Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » She Had a Question, 1910

She Had a Question, 1910

By: Ardis E. Parshall - May 14, 2009

Once again, Catherine Hurst of the Young Woman’s Journal “Girl Query” feature has the answers to everything from split ends to shiny noses to dating your best friend’s fiancé:


Do you think it good taste for a girl to allow a boy to kiss her at the station when bidding her good-bye? – Penelope.

If they are engaged to be married and are to be parted for a length of time, an allowance might be made for such an expression of feeling. otherwise it is better to reserve all such demonstrations for private enjoyment rather than to exhibit one’s feelings to the curious public.


In answer to “Elsina” – Chocolate or cocoa served occasionally is not contrary to the “Word of Wisdom.”


My dear “Mildred” – I would urge you to look higher. You are young and very inexperienced, I take it. Do be cautious, as an unwise step now, would probably cause you sorrow later. If you could engage in some very interesting work, change your mode of thought, also refuse to meet the person in question, for a time at least, you would most likely feel better. Try and view him from a disinterested standpoint. We do not always receive an answer to prayer immediately, or just in the way we would like it to be


I have a sister of ten who is very saucy. Mother has tried many things but none seems to help. Can you suggest anything? – Cloris.

In correcting any fault in a child, the correction must be in keeping with the offense. In this case the tongue is the unruly member. Tell the child that the mouth is very much soiled after such saucy words. Wash the tongue and mouth thoroughly soap and water, using plenty of soap. Do not scold, or talk to the child while doing it. Generally effective.


What can I do for endy hair? – Joy.

If you mean the hair is split unevenly, singeing is the best remedy. You should go to a hair dresser who understands how to do it. Frequently when girls attempt to do their own hair they burn it, and do more harm than good. If your hair is dry, short, and “endy,” and there is no hair dresser in your town to advise you, rub oil or vaseline on your hair once or twice a week and brush well so that the oil will get to the ends of hair. You can get an invisible hair net to wear until, by persistent care and brushing it becomes long enough to dress without the net. Many women wear a net at night to prevent the hair from splitting or becoming disorderly.


Is it good form to dance with a young man if you do not know his name? – J.E.R.

If the young man is unknown to you – a stranger – do not dance with him. If a boy of your own district or circle, whom you know to be respectable, but do not remember his name, there would be no harm.


How can I prevent icing from running down the sides of cake? – Mabel.

Take a narrow strip of muslin and bind around the cake when icing it.


Will you kindly tell me how to conduct a linen or china shower? Is it proper for a girl to give her intended sister-in-law one? – L.M.B.

It is quite proper to give a linen or china shower to one’s intended sister-in-law. The usual way of conducting such is to invite the intimate friends of the bride to be, to one’s home; each brings a pice of linen or china for the honored guest. Light refreshments can be served and any amusing games indulged in. At one shower I attended each girl was asked to bring a recipe in connection with her present. The girl giving the shower had a blank recipe book with the bride elect’s name inscribed thereon, and all the girls wrote their recipes in this book over their signatures. Some of them were given in poetry, some in blank verse. Many were quite witty and funny, all were excellent recipes, however. Much merriment was caused while reading them. Other showers for variety are kitchen, parcel, and handkerchief.


Is it wrong to play cards or Pit, if played in a social way at home? If so, why? – Winnie.

The members of the General Boards of the Y.M. and Y.L.M.I.A. decided some years ago to discourage card-playing among the young. many reasons for so doing were given by the Church authorities. Space will not permit of recounting them all. Cards being a very fascinating game, it has a tendency to cause many young people to play way into the night, thus losing their proper rest; also to neglect their duties and waste much valuable time. If played “at home” as you suggest, naturally when away from home, if invited to play, one would hardly refuse, and many young people are apt to make more than an amusing game out of it. Pit was not included in this resolution, as it is an entirely different game.


Will you please publish in your department a cure for warts? – Norma B.

Warts will often disappear of themselves in time; or they may be rasped with a file and touched with a stick of nitrate of silver; be careful to only touch the wart. The crushed leaves of the common bean yield a juice, which squeezed on warts two or three times daily, will cause them to dry up and disappear.


Please tell me which is the best tooth cleanser – one that will whiten and preserve the teeth. – Glad.

Absolute cleanliness is the first essential in preserving the purity of the teeth. They should be brushed night and morning; when possible after each meal. Spend from five to ten minutes in brushing, care being taken to reach all parts of the teeth. Pass floss silk between the teeth, at least twice a week; daily if possible.

Visit a good dentist about every six months and have the teeth carefully examined and cleaned if necessary. The natural tooth is not perfectly white, but if your gums are sensitive and your teeth need whitening, paint them with milk of magnesia each night before retiring. If the teeth become discolored you could brush them occasionally with lemon juice. Cold water is very good to brush the teeth with; however, if you wish a dentifrice, precipitated chalk may be used. Many dentists recommend Euthymol Tooth Paste, made by Park Davis and Co., of Detroit, as being the best preparation on the market today, claiming it will cleanse the teeth, destroy disease germs, and purify the breath.


To “Blanche.” Yes, it is perfectly polite and in good form to teach children to say “Yes, ma’am,” “Yes, sir,” “No, sir,” etc.


Can you suggest a good remedy for a shiny nose? – A Reader.

Substitute almond or oat meal for soap in washing the face, then powder the nose gently with starch or talcum, using either chamois or piece of silk.


Do you think it proper and just for a young lady to keep company with a young man who is engaged to another girl who lives out of town? – Minnie.

It certainly is not proper to go with another girl regularly, if he intends to marry the girl to whom he is engaged. There would be no harm in taking different girls occasionally. A male flirt is one to be avoided.


Is nineteen too young for a girl to become engaged? – Ray.

Capability, health, development, possibilities, length of engagement, and your mother’s own good judgment would all have to be considered. Generally, however, nineteen is too young to become engaged.


In answer to “A Subscriber”: Ordinarily, no. Explain your circumstances to your Bishop, and he can advise you.


To “Leona”: The size is not so important as the character.


Is it proper to hum the tune when you are dancing? – June.

No; it is decidedly bad taste and very discourteous to one’s partner.


Is it correct form for the young men friends of a girl to call upon her in the place where she is employed? – Retta.

Unless she is willing to lose her position, or the advantage of a recommend from her employer should she wish to seek another, she should positively forbid young men or friends to call or telephone her during business hours.


When a widow marries again should she invite to her wedding the family of her first husband, and what color should she wear? – Mrs. M.W.

Unless her first husband’s relatives strongly opposed her marriage, they should be invited and treated with the greatest courtesy. Pale gray is the color most favored for second marriages, although anything but white may be worn.


To Shamrock’s query: In writing to missionaries, the letters should be helpful, encouraging, and “newsy.” If the young man be your lover you understand best what to write him; otherwise, friendly letters, expressing your belief in his success, will help him very much.



  1. I always love these features. Thanks for sharing! I was surprised that the author said that 19 was too young to become engaged. It was always my understanding that women married younger in the olden days.

    Comment by Keri Brooks — May 14, 2009 @ 9:22 am

  2. “…your mother’s own good judgment…”

    Those of us who are fathers, already know our judgment is of no worth when it comes to the engagements of our children. Or as I have been told, the most useless person at a wedding is the father of the groom. As a father of four married sons, I have memorized the mantra, “I have no opinion”.

    There are a couple of other lines here that are begging for a response, but I am restraining myself in the interest of the propriety that is so much valued in these Q&A columns.

    Comment by kevinf — May 14, 2009 @ 10:18 am

  3. Maybe the comment about 19 being too young to be engaged could be shared with the BYU singles ward bishoprics? I knew such a bishopric, who used to advise ward members that if they had any concerns about dating or marriage, to counsel with them individually. A random survey of ward members was that the counsel was always to get engaged and marry as soon as possible.

    (Fortunately, I was home from my mission, armed with my mission president’s advice to wait awhile.)

    Comment by queuno — May 14, 2009 @ 10:38 am

  4. These Q&A pieces are some of my favorite at Keepa! Several of the items this time caused me to laugh out loud, including this matter-of-fact answer regarding the Word of Wisdom:

    In answer to ‘Elsina’ – Chocolate or cocoa served occasionally is not contrary to the ‘Word of Wisdom.’

    There you have it, folks! (To me, the author’s presumptuousness about knowing the answer to this question is not so annoying as it is charming.)

    Comment by Hunter — May 14, 2009 @ 11:12 am

  5. I just love that phrase “private enjoyment”!

    Comment by Mark B. — May 14, 2009 @ 11:40 am

  6. I’m with kevinf–propriety certainly does stop up the wells of creativity, doesn’t it?

    Comment by Mark B. — May 14, 2009 @ 11:48 am

  7. Keri,

    Although there certainly were younger marriages “back then”, I don’t think it was really common to marry young.

    I once took my PAF data and calculated the average age of first marriage for the women in my family tree. Then I split it up by decade to see how it changed over time. You can see a chart of it here. Not really that informative cause the sample size it too small (plus I don’t really know what I am doing when it comes to statistics). But it might be an interesting exercise to do on your own family

    Comment by Bruce Crow — May 14, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

  8. Like Hunter, I love these Q&A posts. I’m wondering if it is considered child abuse today if a parent resorts to washing a child’s mouth with soup (plenty of it) and water. And I am laughing at the reply about endy hair. Can you imagine singeing the ends of your hair and wearing an invisable net until your hair grows out.

    Comment by Maurine — May 14, 2009 @ 1:58 pm

  9. And there you have it, the secret of dating success: never hum the tune while dancing!

    Loved it, as ever, Ardis. Have you considered compiling these columns into a book? I think it would go like hot cakes.

    Comment by Alison — May 14, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

  10. I’ve actually thought of compiling a couple of hundred favorite Keepa posts as a book — a sort of “bathroom book” maybe (is there a more elegant name??)

    Maybe I should put up a post asking if that’s a worthwhile idea, and if so, which posts should be included. “She Had a Question” seems a solid favorite.

    Thanks for all the comments and for keeping the conversation going without me. I’m in the middle of a spell where I have computer access rarely during the day so I haven’t been able to comment much and laugh with you-all. It’s great to check in and see what you have to say.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 14, 2009 @ 7:01 pm

  11. As others have noted, I am exercising formidable restraint with regard to one of the responses.

    These are priceless, Ardis. The book is an excellent idea. Combine the Q&A posts with the jokes – and add the ads . . . I know I’d buy it.

    “A male flirt is one to be avoided.”

    That’s good, since a female flirt is impossible to avoid. :)

    Comment by Ray — May 14, 2009 @ 8:55 pm

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