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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 8 (February 1, 1933)

A Matter of Mood

A Matter of Mood.

Women are universally believed to be creatures of temperament, who are totally at the mercy of their moods—one moment gay, flippant and attractively senseless; the next dreamy, quiet and vaguely sad. It is expected of them. Even Solomon with all his wisdom and his great experience of our sex, said that no man could understand the moods of women. Anthony found Cleopatra somewhat of an enigma; Henry the Eighth made several attempts to cope with the seven; the Chinese never try; poets rhapsodize but leave it at that. Woman, they say, is an enigma—a delightful puzzle never to be solved by adventurous man. He good-humouredly indulges her in her moods with a tolerant shake of his sensible head, or he storms at her capricious inconsequence, or he plods faithfully behind hoping to “catch up” sometime. How we achieved this reputation is incomprehensible now—but there it is. Are we going to live up to it—or establish another? Are we going to continue to charm by our sweet unreasonableness, or shall we allow our native commonsense to come into its own? They tell us that our attraction lies almost entirely in this matter of moods—certainly we are excused a great deal on account of them. It seems, that with modern ideas we no longer leap with dramatic swiftness from gaiety and giggles to melancholy musings. Life simply won't allow it! The modern woman is busy and active and independent and natural—no longer a phantom Beatrice to the Dantes of this world, or an ethereal vision to the Shelleys, or a childish clinging Dora to the David Copperfields. She is intensely occupied with the business of living and has little time to cultivate her moods—in fact they rather annoy her. She can't allow her mind to float away into a cloud of depression and vague sadness, when she is taking down letters at top speed in shorthand, or seeing the children off to school, or playing bridge or working with energy in the garden. I think the women of history and romance had too little to do!

Now we can observe that men themselves are rather inclined to be moody and not very skilful at disguising it from us. Burnt toast or a late night or a collar-stud can ruin a man for the day—even as a business deal, or a drink, or reducing his handicap at golf, or catching a fish, can make him a very delightful creature.

Anyhow, life would be very dull if we were always the same, uninfluenced by weather, beyond the softening atmosphere of a good dinner, quite aloof from the jovial page 60 spirit of a crowd, impervious to twilights, and moons and music.

Life is a matter of moods and always will be.

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