《人性的弱点》第6篇第4章 使人快乐的方法

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"Most Men when seeking wives," says Paul Popenoe, Director of theInstitute of Family Relations in Los Angeles, "are not looking forexecutives but for someone with allure and willingness to flatter theirvanity and make them feel superior. Hence the woman officemanager may be invited to luncheon, once. But she quite possiblydishes out warmed-over remnants of her college courses on 'maincurrents in contemporary philosophy,' and may even insist on payingher own bill. Result: she thereafter lunches alone.

"In contrast, the noncollegiate typist, when invited to luncheon, fixesan incandescent gaze on her escort and says yearningly, 'Now tellme some more about yourself.' Result: he tells the other fellows that'she's no raving beauty, but I have never met a better talker.'"Men should express their appreciation of a woman's effort to lookwell and dress becomingly. All men forget, if they have ever realizedit, how profoundly women are interested in clothes. For example, if aman and woman meet another man and woman on the street, thewoman seldom looks at the other man; she usually looks to see howwell the other woman is dressed.

My grandmother died a few years ago at the age of ninety-eight.Shortly before her death, we showed her a photograph of herselfthat had been taken a third of a century earlier. Her failing eyescouldn't see the picture very well, and the only question she askedwas: "What dress did I have on?" Think of it! An old woman in herlast December, bedridden, weary with age as she lay within theshadow of the century mark, her memory fading so fast that she wasno longer able to recognize even her own daughters, still interestedin knowing what dress she had worn a third of a century before! Iwas at her bedside when she asked that question. It left animpression on me that will never fade.

The men who are reading these lines can't remember what suits orshirts they wore five years ago, and they haven't the remotest desireto remember them. But women—they are different, and weAmerican men ought to recognize it. French boys of the upper classare trained to express their admiration of a woman's frock andchapeau, not only once but many times during an evening. And fiftymillion Frenchmen can't be wrong!

I have among my clippings a story that I know never happened, butit illustrates a truth, so I'll repeat it:

According to this silly story, a farm woman, at the end of a heavyday's work, set before her men folks a heaping pile of hay. And whenthey indignantly demanded whether she'd gone crazy, she replied:"Why, how did I know you'd notice? I've been cooking for you menfor the last twenty years, and in all that time I ain't heard no word tolet me know you wasn't just eating hay!"

The pampered aristocrats of Moscow and St Petersburg used to havebetter manners; in the Russia of the Czars, it was the custom of theupper classes, when they had enjoyed a fine dinner, to insist onhaving the cook brought into the dining room to receive theircongratulations.

Why not have as much consideration for your wife? The next timethe fried chicken is done to a tender turn, tell her so. Let her knowthat you appreciate the fact that you're not just eating hay. Or, asTexas Guinan used to say, "Give the little girl a great big hand."And while you're about it, don't be afraid to let her know howimportant she is to your happiness. Disraeli was as great astatesman as England ever produced; yet, as we've seen, he wasn'tashamed to let the world know how much he "owed to the littlewoman."

Just the other day, while perusing a magazine, I came across this.It's from an interview with Eddie Cantor.

"I owe more to my wife," says Eddie Cantor, "than to anyone else inthe world. She was my best pal as a boy; she helped me to gostraight. And after we married she saved every dollar, and investedit, and reinvested it. She built up a fortune for me. We have fivelovely children. And she's made a wonderful home for me always. IfI've gotten anywhere, give her the credit."

Out in Hollywood, where marriage is a risk that even Lloyd's ofLondon wouldn't take a gamble on, one of the few outstandinglyhappy marriages is that of the Warner Baxters. Mrs Baxter, theformer Winifred Bryson, gave up a brilliant stage career when shemarried. Yet her sacrifice has never been permitted to mar theirhappiness. "She missed the applause of stage success," WarnerBaxter says, "but I have tried to see that she is entirely aware of myapplause. If a woman is to find happiness at all in her husband, sheis to find it in his appreciation, and devotion. If that appreciation anddevotion is actual, there is the answer to his happiness also."

There you are. So, if you want to keep your home life happy, one of the most important rules is

Rule 4: Give honest appreciation.










这是一个愚蠢,而又可笑的故事:有一个农家的女子,在一整天劳累的工作后,当快要吃饭的时候,她在那几个男工面前,放下一大堆的草。那些男工问她,是不是疯了?那女的回答说: 「哦!我怎么会知道,你们会注意到这些?我替你们做饭,已经做了二十多年,那么久长的时间,我从没有听到一句话,使我知道你们吃的不是草。」














2011-02-15 10:51 编辑:kuaileyingyu