Page:Our Philadelphia (Pennell, 1914).djvu/149

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129
TRANSITIONAL

the Park, by the Wissahickon, to Chestnut Hill, it was looked upon as no less unladylike on our part than the new generation's cigarette and demand for the vote on theirs. But if I did my duty, I was sadly bored by it. Often I turned homeward with that cruel aching of the heart the young know so well, longing for something, anything, to happen on the way to interrupt, to disorganize, to shatter to pieces the daily routine of life. I still shrink from the sharp pain of those cool, splendid October days when Philadelphia was aglow and quiveringly alive, and with every breath of the brisk air came the desire to be up and away and doing—but away where in Philadelphia?—doing what in Philadelphia? I still shrink from the sharp pain of the first langourous days of spring when every Philadelphia back-yard was full of perfume and every Philadelphia street a golden green avenue leading direct to happiness could I have found the way along its bewildering straightness.

If youth only knew! There was everywhere to go, everything to do, every happiness to claim. Philadelphia waited, the Promised Land of action and romance, had I not been hide-bound by Philadelphia conventions, absorbed in Philadelphia ideals, disdaining all others with the intolerance of my years. According to these conventions and ideals, there was but one adventure for the Philadelphia girl who had finished her education and arrived at the appointed age—the social adventure of coming out.