automobile. Up to that time rugged Amazons
might crank a heavy motor, but they were few and
far between. With the self-starter however, things were different, and
the woman soon be-came independent and developed a new sense of
self-importance. She had at last come into her own. She voted, she
smoked, she went swimming without stockings (no self-respecting female
would dream of swimming without stockings before the war)
and she used cosmetics freely without being considered a 'painted woman'
— except by my mother who felt strongly that all cos-metics were
indecent, immoral, unhealthy and unnecessary.
Once a townswoman came to call, and as she sat talking to my mother she
opened up her compact and began powdering her nose.
"If you do that," said my mother, "I'm going to get my
toothbrush and start brushing my teeth."
One day Miss Millie Hallowell, a friend for whom my mother
had much respect, took her to task and said, "Well Ruth — if everyone
were as beautiful as you there would be no need for cosmetics."
Many of these things happened over sixty years ago, and most
of the people I have told about are gone. In the interim the old order
has given way to the new. The individualists who lived
their own way have been superseded by a more uniform popu- lace
—caused, no doubt, by mechanization and mass production. Things tend to
become more and more stereotyped — look at the
similarity in automobile design — or how one house re- sembles
every other in a large urban real estate development — all of which
ought to simplify existence. But does it?