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CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE
DONNA'S OPINIONS OF MARRIAGE
Before I had time to open Mary's
letter Donna Tenney came in. Her
first words were, "Margie, please
don't let Mary marry a man so much
younger than herself. Three or five
years don't count, but over five years
look for trouble."
"What do you mean, Donna?" I
asked. "I never supposed love took
into consideration the question of
age, besides nowadays a middle-aged
woman is younger in appearanct,
manner and mode of thought than is
"That is true, but a man wants
youth to look at No man is ever
too old to think he cannot make an
impression on a girl in her teens.
You know, don't you, Margie, that I
am older than Will?"
"I certainly did not," I answered.
"You look much younger."
"You are very sweet, but I can
hardly believe that. You see my
white hair! Poor Bill looks very ill
just now, but I have sometimes
thought his greatest temptor was
"Yes," I said, "you might para
phrase the lines for Bill:
" 'Where love looks into love's re
There are the realms of paradise,'
" "Whenever age peers into youthful
He thinks he's found his paradise.' "
"I wish I could tell Mary how ter
rible this living up to youthful stan
dards is," suggested Donna. "When
I met Bill we were both young and I
knew he was only 20, while I was 28.
I did not tell him how old I was and
he thought I was about 22. Since
then I have never dared to tell him
the truth, and i has been a constant
hurt to me to know I was trying to
lie to him every day. I shall never
forget the awful sickening feeling
that came over me when I found, or i
rather he found, my first white hair.
"We had come home from a party
where he had been particularly at
tentive to Kitty Malram. She was
the personification of youth! I felt
I must not get near her, for fear of
"As I was combing my hair for
bed Bill stopped beside me, raving
about the cleverness of Kitty. All at
once his eyes widened. He fingered
a strand of my hair. Softly he said,
'Why, Donna, dear, here is a gray
"You know Bill almost as well as
I do, so it will not seem strange
when I say I got all trembly and
teary. It seemed that all my deceit
had gone for nothing. And, Margie,
sometimes I have thought that all of
Bill's infatuation for Kitty Malram
dated from that night That gray
hair meant age to Bill, and age was,
and is, his greatest bugbear. Since
then, or rather since our second mar
riage, he tells me he loves my white
hair, but I sometimes wonder if he
would love it as well if Kitty Malram
were not cold and quiet out there in
"Now, Donna," I remonstrated,
"haven't- you enough troubles with
out being jealous of a dead woman?
Poor Bill is too ill to want anything
except the loving care you are giving
him. In his heart he worships you."
"Yes, dear, but I don't want wor
"What would you do, Donna, if you
were not only growing older every
day, but were simply laid out here
like a log, as I am, and all the time
your husband was in the vigor of his
best manhood? If you knew that
for you he was staying away from
his friends, that for you he was fore
going all the pleasures of life and
making himself a recluse?
''Donna, dear, I am going to tell
you something I have not told to any
one else. A few months ago I thought