I had the most unusual dream… I normally would not talk about such topics, but it was so distressing that I have to! Last night I went to bed around 11, which is a little later than what I am used to, but I was behind schedule; visitations lasted more than expected, and I had to finish writing some letters. After my usual tea, I fell into a deep sleep, and soon entered the most realistic and horrifying dream. I was standing on a street, in which vehicles on extremely small wheels were passing by very fast. It was a sunny day, and was astonished to see people promenading nearly naked. How scandalous! Some women were walking in minuscule night gowns, showing their legs in their whole length, and other just wearing their undergarments. I passed by a store, and understood that they were called “bralettes” and “shorts”. All this disgrace was not what left me so disturbed, but what I am about to describe next; I still cannot write about it without shivering a little.
I entered an household, and noticed a troubling untidiness in each room. My first thought was to fire the cleaning maid, because she was clearly not doing a satisfying job. I wish I had had my book of household management with me; I would have left them a copy with a note on page 6 and 7, where I included a table with the proper wages for each maid and servant, so they would know how to treat and pay the new cleaning maid they will employ.
As I got closer to the kitchen, I smelled beef and a vegetable mixture cooking; I surely hoped they were of the season, because they would be much cheaper! Anyhow, when I entered the room, I found a man, also dressed in undergarments, cooking. I considered this to be very strange, so I decided to ask him what curious thing was taking place. He told me, and I tease you not, that he was cooking for his wife and their children. Seemingly, his wife was a successful lawyer who usually worked everyday, and also provided for the family. They had two children, and they both walked to and from school alone. He was unemployed, and spent his days cleaning the house, cooking, making sure that everything that was needed was bought and stored in the house, and so forth. They had no maids! The man was doing the housekeeping all by himself, and we was clearly not doing a very good job. The house was a mess.
Anyhow, the family was receiving visitations during dinner, and wine and dinner were served. The table was decorated with candles and a centerpiece, which I was extremely glad for; that was the only decent thing I had seen throughout my surreal experience. However, the dinner did not go as pleasantly as the dinner table looked. The conversations were unpleasant, and they were mostly about complains and inconveniences happened to the guests and the hosts. Also, the mistress kept on ridiculing the husband by telling embarrassing stories that had happened to him. Oh my! The first rule of being a good host is to keep the conversation serene and flowing, not depressing and boring! There is a reason I wrote “small disappointments, petty annoyances, and other everyday incidents should never be mentioned to friends […] If the mistress be a wife never let a word in connection with her husband’s failings pass her lips…” (3).
After the guests had left, I wanted to tell the hosts that they had done a terrible job at the dinner party. To calm, I opened the refrigerator to get some water. You will never guess what I saw. It was mostly empty, and there was molded bread in it… how horrific! Besides the evident sanitary violation, the refrigerator and the cabinets were missing most foods that every household should have. I have made a list of that in my book as well. I cannot believe that I have sold nearly 2 million copies, and these two gals have not read it. Oh my! Although I was awfully tempted to say something not so nice and teach them a thing or two, I remembered what I wrote years ago on page 4, “Gentleness, not partial and temporary, but universal and regular, should pervade her conduct.” Therefore, I chose to try to forget everything I saw and somehow I found a copy of my book, which I decided to leave on their kitchen table, hoping they would improve their lifestyle and their household management skills. I woke up this morning, and was extremely grateful that it was all one long atrocious dream.