When we talk of a woman being “house-proud” we do not mean that she is a good wife, a good housewife, or that her house is well appointed, but that the material contents of her house are an object of pride and devotion to her. They really appear to supply her with something worth living for.
It is a sentiment to which I am wholly a stranger. However much I might love the pretty things of a house and be proud to display them to admiring or envious friends, no inanimate furniture could keep alive my interest in life for half a day….The house-proud woman is not so common as the woman whose household goods occupy but an inferior place in her affections. She takes a reasonable interest in them, and she holds it a duty to keep them in order, and up to a certain standard of appearance.
In spring time she goes further and for a few weeks her eyes are opened to the defects of her carpets, curtains, blinds. It is a real pleasure for a few weeks to have everything put on its freshest cleanest face. It adds to the pleasure if one can afford a few pounds to renew what is shabby. But then the practical daily duties claim us imperiously.
Everything is cleaner, and not less comfortable. We are contented although our house is not a palace of art. We find the downy chickens infinitely more interesting than the most artistic furniture — at least some of us do.