February 23, 1944.
Your two letters of Feb. 16th reached me this morning and need I say how I enjoy receiving and reading mail from you. I, too, was surprised at the length of Phil's letter. What a guy!? I still don't like him.
You spoke of your dreams—if perhaps I should walk in the door of the hut, how you'd react? If I could tell you how many times I've thought and dreamed and planned something very similar in my mind, you'd never believe it. I thought of sneaking up behind you and covering your eyes with my hands and letting you guess who was there. I'm sure you’d know it was me, even if you couldn't believe I was actually there. No, I guess we never did take up much room in bed and wouldn't mind spending a night on that cot with you—the closer—the better. Right now I feel as if I could creep right inside you. Oh, Phil, my need of your presence is very great at this moment and I'm doing my best, or shall I say “next” to best by writing.
This morning, Adele’s face seemed clearer. I took her down, gave her breakfast (she ate very little‚ and brought her up again. I sat her on the toddy and let her watch me wash a few pieces. When I finished, I put her back in bed and preceded to dress. Mom walked in and started to make a fuss about Adele's face. Her face had gotten redder and blotchier and when I examined her body, I discovered it, too, was rashy. I couldn't believe my eyes, for a few minutes ago she had been perfectly clear. I called my mother and she said she wasn't positive it was measles as it is usually accompanied by running nose and eyes. I called Dr. Gayl and his diagnosis, German Measles! Yup! Christ, was I disgusted. For two weeks now, Adele has been ailing and I had hoped to get her out into the air, to say nothing of myself. She has to be kept in bed for at least a week to ten days in a darkened room (I have the blinds tightly drawn) and does not need specialized care. Just so she is kept in bed, warm, and away from drafts, she'll be alright. She can eat anything providing she wants it. She has to be kept busy playing or occupied with something and that's where the trouble comes in. She doesn't stay interested in anything for more than a few minutes at a time. She is pretty good considering all. Her face is sort of swollen, her eyes small and her skin reddish in spots. Her lips are chapped from the fever and a constant chewing of the lips. Babies chew their lips a lot when teething. I just recalled something. I know wearing Adele got these measles. From Gloria. How? I'll explain. Gloria was last here she had come from Ann’s and Arny had just come down with German Measles. A baby never gets anything unless transmitted by germs and that's how she got it. I remember, at the time, that I was frightened as Gloria had been playing with Adele and didn't tell us about Arny til the following day. It's contagious to a great degree, and the doc said I could go out, but to keep away from children and vice versa. I have to go to register this afternoon, or rather, to straighten out my registration. I'll be 22 and still haven't voted.
I had planned to go downtown today with Sarah as one of the stores is having a large clearance sale of sport coats and dresses. Oh, well, next time. Besides, I had thought I would have money over this month, but no such luck. Every month it is something else. I am being interrupted after each sentence to pick up Adele's rubber ball, which she keeps throwing on the floor and wants me to pick up. Guess she aims to keep me occupied, too. It works both ways.
I'm using the rose hamper as a desk and my vanity bench as a seat.
I had an argument with Harry this morning, or you might call it a debate. He says no one will go near his baby and I told him he was nuts. He doesn't think I should even let Sarah and Betty near her and I reminded him that while his kid may have the fatherly affection babies crave, my baby was doing without it and I would not deprive her of the love and adoration showered on her wholeheartedly by Sarah Petey, Betty and Lou. Frankly, I think he's jealous and if he isn't, he is nuts. I always said the same, but I'll be God darn if it can be practiced without stepping on everyone's toes. I used to think Goldie different and find she and Harry are perfectly mated. They both have screwy ideas about people. They don't like crowds, as we don't, but the tiniest things about people annoy both of them. Goldie doesn't feel very good about being in the same house with a contagious disease and I don't blame her a bit. There are plenty of things that annoy them, after all, who wants to put up with somebody else’s baby? However, I've put up with plenty, too (I won't go into details), and if I can take it, I don't see why they can't.
Harry’s pay after taxes plus 10% for bonds is deducted, is now approximately $33. Mom told me that she expects me to help them out now, (as if she had to tell me). Harry has been playing the ponies daily with Goldie's knowledge. Now, though, I doubt he'll be able to manage it.
I expect my big check on Mar. 1 and have told Mom that I will give her the whole $60 to clear our debt for once and for all. She wants me to pay it in small amounts monthly and save the large amount, but I can't see it. I'm tired of owing money and she'll have to take the full amount. Once that is paid we’ll be in the clear and I'm going to celebrate. It's about time! Yipee! Now we have an opportunity to save and know the money is ours. After paying Adele's policy (Mar. or Apr.) $54, we’ll be in the clear for the year. Do you mind if I shout “Yipee’ again? I guess not.
Betty doesn't think Adele got the measles through Glo. She says that a doc once told her that it is not passed indirectly. You must come in contact with the diseased person to catch it. I'm gettin’ all bawled up. I give up. You try to figure it out.
I registered and now (I'm wearing that word out) I can vote. I called Dot to tell her about Adele. She wasn't at her mothers and Naomi was telling me that Dot will put her bedroom set in storage, sell out to her mother-in-law and moved back to her mother.
Did I tell you Betty got a nice new job for an electrical house on South St. at $28 per five days from 9 to 5? Today they let her go at 3:45—they didn't have enough work for a whole day. They are swell to her and she is saving her entire salary.
Sarah went downtown and looked for a coat for me. The ones I had seen advertised were reduced from $40 to $15 and she said there wasn't a one left. They must have been good buys.
Adele is sleeping soundly, and I intend to do the same shortly. My mom is going to wash Adele’s larger things, sheets, blankets, etc. and I have to hang them. I don't have large washes since I trained Adele. She “does” in the potty and that saves panties. I usually have two pairs of panties to wash at the end of the day, a shirt, sleepers and whatever else she had been wearing during the day. Ruth gave Adele a little red pocketbook she had around the house. Adele calls it a “pobook.” Adele calls a drink of any sort a “wow-wow” due to the scotty dogs on her glass. This morning when she woke (6:30), she said “Momma—wow-wow.” Translated, “Momma—give me a drink.” Ain't it wonderful the way they make you understand and vice versa?
I think the worst part of the ailment is over. Once the rash comes out, the patient is on the road to recovery. Cmon’ sumpin!” It was lovely today and I think I'm getting spring fever a little ahead of time. Oh, mister, what I wouldn't do to you right this minute! Want to know what I do—well I’d—but no—that would be telling. I'm an awful tease—or am I? Today I was thinking of the “next one” and going through all this again and I must admit I was leery. I'm sure, though, that is mostly due to my lack of you, sweet. However, I'm positive that I won't be interested for a good many years. I want a good long earned rest before I do another thing.
Guess the Clare Pruett picture will have to wait, much as I hate to say it. By the way, what are you going to do with the proofs of Wolpe’s pictures? I suggest you keep the proofs and we let it go with that. I think the proofs are worth the $2 deposit I gave. Let's wait and see how Clare Pruett’s are.
Lou got me a new supply of air-mail envelopes and says he will be able to get them for me whenever I want them. It seems they are sending most of them overseas. Which reminds me—it's next to impossible to get Wrigley's chewing gum as most of it is going overseas, too.
Say, this is turning into a real longie. Getting better by the day—or haven't you noticed? I have to sit upstairs with Adele and can't sit idle. I'm glad of an opportunity to write to you and not have to rush.
I love you, baby mine, and miss you so keenly. And now for a long, tender kiss, Phil dear and a fond good-night
P.S. Mom lit a glass for “Pop” and wants to know if you said kadish.
February 23, 1944
No sooner had I finished typing yesterday's “longie” to you than the mail came in—and the Mail Orderly started throwing letters at me. They were yours of the 6th and 8th Feb., Seymour’s of the 7th, Jack S’s of the 26th Jan., and your Valentine (So you just had to spend that 10₵ after all!) But that's not all. This afternoon while I was in the process of transcribing the payroll, the mail came in again, and again I was deluged with letters. This time it was yours of the 10th and 11th Feb. and Jack P.’s and Ruthie's of the 7th. Which gives me a total of eight letters to answer and five correspondents to “get even” with—Not that I'm complaining, Sweet—far from it. I was merely pointing out the difficulty when mail arrives in bunches like that. It was swell of the “kids” (if I may call them that) to get together and write the nice long letters they did. Ruthie, especially, is a most prolific writer and I just can't keep up with her. However, I'm highly flattered and deeply grateful that they took time out from their busy lives for the sake of writing “brother” Phil (as they like to have it.) Well, Chippie, you have all seen to it that I have a prodigious lot of writing to do, so I better start right in and fulfill my obligations. Believe me, Ev, I can't think of a more satisfying way to spend an evening. I’ll leaf through your four recently arrived letters and write as they move me. Excuse me for a moment while I get the file. I have yours of the 6th in front of me, and a nice, long, intimate letter it is. You tell all about Adele's first trip to Uncle Nish and how you think we ought to get a car when I get home, and how you gave my three suits to your father (good riddance—and tell him to wear them well) and how you especially miss me on Sundays—(Sunday? What's that?), and a few other items that require no comment, except that I enjoyed knowing everything. I admire your preoccupation with the most commonplace details, Chippie. It's that gift that makes me forever eager for your next letter. I have no patience for that type of writing myself, but I love to read a letter in that vein, especially when it's all about you and all my loved ones. But then, there are darn few things that I ever liked that you didn't make it your business to cater to—and you know so well, my likes and dislikes, my darling. Your letter of the 8th starts right off with a bang! I mean your revelation that Richie is now in England. I have a hunch I'll be hearing from him shortly. If not, I'll contact him. Then you go on to say that Dot, Snuff and Harold were to spend that Sunday with you and Adele and how funny the “kids” are when they get together (bet you all had a swell time), and that you received V-mail from brother Jack, and that your mom finally got my letter (you're entirely welcome to the compliment, I'm sure)—and that you're happy to know that “Red is back with the Company.” All in one paragraph—mind you. In the next paragraph you inform me that you have been shopping for a coat (typical reaction of the typical spouse—What—again!?) but I guess you know—I’m a very untypical spouse, I'm a very untypical spouse, so I merely inquire—what kinda coat? Without meaning to discourage you in any way, I feel moved to request that you hold off with that for a while. I have a yen to shop with you for that particular item—and I wouldn't suggest that you wait if I didn't know you have a serviceable coat for any season or any contingency. The remainder of that particular letter is a minute, homey, and altogether endearing account of “your day.” I was particularly impressed with the ingenious way you bathe the punkin, and you paint a very lovely picture of the scene for me to visualize, but one thing made me wonder? Isn't it hard on your knees, Ev?
In reading over your letter of the 10th, I I note a few instances where comment is called for. First, about birthday and anniversary gifts. I hardly know how to say it, Sweet, but the fact is, I don't see how I'm going to manage either. I remember asking you what you would like, but fool that I am, I neglected to put aside some money for that purpose and now I find myself in the unenviable position of “Indian-giver.” I won't be so presumptuous as to ask forgiveness—I don't feel I deserve it, but, if it's any consolation to you, I want you to know that my reneging in this instance, unintentional as it was, is as humiliating for me, as it must be disappointing for you. The fact that it is impractical for me to buy your gifts here in England does not alter the fact that I could have withheld some of that last check I sent you and sent it off separately as your birthday present, but aside from the “sentimental” angle, there is no difference, really, and you have suffered no material loss through my dereliction, but knowing the importance you place by such things, I feel I have failed you. I am very sorry, Baby, believe me. You may be wondering what’s to prevent me from sending you the gift out of February's pay. The sad truth is—I'm not only broke—I'm in debt, and it'll take the major part of my pay to settle. I'm not only broke, I'm in debt and it'll take the major part of my pay to settle those debts. What hurts most of all is my inability to send you the customary monthly check. Those $19 I left myself at the beginning of the month disappeared in two nights of cards. Then, I was forced to borrow in order to keep my date with Ed on the 5th. When Ed couldn't make it, he set a new date: the 17th, and rather than disappoint him, I made another loan. Don't for a minute, Chippie, think that I consider the money ill spent. Under the same circumstances—I’d do it again. But the unpleasant fact remains—I'm strapped, broke, flat, and busted. In short, I don't have any money, nor will I have until the end of March. Please don't be angry with me, Ev, ’cause it really couldn't be helped. In the final analysis, perhaps it's all for the best, 'cause I didn't especially care for the idea of your buying those zircons or that aqua suit without me. I don't mind it when you buy “essentials” such as the gray suit, or if you take advantage of opportunities of the moment, as you did when you bought the fur coat, and if you should buy those much needed dresses, I'd be delighted, but those items which you don't need now are not missed in the waiting, so please hold off with them until I am in a position to help you in your selection. Don't deprive me of the fun I always had when we went shopping for your clothes. I'll be more than grateful if you accede to my wishes in this matter, darling.
I'm glad you finally thought to inform me about the heater. Glad, too, that it's giving such excellent service.
Everyone seems to be happy at the prospect of seeing Dad in a new job—and none more so than me. Hope it's not a “false alarm” like those other “prospects.”
The first paragraph of your latest letter—11th Feb., hits a particularly sore spot. You ask for a “stripe” as an anniversary gift from me to you. Sorry, Sweetheart, but you should have asked for something within reason—like the moon, for instance. You see, Baby, we are plagued with a pesky thing known to all G.I.’s as the “T/O.” Well, according to that, and it's immutable, your loving husband has all the stripes that are coming to him. I think, as you probably do, that it is a pity that so rigid a check is put on a man's initiative (which is essentially a flexible quantity), but there it is and I see no point in batting my head against the “T/O.” So, just as I have, so will you have to become resigned to the fact that that I am at the very top of my particular little ladder.
The second paragraph expresses your gratification that “her majesty” has reached the point where she prefers to do her a-b-l-u-t-i-o-n-s in the bathroom rather than in her bed—as formerly”—(and what the devil do you think ablutions imply, besides washing?) I'm sure she never washed in bed in her most unthinking moments!
You seem concerned, Chippie, with our income tax form (at least, I gather you have such a form). Since we are filing a joint return (or are we?), I see no reason why you can't fill it out. If you have no patience with it, just send it along to me and I'll take a crack at it. If I fail to solve the puzzle, I'll put the pesky thing where no one will be bothered with it. Besides, we need paper to start the fire with. In answering the “allotment form” for Mom, I can only say that if your figures confused the interested parties nearly as much as they did me, then you have nothing to worry about, 'cause they'll probably give it up as a bad job and toss it in the nearest waste-basket, and Mom will continue to receive her allotment as heretofore.
The closing paragraph of your letter was especially gratifying for me, for it revealed that you do have an appreciation for the future compensations our long separation will have for us both I'm glad your mind is mature enough to grasp the fact that our whole future together will be influenced by our knowledge that separation is an unnatural and depressing state for us. We will have learned that our happiness is only to be found in each other, and we shall therefore look for it there, thus ensuring a basic need of one for the other—the requisite for a real union and a happy one. I, for one, think the loneliness and heartache and discomfiture engendered by our separation will be amply compensated by a heightened appreciation of each other and home and security for the rest of our lives. I know you will agree, darling, you already have—in essence. A good-night kiss for each of my adored “Chippies”—my love to all.