Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » She Had a Question, 1915

She Had a Question, 1915

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 23, 2009

Party games, correspondence courses, why pimply girls should own a shaving brush, and that perennial favorite – promiscuous kissing – are all addressed in the “Girl Query” feature of the Young Woman’s Journal for 1915.


“Blue Eyes,” “Jessie,” and “Olga.” – If you will send self-addressed envelope, I will discuss your love affairs in personal letters, and help you if I can. The things which interest you, interest me. There is no question too trivial or commonplace, to receive my attention, if I can only help you.


What can I do for my skin? I have such a sallow complexion. Do you think men have cleaner and better skin than women, and why? – Diantha.

One reason advanced about men having cleaner skin, is because they shave every day. Not the shaving really does it, but the pure soap, the cleansing and massaging. If girls with pimply skins would get a shaving brush and some pure mild soap, then cleanse and massage the face regularly, I’m sure they would note a change in a short time. A sallow complexion is generally due to impairment of the general health. Improve your health – pay attention to the bowels and kidneys. Drink plenty of water between meals. A splendid article on this subject may be found in Vol. 22, page 497, of the Journal. Another remedy for a sallow complexion is sleep before midnight. Go to bed early and have your room well ventilated. An extra hour of sleep before midnight will work wonders with the complexion, if the general health is good.


“A.W.” – Young girls should not accept rings from gentlemen friends, unless they be engagement rings. 2. There are many ways of entertaining boy friends. If you are a good conversationalist – that is a good listener as well as talker – well informed on several subjects, there should be no difficulty in passing an hour or two very pleasantly. If you have on your table view books of different countries, small books of memory gems, postal card albums, anything in music or art, or one of the latest popular books, any of these, under favorable conditions, might suggest an entertaining theme.


Can you suggest a simple lunch for a Valentine party? – Patricia.

“Simple,” should be the word for any lunch after ten p.m. Have a pink or red color scheme, and serve heart-shaped sandwiches, tied with red baby ribbons, bright red apples, cherry ice, lady fingers, small heart-shaped candies, and raspberry punch or lemonade. Crab or lobster salad could be served with the sandwich, but is not really necessary.


Will you please tell me if a course in photography taken by mail, can be made successful? Please give me the name of a company that gives such a course. – Gertrude.

You cannot be as successful through a correspondence course, as otherwise. Photography is like medicine or any other profession – practical experience is needed to be entirely successful. I herewith give you the names of two schools that teach it. Illinois College of Photography, Ellingham, Ill., Southern College of Photography, McMinnville, Tenn.


“Mrs. E.P.” – Take your stone to a jeweler, he will tell you whether it be genuine or not.


“Ellen” – it is customary for a young man to dance the first, last, and one other number with his young lady partner. If the couple are strangers to most of the others present, they can with propriety dance oftener together.


Please give me some suggestions for a St. Patrick’s Day party. – Meg.

Send out the following invitations written with either white or red ink on green cards or shamrocks. You can get the shamrocks at a stationer’s for ten cents a dozen.

On St. Patrick’s Day at the hour of eight,
Will you come to our garden gate?
Please knock with a gentle hand,
And you’ll be made welcome to Erin’s land.
With games and hilarity most hearty
We’ll have a real St. Patrick’s party.

Request the guests to wear as much green as possible. As the guests arrive, Pat, Widow Maloney, Dennis McFadden, and Maggie Murphy welcome them.

Pat should be dressed in knickerbocker trousers, green waistcoat, ruffled white shirt, high standing collar, large bow tie, high green hat, black stockings and pumps. The others in Irish costumes. Nora, an Irish maid, should help to remove the wraps. Her dress should be short, full green skirt, (could be made of paper); full white waist with short sleeves, black girdle laced in front, and white cap. Have the decorations all in green and white. Green cheese cloth on the floor, green and white streamers suspended from the four corners of the room to the lights in the center, green plants in green pots, etc. Place a miniature harp in the center of the table, and have green vines and buds entwined in the harp-strings. Use white baby ribbon for the harp strings. Make your own place cards, having a design of shamrock or narcissus. Menu: Green pea salad on lettuce leaves, Irish potato croquettes in shamrock nests, shamrock-shaped sandwiches tied with green ribbon, green iced cake, green and white ice cream, and green candy sticks, napkins of green tissue paper.

The following games are quite amusing. Have a green basket filled with corks of all sizes, and let the guests guess how many corks in the basket. The one guessing nearest the number could be given a picture of St. Patrick. Next place the empty basket on the table, and have Pat near as referee. Let each one try who can throw the most corks into the basket. Give a string of green corks, or a green paper hat as a prize. Another game: Separate the company into two divisions; between them have a question-asker, and at end of line a judge. Every question asked must be answered with one word, containing the syllable “Pat.” For instance: “What is your name? What country in South America did you come from? What is on O’Flannigan’s trousers?” The side winning draw cuts for a souvenir spoon tied with green ribbon.

Give all present a potato, a knife, a piece of chalk and a pencil. Request the to make an Irish animal – preferably a curly-tailed pig. The judge will have a perplexing time making a decision.

Interspersed with the games have Irish dances, stories and songs. Let Michael O’Toole, the bricklayer, and Mike McGinnis the policeman dance an Irish jig. The costumes and decorations can be mostly made of tissue and cheese cloth.


“Brown Eyes.” – The preparation you mention will ruin your complexion. There would be danger of burning the outer skin completely.


“Inquisitive.” – No. We do not approve of low-necked street dresses.


I have a little boy nine years of age who bites his finger nails, until now they are very short and look dreadful. – Mrs. A.J.

This habit is due to a nervous condition of the child. Give him plenty of fresh air, pure water, and nourishing food. Bathe him in tepid water every day, and rub his spine and back, especially the sixth dorsal, vigorously after the bath.

Let him romp and play in the open air as many hours during the day as he will, and sleep ten or twelve hours, if he is so inclined. If his school work trouble shim, have him remain at home, and note the change. Do not scold or whip him as that will increase his trouble. Rub a little bitter aloes on the tips of his fingers; or tie glove tips upon them.


Why does my sponge cake rise around the sides and sink in the middle? – Young Housewife.

If a very light cake is put in an oven that is too hot, it will rise rapidly at the sides and leave a hollow in the middle. An excess of sugar will also cause this. Or if a cake is made too light with eggs or baking powder, and the quantity of flour used be insufficient, it will drop in the center. Moving cakes in the oven before the mixture is properly set is another cause. If the oven door is slammed carelessly that may cause the cake to fall.


“Jennie.” – Yes, a waist of filmy black lace over white chiffon, would be very pretty for a girl of your age.


How should I acknowledge a wedding present received from my employers? – Rosetta.

Write a note to your employers, expressing deep gratitude and sincere thanks for the present received, mentioning it by name, and say something nice about it, as: “It is entirely in keeping with my furnishings,” or, “I have long wanted such an article, and am quite sure I will find it as useful as it is beautiful.” Also say that your husband is equally grateful, and sends his thanks with yours.


“Elsie.” – In several of our former issues, the subject of promiscuous kissing has been treated. We do not approve of it.



  1. Oh my goodness. There are some funny lines in this collection. “I will discuss your love affairs in personal letters…” “There are many ways of entertaining boy friends…” I suppose they emphasize a few changes in culture and language since 1915.

    Comment by Researcher — July 23, 2009 @ 7:25 am

  2. But nothing can be clearer than her austere “We do not approve of …”

    I love that!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 23, 2009 @ 8:21 am

  3. E.P. expected the editor to know if a stone was genuine or not through the mail? She must have more faith than I…

    And the editor must be partial to St. Patrick’s day, from the amount of time he (?) spent on the response.

    Comment by Clark — July 23, 2009 @ 9:39 am

  4. I like the writer’s tone of wise motherly concern. Who was writing this?

    Comment by S. Taylor — July 23, 2009 @ 9:50 am

  5. I couldn’t read the description of Nora’s outfit without wondering if she were French.

    I’m waiting for the answer to the question whether WD-40 is effective for removing ear wax.

    And, forget the details about E.P.’s stone. It’s the use of the subjunctive in the answer that deserves the praise!

    I would have spent time rubbing someone’s sixth dorsal, if only I knew where it was. Nobody I know came with labels.

    Finally, what other effects come from rubbing the “sixth dorsal,” besides stopping people from biting their nails?

    Comment by Mark B. — July 23, 2009 @ 9:56 am

  6. The writer was Catherine Hurst. I know nothing about her besides her name — about time I find out, isn’t it?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 23, 2009 @ 9:57 am

  7. Regarding the Valentine’s Day party: lunch after 10 pm? Was that a typo?

    Comment by FHL — July 23, 2009 @ 10:15 am

  8. “Oftener?”

    Comment by Chad Too — July 23, 2009 @ 10:35 am

  9. Mark, I shiver to contemplate the answer to some of your questions …

    FHL, no typo. From my oh-so-extensive experience (gained solely, I assure you, from reading piles upon piles of novels describing elegant Victorian social gatherings), I recognize that “lunch” or “supper” were the words they used for the light meal — refreshments, really, but they sat down at the dining table to eat it, no standing around in cocktail party fashion — served at parties or dances, which always came late at night, usually after midnight, (although Catherine doesn’t approve of such late parties here).

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 23, 2009 @ 10:56 am

  10. Thinking ahead to next year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, can anyone put me in touch with Michael O’Toole the bricklayer, and Mike McGinnis, the policeman?

    I’m also looking for this guy to ask the questions in the Q&A game. He’s vaguely Irish, I think.

    Comment by kevinf — July 23, 2009 @ 12:27 pm

  11. Actually, the person in question is about 1:10 into that clip. Warning: Monty Python Humor.

    Comment by kevinf — July 23, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

  12. Regarding St Patrick’s Day, what is the South American country containing the syllable “pat”? Did Patagonia used to be its own country?

    Comment by Kew — July 23, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

  13. Wow, I’m using that Valentines Day menu, it’s adorable.

    Correspondence courses then have some of the same issues as online courses now. I was fascinated that they pointed to good “brick and mortar” classrooms… In Illinois and Tennessee!

    Comment by jeans — July 23, 2009 @ 1:33 pm

  14. And shouldn’t she tell us just what ingredients would be corrosive to the skin since “Brown Eyes” might not be the only one contemplating their application??

    Comment by jeans — July 23, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

  15. Kew, I’m sure they’re thinking of Patagonia. They must be interpreting “country” very loosely.

    jeans, avoid battery acid and silver polish. Beyond that, you and your brown eyes are on your own.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 23, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

  16. I grew up chewing on my fingernails and I think I got a raw deal.

    Comment by queuno — July 23, 2009 @ 5:09 pm

  17. Having lived in Patagonia, I’ll testify to the fact that it is very much a separate “country”. Kind of like Appalachia is considered a separate country. Or even Texas.

    Comment by queuno — July 23, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

  18. Nobody massaged your sixth dorsal recently, queuno?

    Comment by Mark B. — July 23, 2009 @ 9:07 pm

  19. You jest, but little do you know how very, very important the sixth dorsal is, and not only to nail biting. Here’s a 1915 source that links the sixth dorsal to chills and fever, gout, diphtheria, chicken pox, typhus, eyelid trouble, kidney failure, hydrocephalus, and childbed fever.

    Forget germ theory — call a chiropractor.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 23, 2009 @ 9:19 pm

  20. The following games are quite amusing.

    To whom? Certainly not to people immersed in video games.

    Comment by Maurine — July 23, 2009 @ 9:50 pm

  21. You don’t strike me as a World of Warcraft player, Maurine — are you telling me you wouldn’t enjoy tossing corks into a basket??

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 23, 2009 @ 9:55 pm

  22. Last year I went to the Jack Daniels Distillery for a Tennessee barbeque. [So begins my reputation in the ‘nacle as a “heathen”.] It is in a dry county, so no samples. Anyway, one of the games was throwing whiskey barrel plugs (i. e. corks) into a basket. It was surprisingly fun. Add live music and good food and just about any game is fun. And I am no stranger to video games.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — July 23, 2009 @ 10:55 pm

  23. Seriously, there is sooo much good in this issue! Who knew Mormons loved the theme dates even way back when…

    And I agree, a black lace waist is always lovely (and timeless!) over white chiffon.

    Comment by Tracy M — July 23, 2009 @ 11:43 pm

  24. Nobody massaged your sixth dorsal recently, queuno?

    Umm… no.

    Comment by queuno — July 24, 2009 @ 12:01 am

  25. Bruce and Ardis. Actually, I am a nut with games and become very competitive. I just can’t see too many people today willing to play simple games like tossing the cork into a basket.

    Comment by Maurine — July 24, 2009 @ 1:56 am

  26. Well, we’ll put this on the schedule of the First Annual Keepapitchinin St. Patrick’s Day Bash (Bruce, your assignment is to bring barrel plugs) and start a party style of our own.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 24, 2009 @ 6:29 am

  27. “Inquisitive.” – No. We do not approve of low-necked street dresses.

    Once again. Sis. Hurst reminds me of myself speaking to my myriad daughters as they were growing up. Twenty years of raising teenagers — no wonder my beard is gray. ..bruce..

    Comment by bfwebster — July 24, 2009 @ 8:32 am

  28. How appropriate that Keepapitchinin would host a game involving tossing something.

    So long as it’s not cabers, or each other (stick pulling, or sumo), I’m game.

    Comment by Mark B. — July 24, 2009 @ 8:39 am

  29. Bruce Crow comments about throwing whiskey barrel plugs by saying, “It was surprisingly fun. Add live music and good food and just about any game is fun.”

    Except I think he meant to replace “good food” with “lots of alcohol.”

    Comment by Hunter — July 24, 2009 @ 9:40 am

  30. These are so fabulous.

    But the St. Pat’s party scares me a little–the costumes sound expensive to assemble. Or were we to assume a family had on hand knickerbocker pants, irish costumes, and a tall green hat and green vest, ruffled shirt, etc.?

    The irish maid costume sounds like a french maid costume with a green short skirt…made of paper.

    The sewing and shopping my kids and I do to outfit them for comics conventions is starting to look relatively light.

    Hunter seems to forget that every mormon should be able to bring a two-beer personality to a party, and therefore be able to enjoy throwing corks into a basket.

    Comment by Johnna — July 24, 2009 @ 10:17 am

  31. Thats right Johnna! Alcohol not required. That is not just for Mormons. The party I was at had nothing but Lemonade (for me) and Iced Tea. The crowd was predominantly made of “drinkers” but we had great fun without any alcohol. Moore County and the City of Lynchburg, allow NO alcohol sales. And you thought Utah was strict.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — July 24, 2009 @ 11:17 am

  32. I think I would really, really like to attend a Keepa’ party.

    Comment by Tracy M — July 24, 2009 @ 3:12 pm