first three performances, then I think we would get much fairer criticisms.