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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 06, 1914, NOON EDITION, Image 14

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-03-06/ed-1/seq-14/

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Chapter XCV.
When I got over to the Waverly's
this morning I found everything "up
in the air," as Dick would say.
I could see that Dad was irritable;
that Mollie had been crying, and that
Mrs. Waverly, Sr., considered herself
a much abused person. The trained
nurse had left the day before and
poor Mollie was nearly distracted try
ing to wait oh both her father and
mother and oversee the housemaid
and the laundress who works there
every Monday.
When I arrived they were all at
luncheon and I noticed that Maggie,
the maid, had a most belligerent as
pect as she brought in the waffles, of
which Dad was very fond. Maggie is
a splendid housekeeper and I" have
often wondered why she stayed with
the family, for Mrs. Waverly insisted
upon her doing the entire work of the
house except the washing and she
was allowed very few privileges.
After luncheon Mollie told me Mdg
gie was going to leave.
"I cannot do anything with her.
She overheard mother call her 'a
kitchen mechanic' the other day and
it's all off.
" 'She can get her own kitchen
mechanics,' said Maggie when I went
out to her. 'Isn't it meself that has
slaved all through this sickness in the
house and put up with the flippity
ways of that trained nurse and now
because I had to leave the bread in
the oven to burn while I ran upstairs
to wait on her, she calls me a "kit
chen mechanic." It's leavin' I am this
day and learnin' the manicure trade
I'll be doin'.' "
Just why the words "kitchen me
chanic" have come to be the badge
of ignoble servitude is unanswerable.
Webster defines a mechanic as
"one who practices any mechanic art,
one skilled in shaping or uniting ma
terials into any kind of structure, ma
chine or other object requiring the
uBe of tools or instruments."
A man is always proud of being
called a skilled mechanic and as one
of the most necessary requisites to
the well being of modern life is the
cookatove, why should not the per
son who uses it "in shaping and unit
ing materials" into life sustenance be
employed in quite as dignified an oc
cupation as the one who has made
the stove.
A skilled mechanic in the kitchen is
perhaps more important than a skill
ed mechanic in the shop.
We must all eat to live and that
everyone should be able to do some
thing with the hands is one of the
first commands of the social econo:
mists. If there is any work of wo
man's hands that is more important
or even more interesting than the
cooking and serving of a well pro
portioned meal it has hot yet been
brought to the welfare ot those who
race at heart.
"You do be talking mighty fine,"
said Maggie when I tried to tell her
this. "But it's in the manicure par
lors I can mate nice young men who
would not look at' me if I told them
it was in a kitchen I was workin'.
"Ye can be the best cook in the
world, but it won't get ye anywhere
with a young man. He is lookin' fer
the girl whose "hair is done In the
latest style and who can invite her
beau to meet her at the parlor of her
boarding house instead of the back
kitchen door of her employer's home.
Thank ye just the same, Mrs. Wav
erly, but I'm not going to be any kind
of a mechanicany longer. It's a mani
cure artist that I'll be."
There you have it. I thought, after
talking With Maggie, we may have
wonderful high-sounding theories
about all sorts of things in a work
ing woman's life, but after all it re
solves itself into "the way of a man
with a maid."
(To Be Continued Tomorrow.)

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