Friday, August 6, 2010

BOXES; 1929

So many girls have "boxes" for their friends,--specially cut "boxes" made of firm, rigid materials that never stretch or bend. Have you sometimes heard them trying to fit into them their different acquaintances?

"What makes Amy wear such awful clothes?"

"Jim can't talk about anything except those smelly chemistry experiments of his. Why, he doesn't even like basketball games."

"Why doesn't Hildreth cut off those braid? Nobody wears their hair like that nowadays!"

"Oh, Robert is good at school but he can't dance or anything and he's always talking about books."

So each of us brings forth a "box" of special prejudices and tries to push others into it. How hard it is to make them fit! Clothes here, manners there, won't be squeezed into our box at all! Out must go the misfits, for if they won't fit into our special "box," what's the use of trying to be friends with them?

Other girls have another kind of "box"; one which seems to have room for the most amazing sort of things.

There is Mary, for instance. She can't do anything especially well; but she is always asked to parties and to serve on committees. At meetings it's always Mary who thinks of something to keep different factions from hurling sharp words at each other because of the new pins or what play to give or whether Grant's Grove or Silver Lake would be the nicest place for the annual picnic.

Sometimes Mary's friends chide her about the acquaintances she makes. Perhaps it's their funny clothes or their nationality or their manners. But Mary is loyal. Haven't you heard her?

"Why, Bob isn't funny even if his clothes are shabby and a little queer. He is generous and clever and you know there wasn't anybody at school last year who knew as much about literature as he."

"Oh, don't you think that Hildreth's hair is lovely? At camp last summer she looked like a Nordic princess in that dance costume. Don't you remember?"

It is a happy sort of "box" which Mary keeps and to what interesting shapes it must bend and stretch to hold all of the widely varying sorts of friends that she gathers to herself.