Q Dear Miss Abigail:
My mother and I disagree about a lot of things, especially the way I dress. I am perfectly neat, and I feel like I choose things that suit me and my personality. Still, she feels like picking a fight with me about every little thing. How can I tell her that I want to dress for myself, and not for her, without offending her?
A Dear Miriam:
Whatever you do, don’t be saucy! Author Mabel Hale, in her 1922 book titled Beautiful Girlhood,warns young ladies to be careful in how they speak to their parents. Read this little excerpt carefully and think deeply about how your actions would seem in your family’s eyes ~ does your plea for individuality make you appear less beautiful to your mother? Perhaps not, but in any case, Hale sure has some strong thoughts on the subject.
No girl can afford to be impudent or saucy. One who is such sets a poor estimate upon herself. When a girl is saucy she shows a lack of respect for her elders and superiors, and also a lack of respect for her own good name. Instead of sauciness sounding smart and making a girl appear clever and independent, it shows her to be rude and egotistical. There is nothing lovely nor desirable about it, and if indulged in to any extent it will spoil any girl.
Sauciness is more hateful because it begins at home. Where the girl should be her best she is her worst, for she is always more ugly to her own loved ones more than to any one else. She makes home miserable so far as her influence goes. Mother and Father may endeavor to be kind and just, but at the least reproof or counsel the mouth of the girl sends out a stinging retort that hurts cruelly. Saucy words cost too much in heartache and tears. They are not found in beautiful girlhood; for where the habit of sauciness is found the beauty of girlhood is spoiled. Words can be like swords, cutting deep, not into the flesh but into the tender heart. The time will come, my young friend, when you will gaze upon the still form of one you loved, you will regret the tears and sighs the harsh words you have spoken. Do not lay up for yourself sorrow for that time.
Source: Hale, Mabel. Beautiful Girlhood. Anderson, Ill.: [Gospel Trumpet Co.?], 1922.
~ pp. 52-53 ~