Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Eleanor Roosevelt and the Toiletful of Gladiolas

"A dozen years ago, Mrs. Roosevelt asked me to come see her at Hyde Park. I drove down to Val-Kill cottage from where I lived on the Hudson. With some difficulty, I found the house. The front door was open. I went inside. 'Anybody home?' No answer. I opened the nearest door. A bathroom. To my horror, there in front of the toilet bowl stood Eleanor Roosevelt. She gave a startled squeak. 'Oh dear!' Then, resignedly, 'Well, now you know everything. And she stepped aside, revealing a dozen gladiolas she had been arranging in the toilet bowl. 'It does keep them fresh.' So began our political and personal acquaintance."
- Gore Vidal, "Eleanor Roosevelt," 1971, reprinted in Sexually Speaking: Collected Sex Writings by Gore Vidal
I don't get it.

Couldn't she have found a vase somewhere to arrange her gladiolas in?

Where did the Roosevelts go to use the toilet if their toilet was always full of gladiolas?
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