December 31, 2016

Victorian New Year's Eve Resolutions

Lenore and Archibald had enjoyed a busy day. They'd attended two balls and danced with exuberance every waltz and quadrille until they could dance no more. Cousin Myra and Aunt Minnie had finally departed after a month's visit and their little ones were tucked in for the night, leaving just the two of them to toast the New Year in. With champagne tickling their noses, they were quite content with the cozy arrangement.

"Dearest, I think 1840 was such a lovely year!" Lenore exclaimed. "We were finally invited to tea with the Vanderbilts and lawn tennis with the DuPonts."

Archibald tweaked his mustache. "Indeed, a brilliant coup. I'm certain the acquisition of our very smart brougham went a long way in elevating our social standing."

Lenore topped off their glasses. "I think we should decide upon our New Year's resolutions. Goals to better ourselves."

"I'll go first," Achibald offered. "I shall forgo my snuff. I think it considered very old fashioned these days. Don't you? Smoking is much preferred. They say it's healthy for the lungs, especially for asthma."

"A pipe?"

"Yes whenever I'm at home. Of course, I'll always ask leave of you to have a smoke. It is the gentlemanly thing to do."

"I'll sew you a fine velvet smoking jacket," Lenore sighed. "One with a satin collar. Or better yet, I'll buy you one on High Street. And slippers too."

"My darling girl, I think you are perfect in every way, so you need not rattle your brain over any resolutions."

"But I've already given this much deliberation. Now that our family is complete..."

"Complete?" Archibald bellowed. "I don't consider nine children the end of it. I'm one of a eleven and by God, I aim to match my father's efforts."

Lenore gave her best pout. "But darling, shall you have me completely worn out before I'm thirty-five?"

"Of course not, my sweetie, but ..."

"Back to my resolution for the year. I plan to tight-lace my corset to reach an enviable 15 inch waist. Dottie has achieved it and I aim to also."

"I've heard it on good authority that corsets constrict the organs."

"That is what smelling salts and a fainting couch are for," Lenore countered.

As the clock struck twelve, Archibald took his wife in his arms gave her a kiss that weakened any resolve she had of curtailing their family.

Lenore smiled contentedly. "Happy New Year's, my love."