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Diva of domestic humor offers a few pointers

Peg Bracken on children's birthday parties:

• 'The important thing to remember is this: You are giving the party for the children, not for their mamas. That's why you needn't clean the house before they come.'

• 'The most important thing to serve at a children's party is a kind look and an ice cream cone.'

• 'Volunteering to bring the children home is the shrewdest move of your life É because it enables you to end the party.'

From 'The I Hate to Cook Book,' 1960

Bracken on looking good:

'I've noticed something: If you conscientiously prepare and apply your face as the beauty people tell you to do É you spend 900 percent more time at it than usual, but you only look 6 percent better. This seems to me to be a poor return on the investment. So my tendency is to do the minimum, most of the time, and only rarely make the old hundred dollar try.'

From 'The I Hate to Housekeep Book,' 1962

Bracken on things she considers sins:

• 'Not saying, 'I don't agree with you,' and why, when it's a matter worth taking a stand on, unless it's some jackass who wouldn't understand you if you talked all night.'

• Automatically voting a straight ticket.

From 'I Didn't Come Here to Argue,' 1969