19th Birthday and Almost an Old Maid

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, March 21, 1914:  It doesn’t seem to me that this day is long in coming. Time was, when I wanted it to come, now I don’t. Am afraid it may come some day and find me an old maid.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Don’t stress. Nineteen is not old, and I can see in my crystal ball that you aren’t going to be an old maid—though you are going to need to wait another 7 years to get married.

16 Responses

  1. I think 26 was considered an old maid at that time :-).

  2. Things have slightly changed since your Grandma’s 19th birthday. :) A nineteen year-old today is not considered an “old-maid” and actually just approaching adulthood and really still in her teens.

  3. Happy Birthday, Grandma! (If she could know that her marriage was still 7 years away, she may be a bit depressed…!)

  4. How hard it must have been, given the attitudes of the day…How old was Grandma’s sister when she married? Can’t imagine the pressure.
    I hope tomorrow’s entry shows a much happier girl!

  5. Poor Helena worrying about being an old maid! There were simply not enough options for a young woman in those days.

  6. Sheryl thanks for that crystal ball look. My own Grandmother was married in her late twenties and I believe this was very old for a bride in the day.

  7. Clearly, something good happened 7 yrs later. Happy Birthday.

  8. Happy Birthday Helena! Yes 19 means you’ll be 20 next year and no longer a teen. I remember that feeling old to me. 29 was my hardest ever birthday. I cried and cried and cried!
    Diana xo

  9. Many things never change; teenage girls worrying about getting old, being popular and looking beautiful.

  10. Many young women feel that way about boyfriends, if not marriage, today. As if it will never happen.

  11. My grandmother was considered an old maid (late 20s) when she married my widowed grandfather with three children.

  12. I was an old maid, too, Helena! It turned out great for me and it will for you, too!

  13. Happy Birthday, Helena. I understand your distress.

  14. Times definitely have changed. I would cringe at someone 19 getting married today. 26 may have been old back then, it certainly is just right today. She was a woman ahead of her time. I wonder at her feelings about being an old maid with all the posts referencing a mystery boy.

  15. Wow another 7 years before she was married. That is interesting since she thinks 19 is an old maid.

  16. I first got married at 27 and I was the last of all my friends. In fact, a couple of my friends had married and divorced already. So I know how your grandma felt.

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