January 7, 1944.
Today your letters of Dec.17, 18 arrived. Yesterday, I received those of Dec. 22, 25. That's the mails for you. Both letters warmed my heart, Phil dear, and I can now really enjoy the fur coat as long as I know you like it. I see that you took advantage of my “go” signal. $8 for 20 minutes—not bad at all. I'm more than interested in any plan that would set you on a literary career after demobilization. I'm not that interested in Royal Dalton, but when Mrs. Cohen mentioned it, I thought it was most English and I wanted something like that as a remembrance. I can wait till you come “home.” Gee, the very words sound so delicious, baby. You bawled me out for not answering your questions. I think you will find them all answered in my previous letters. Don't forget, sweet, that I don't get your mail by consecutive dates and that sort of throws our correspondence off.
Last night I was plain written out and mailed off no more than 9 letters. Later I went to the tailor, took out my beige dress coat, my blue and beige sailor wools ($3.70), and stopped over to show Fay your picture. She thought it handsome. Then I came home, went next door and Sarah and Betty showed me how to make a fascinator. (where the devil did I ever get the other spelling). I started Ethel's dusty pink fascinator. I landed in bed about 11. Incidentally, I don't know my weight. I haven't weighed myself for quite some time, but will do so shortly. I feel fairly good. I'm usually too tired to feel anything. Adele hasn't been a good sleeper and I invariably get up several times during the night. Last night, however, she slept straight through and I got plenty of much needed rest. I've been doing all my own wash as my mom doesn't have time. About twice a month, she does my large pieces, such as blankets, sheets and towels. I wash every day so it won't accumulate.
Adele points to eyes, nose, ears, mouth when asked. She likes to use a powder puff. This afternoon, while drinking her milk (she can drink almost the whole glass without a break when she feels like drinking) she choked a bit and Mom told her to lift her hands over her head to ease it. She did. I like when she walks over to the couch and lays her head on it.
Mickey Wyman is coming over for dinner this evening. Mom ordered three pairs of rubber panties from Freda Harris for Adele's birthday and she (Mickey) is bringing them tonight. Mickey is doing alright these days. She received several raises and gets two bonuses a year, besides getting many passes to the top-flight movies.
Enclosed is something Mickey gave me that I thought you'd enjoy. Don't look at the answer til you read it. Your panties are very nice and I only hope they wear well.
Most people object to the sideburns in your picture, mainly Mickey, Sarah, and Betty. I still like them and everything that goes with them. This afternoon I took the picture out of my bag and put it on the mantel. Adele was watching me and when she saw it, she yelled “da-da” and wouldn’t keep still til I gave her the picture. She kissed it, gave it back to me and motioned that I replace it on the mantle. She sure does love you, daddy! It's proof that she misses you. Babies need lots of loving—the more of the better and she could stand some fatherly love.
I have to sign off to make the last mail, my darling and can only say, in closing, that I adore you, I love you and I miss you so much. G’night honey
January 7, 1944
My Own Darling,
Today was the kind of day I often wished for, but seldom realized. All your “back-mail” came in in one batch together with a clever, intimate seven pager from Jack N. Your letters were so infinitely tender and endearing that I could have and would have kissed the fingers that wrote them. Too, I was really and truly amazed at your vastly increased talent for writing. Your thoughts have been beautiful and tender and altogether gratifying—always, but seldom have they been couched in such interesting prose or perfect grammar. If I seem to attach any undue emphasis to that latter accomplishment, put it down to my inherent instinct for proofreading. All the same, all these factors combined to instill in me a glow of pride for the literary sufficiency of my Chippie. Regardless of the indifference with which most people treat words and phrases, to me, the ability to turn a phrase neatly or to register a thought deftly is an accomplishment to be admired. Frankly, I always thought the quality you exhibited in this last batch of mail was a little beyond you. I was so sure that I knew the extent of your capabilities that your current writings were in the nature of a revelation to me. I could hardly believe my eyes as I read. Darling, keep surprising me that way—I love it—and I love you all the more for it. I think I said in yesterday's v-mail that you are unpredictable—now I can only add “and how!” By now you are probably very curious as to the letters I am commending your for. Well, there are the three typed ones of 13, 16, 19 of Dec. and the two v-mail of the 22nd and 23rd. Whenever I receive a batch such as this, I invariably read them in the order of their dates. Thus, the first one I opened and read was that of the 13th.
The very first paragraph (apologizing for calling me to task on my “drinking”) was a masterpiece of contrition, and the ineffably sweet manner in which you expressed your penitence filled me with a tenderness that was multiplied many times by the soul-stirring confession contained in the second paragraph (about your change of attitude in regard to more children). By the time I had finished reading the first half of the first page of the first letter, I was in an exalted state that I could never begin to describe. Nor did my exultation diminish as I read through letter after lovely letter. Quite the opposite! There is such a wealth of feeling imprisoned in those words that I shall treasure them forevermore. It would be sheer folly for me to attempt to reciprocate in writing. Hell—it would take three or more pages of this scribble to tell you what one mere sentence of yours inspires in me. Would that I could write with the speed of thought, ’cause I'd like nothing better than to convey to you my feelings in all their boundless depth and infinite scope. But, where you are blessed with the gift for brevity and unadorned presentation of thought and feeling, I am cursed with the unquenchable need for probing with words for the ultimate dregs of a subject. (Note the long drawn-out treatise on a subject that you could have exhausted with a few well-chosen sentences.) A few words that must be said in regards to the above-mentioned two paragraphs: (1) Never, never apologize to me on any score. Most especially, never do so when I am in no position (physically) to demonstrate the extent of my forgiveness. You make me feel a brute for scolding you, and it's almost unfair of you to take advantage of my inability to atone actively for doing so. After all, what price disagreement if sweet redress doesn't follow? (2) Your noble gesture and assuring me that you have dissolved your scruples against future adventures in child-bearing is, by far, the greatest tribute you could ever pay me, and I want you to know that I appreciate the tribute in all its ramifications. If I could love you for nothing else, I would love me for that alone. If you only realized it, in that one paragraph, you implied the full extent of your love for me and insinuated the full measure of your willingness for self-sacrifice in the name of that love. Right now, my adored Chippie, I am filled with a great pride both for myself and for you. I am a success at the most important business in life. I have gained an honor and prestige that many “successful” millionaires would give their all to attain. I am beloved, beyond question of a doubt, by the woman I love. To my mind, this is the prime and the ultimate success. I am proud, sweet wife and humbly grateful. I hope to prove worthy. But, if you noticed, I referred to your admitted “willingness” as a “noble gesture,” and I used the term advisedly, and I am not, at this time, prepared to reconsider the truth of the term. Admittedly, your change of heart was entirely inspired by your desire to be fair to me. I repeat a noble gesture, but since your turn-about didn't and doesn't and possibly, never will reflect your own wishes, it remains “beau geste,” don't you see? And as long as I know that your professions of willingness can be called just that, I will do nothing whatever in the matter. I promised you, it seems yesterday, that our next baby will be wanted by you, and I am more determined today than I was then, to keep that promise. But trust me to realize that “beau geste” in this instance, is more gloriously edifying to my very normal male ego than actual desire for child in you could possibly be.
It seems that I've unwittingly demonstrated the truth of my statement: that it takes me pages to respond to one of your sentences. Forgive me if I bored you, Darling. More tomorrow (but more general, I promise).
Your Phil adores you.