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Excerpts from Winter 1958 Edition


For about four hours today I seriously was considering suicide — and if the results weren't quite so permanent, I wouldn't have hesitated a minute! I was going through what might be called the "Joy of Christmas shopping." Some joy!

I'll begin at the beginning and tell you the whole gruesome story. After school on Friday, Jane and I left for downtown Philadelphia, full of vim, vigor and lots of ambitious ideas. The first snag occurred while we were strolling leisurely toward the trolley stop. We had plenty of time. Everyone knows the trolley is always late — always except this day, of course. As the trolley zoomed by, we zoomed after it. This particular driver, however, was either deaf, dumb, and blind or else very stubborn. Anyway, we spent half-an-hour waiting for the next vehicle of transportation, which happened to be a bus. This driver was in a good mood and decided to stop for us. We finally arrived at 69th Street and were on our last lap — the subway. I know it seems unbelievable, but as we trotted down the steps, the subway doors closed. By this time I was in such a state of mind that, with a little provocation, I would have beaten that door in by brute strength; but remembering that I was a lady at heart, I controlled myself and merely kicked it gently!

We did get to do some shopping at last, though; and while we were, I made a startling discovery. A shopper really doesn't choose where she wants to go while shopping in the Christmas rush because she has no choice. Where the crowd went, there I went also! If I saw something I wanted, I filed the spot away in my weary brain, and on the next trip around, I found a cross-stream of people which led to the article I had chosen. Upon reaching the counter, my troubles really started.

I never felt quite so insignificant as when I stood patiently waiting for a salesgirl to notice my presence. Either the girl's eyes didn't quite focus, or she had the power to look right through her fellow human beings. Anyway, after awhile the idea occurred to her that I was not standing there for the fun of it, and she finally offered to take my money. Naturally this created another incident.

Just as I finished digging a quarter, one dime, two nickels, and six pennies out of the deep darkness of my purse, the woman next to me reached for an object at my other side. The next ten minutes found me crawling around on my hands and knees, looking for my change. Oh yes — it's a real joy!

Isn't it amazing, though? When Jane and I finally got home, we sat and laughed (laughed — we roared!) at all the things that had happened — and suicide was the furthest thing from my mind.