Isn’t that pitiful? And heaven knows—or ought to—how many poor women, and men, too, live with that same dumb longing to get nearer and be chums with somebody. That cry touches my heart, for I lived years in the same state.
And, oh, how I struggled to draw others nearer to me. How I agonized and cried and prayed over it. How I worked to make home attractive. How I cooked and washed and scrubbed, sewed and patched and darned to please! How I quickly brushed my hair and hustled into a clean dress so as to be neat and ready when my husband came in! And how I ached and despaired inwardly because he frowned and found fault! How I studied books of advice to young wives! How their advice failed! How I tried and TRIED to get him to confide in me and make a chum of me! And how the more I tried the more he had business downtown! Oh, the growing despair of it all! And the growing illnesses, too! Oh, the gulf that widened and widened between us! Oh, the loneliness! Oh, the uselessness of life!
I had to give it up. I wasn’t enough of a hanger-on to sink into a state of perpetual whining protest, or to commit suicide. When I was finally convinced that I couldn’t draw him nearer I gave it up and began to take notice again, of other things. I let him live his life and I took up the "burden" of my own “lonely” existence.
And the first thing I knew my “burden” had grown interesting, and I was no longer lonesome. I began to live my life to please myself, instead of living it for the purpose of making over the life of another.
The next thing I knew my husband didn’t have so much business downtown, and he had more things he wanted to tell me. I found we were nearer than I ever dreamed we’d be.
You see, I had become more comfortable to live with. I had quit trying to draw him nearer, and behold, he was already near.
In the old days I lived strenuously. I hustled so to get the house and the children and myself just so, that I got my aura into a regular snarl. My husband being a healthy animal, felt the snarl before he saw the immaculateness; and like any healthy animal he snarled back—and had business downtown. He responded to my real mental and emotional state, responded against his will many times; and I did not know it. I supposed him perverse and impossible of pleasing. I knew I had tried my best (according to my lights, which it had not occurred to me to doubt), but it never entered my cranium that he had tried, too. I looked upon the outward appearance—my immaculate appearance, met by fault-finding or indifference I Poor me! Perverse he!
Poor Martha, troubled about many things, when only one thing is needful—a quiet mind and faithful soul. History does not state if Martha had a husband. If she did, he was perpetually downtown. And Jesus preferred Mary, the Comfortable One, to Martha. Poor lonesome Martha! And she tried so hard to please.