June 28, 1943
I know I just wrote you, but without waiting for an answer I’ll sort of prepare you for a surprise you might receive this week, so if you receive a telegram saying I’m married, you won’t be too shocked. At any rate, if I don’t get married, I’ll be engaged so it’s the same idea almost; I’m in love and I’ve found my man, to use the language of the proletariat.
Golly, I wish you could know Joe before he leaves. He is leaving this Saturday for L.A. and New York and then for points unknown. About all we know so far is that he is going to train Chinese troops. Whether he’ll go to India or China I don’t know, but I hope it’s India where he’ll be much safer.
I’ve told him all about you, and, darn it, he seemed too interested! You sound too exciting and unconventional when I describe you, so if you don’t mind, I’m going to talk about myself to him from now on. Besides, he doesn’t think you’re too old for him.
If you only knew how tender he is. He’s really quite a sentimental guy, but is always trying hard to hide his sentimentality. Yesterday we went over to see some friends of his who were sort of giving a little farewell party for him. Some University professors and their wives were there and it was quite nice. Karl [Aschenbrenner], his friend, is such a fine fellow and he has an adorable little girl of about 20 months. She was scrambling all over Joe and he looked so paternal and proud that she was paying attention to him
You’d probably think that I was prejudiced if I told you that he is very honest and kind. He has never misled me in any way, has never said anything and not meant it, that’s why I’m so happy at last when he tells me he loves me because I know he’s sincere.
You know, I’ve come to believe that happiness isn’t something that wracks your being; that it’s not an intense feeling of joy or an intense feeling of any kind. It’s just peace, rest from worry, desire, hope, sorrow, emotionalism of any kind. That is the way I feel now, peaceful. We’ve found a basis for security in each other. I didn’t know it, but I’ve been looking for something to lean on, or rather something that will always be there, that I can draw my strength from merely by knowing that it is there. Yes, we might be separated for years, but I’ll explain why I’m not bitter about it.
As yet, Mother, I’m undeveloped and I must develop myself. If he were here, I might lean on him too much, it would be so easy. I consider marriage between two people should be like two rivers, each springing from its own source, fighting its own way, making its own bed and eventually mingling in a common sea. Too many marriages can be compared to a river and a stream, wherein the stream flows into the river too soon and loses itself.
You know, I’ve forgotten how to cook, I haven’t been near a stove for so long. When he asked me to marry him, he said, “But if only you could cook!” I let him cook all the meals and wash the dishes, poor thing. I have a feeling, though, that he wouldn’t be particularly interested in doing that for the rest of our life together, so I must learn how to cook. We have been having sort of a trial marriage this last week and a half and it has worked out very well. I know you won’t feel unhappy about it because it has meant so much to both of us. Well, I’ll permit you a few sentimental tears, as long as you give me your blessing.
I’ll let you know immediately if I get married!
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TDJD BERKELEY CALIF AUGUST 10/43
MILDRED L SHADBOLT
NEVER MIND MONEY AM LEAVING THURSDAY FOR PENNSYLVANIA MARRYING JOE LOVE