Thursday, November 4, 2021

Post #441 - August 20, 1944 You Must Grant, Sweet, that Times and Ideas and Prejudices Have Changed

20 August 1944

My Darling,

After another busy day, and a couple hours at the "cinema", where I saw "Footlight Serenade” I am all set to answer yours of the 6th, 8th and 9th. The picture was a lively musical that would have been only fair entertainment if it were not for the presence of the scintillating Betty Grable. She sings, dances and mugs to please the most fastidious male. Just looking at those gams of hers made me intolerably homesick (do you follow me, Chippie?) - And now - to your letters:

Your V-mail of the 6th informed me that Petey has made more snapshots of Adele, that the lass is eating without assistance and is learning table manners - that your dad is painting the porch of 4920, and that you had difficulty sleeping for thoughts of “us". All very interesting, dearest - especially that last item. It made me wonder if you were remembering specific incidents having to do with "us", or whether it was just a general and vague picture in your mind. I'd very much like to know, Sweet, which incidents particularly stand out in your memory and what details contributed to making a lasting impression - and, if possible, why. Since my greatest ambition and joy in life is to please you, I think you will find it to your future advantage to enlighten me. (Remember honey, your letters aren't censored!) Some day I’ll tell you what I recalled when reviewing in my own mind the "adventures" of "us". More important, now that I think of it, is that you tell me what things in this connection displeased or annoyed you. I am just discerning enough to admit of the possibility that there were such that you may have kept to yourself for fear of wounding my sensibilities. Now, while I am far away from you is the time to air all your little grievances, and thus preclude their repetition. Because I am more than eager to remedy any deficiencies on my part in this respect, you must understand, darling, that I would welcome criticism. Can I count on you to be entirely frank and honest in your reply?

You also confess that you are growing more optimistic about seeing me soon. I’m not surprised, what with things going as they are—and all. God grant your grounds for optimism are justified, Ev, dearest.

The opening sentence of your letter of 8 Aug. tickled me. You admit that “although I had time to write last night, I was definitely not in the mood and decided to skip the one day". You don't understand why this should "tickle me? Well, Chippie, lend me an ear while I explain. In the first place, I much prefer an open, forthright reason such as the above to some lame, half-baked excuse for not writing. I can understand and forgive an indisposition for writing, but would not want you to cudgel your brains for an acceptable excuse when the plain fact is that you are “not in the mood". Secondly, (and this amused me) it was a sentence very like this one, that I once had the temerity to use, that aroused you to instant indignation. Your answer, in effect, was something like this: ("Suppose I didn’t write just because I wasn't in the mood? Many's the night I was just too tired—had to force myself, etc., etc.”) What? You still don't get the point? Oh well, I might have expected as much. I'm afraid the inconsistencies of your sex are funny only to the members of mine. O.K.-O.K.! You don't have to get mad about it.—I was merely pointing out—Oh, nuts! Let’s just skip the whole thing, shall we, dear?

Frankly, Sweet, I was amazed at your reaction to Jack's announcement of his virtual engagement. At most, I thought you might be disappointed in his choice of a girl not of his faith, but I certainly never expected that you'd be "terribly disgusted" with him for it. You play with the idea of writing to tell him "what I think". I earnestly hope, Baby, that you decided against it. Don't you see that you couldn't possibly alter the situation by anything you might say? On the other hand Jack, expecting nothing less than your felicitations, on receiving such a letter from you, would be very much hurt and would, justifiably, resent your presumption in deigning to judge him and to condemn his action. I pray you re-considered, Sweet. I won’t argue with you for your convictions on this score because, although I disagree most strongly, I respect your right to your own opinion. My view is that if they truly love each other, in spite of their differences in religion, then, to my way of thinking, they have every chance of happiness in each other. You must grant, Sweet, that times and ideas and prejudices have changed, and I maintain that in the free-thinking, liberal-thinking world of today a “mixed” marriage is no longer an insuperable obstacle to a happy union. In any case, where there is any room for doubt, I think you owe it to Jackie to give him the benefit of it. As for me, I'm all for him. If he really loves Marilyn as he claims—that is good enough for me, and I'm sending my blessing as soon as t can find the time.

In response to my recent remarks as to our “post war plans" you say only that "I think you'll find me most receptive to any ideas you may have.” That's all very nice, Baby, but don’t you have any ideas of your own?

I think you did the right thing in inviting Mike and Francis to visit you, rather than vice versa. Please ask Mike to forgive my tardiness in answering him, and explain that I have still to find a spare hour or two to write his letter.

Glad to hear that the PTC strike has finally been settled. I'm fed up with the rotten politics and intolerance of Philadelphia, and I’ll be very happy if we can find our livelihood someplace else. I'never could abide either of these, and especially not now! Some people and their prejudices make me sick, and the recent trouble in Philly reminded me how much I used to detest the officialdom there. Just looking at the City Hall and contemplating what went on inside used to be enough to fill me with anger and revulsion. If the majority of Philadelphians are content to keep on the same gang year after year, I certainly am not!

Glad you thought my “poem" of 30 July "clever,” Sweet. As long as I can keep on fooling you into thinking I’m a pretty bright guy, I don't care if everyone else thinks I’m anything but.—So much for your letter of the 8th.

The one of the 9th was particularly welcome because it contained the money orders. I'm sending in the forms today, Sweet, and again - thanks a million!

I can well imagine how happy Betty and her mother must be, now that their soldier is home from the wars after 26 months overseas. My heartiest congratulations to them all. 

You remembered to tell me that you were wearing your red and white print silk, and asked if I remembered it. What a question!?? Just to prove to you how well I remember it—that's the dress that you usually saved for special occasions—the one you invariably wore on our infrequent “dates,” and the one that was uncomfortable because the "blouse” top was too tight. I remember you used to sigh your relief on taking it off. Speaking of dresses, honey (and I could go on like this for hours) whatever became of that cute little “peasant" dress with the colorful skirt and gauzy blouse that you bought a few weeks before I left. I loved it on you, but have yet to hear that you wore it this past summer.

You concluded this particular letter ’cause you were "starved" and wanted to get at your supper. Your assertion that you'd “like nothing better than to eat you for dinner" made me wonder if you intended to dispose of me in one sitting (is that the wrong verb?), or whether you'd save perhaps a leg or an arm for a snack before retiring. But aren't you afraid, Sweet, that I’d give you a terrible case of indigestion? Which all inspires me to remark that:

No happier fate 
Can I review 
Than, my sweet,
To be “et” by you! 


Of all delights 
From "A” to "Izzard"
I’d give up all
to grace your gizzard!

or— (but why go on—you get the idea.)

[This space reserved to say again—I adore you, my Evvie. I am 
Your Phil]

No comments:

Post a Comment