A Letter to Three Wives

Papa'd just get through
paying for the thresher...

in time to start paying
on the new separator.

Till I was 13, a bus took me three miles
that way to grammar school.

Till I was 17, another bus took me
11 miles that way to high school.

And after that, I stayed home.
Till one day I took a bus
58 miles that way...

to join the navy
and see the worid.

And meet Brad "Bripaship."
Fall in love
and marry Brad "Bripaship."

Why not?
"Why not?" I said to myself. I was quite a girl
in the navy. Head of my class. Hooray for me.

And pretty cute in that uniform.
That uniform...
it's the great "leveleller."

You couldn't tell me
from Vassar or Smith or Long Island.

That was the girl in the picture on the piano.
That isn't me. This is me.

What do you people talk about?
Years of growing up together. Thousands
of first names and private memories.

How do I fit in? Running a house,
making friends, filling the day.

Mrs. Bradbury Bishop.
"What's she like?"

"Fun to be with, smart as a whip,
pretty too.

No wonder Brad Bishop married her,
the lucky stiff."

Rita, look at me.
Look at my mail-order dress...

that's four years old
and awful even then.

What am I gonna do?
As if that really mattered.
You must think we're
an awful bunch of snobs.

Aren't you underestimating us
a little bit and Brad even more?

You know, it's just possible
he knew what he wanted and you had it.

And if you had it, you still got it.
I can't hear you. Sit up.
I said, "Thank you
for the kind words."

You're welcome.
Now, about the dress.

- Haven't you anything else?
- Only uniforms.

Oh. Well, stand up.
- The flowers must go.
- Flowers must go.

Have you any scissors?