It’s awkward enough reading and writing about Babu’s desires for Jakey and how she fights to resist temptation:
Saturday, April 20th, 1940
Peaches and I went for a ride. It didn’t last long cause we drove into our stall and almost drove ourselves to destruction.
But some things are even more awkward than that. As you already read, or as you are welcome to read, click on this link!, things have gotten a little rocky with Babu and Jakey. This is due in part, I’m guessing, to the fact that Jakey told her he didn’t know if he loved her and in part due to Jakey potentially seeing Babu dancing and having a good time with another boy. Things get a little dark for a while:
Tuesday, April 23rd, 1940
We visited Shankie’s after meeting and left to call for Jakey’s parents at the Hudzikiewicz girl’s wedding. We were asked in and talked with Jake’s bridesmaid. Jake had quite a bit to drink and insisted on going parking at the foot of Bonneville Ave. We had a tough time. He said he was making a sap of himself and I was laughing at him. I started to cry and he went so fast that Billy wanted to get out. Parted friends.
OK, please ignore the fact that Billy was there while they were parking. I’m sure there is something there and I’m not understanding. What I do understand from this passage is that something really angered Jake. For days, despite the fact that they see each other often and go out together, they are still fighting and cold and emotional.
Friday, April 26th, 1940
He was very quiet and not at all affectionate. He tried to kiss me goodnight but I evaded his lips. Did yield for one, finally, but we parted wondering how things stood.
Wednesday, May 1st, 1940
Was it only yesterday that Peaches and I went through another procedure with me crying, etc. He stated we should get married but we wouldn’t work it out because of lack of funds.
I don’t think it’s lack of funds that has Babu hesitant.
Wednesday, May 8th, 1940
Today was funny. I made up my mind I wouldn’t go to the shower for Vincent Hedzidrewicz and his girl. Jake called me up at the office. I said no. He called at the house. I said no. He called later and I said no. I didn’t want to cramp his style. In between the times I saw him he kissed me too. I stayed with Nellie after rehearsal. He brought his mother home and I stayed in the car knowing he was in a hurry to get his bridesmaid home. Finally, I thought I had aggravated him enough and started to leave and he caught me back and kissed me. Wonder if he’ll do the same to her?
You see, what is going on here is some plain old jelousy. Jake is standing up for someone at a wedding and Babu is jealous of the girl paired with him for the wedding. Granted, he will be walking down the isle with another girl!
Thursday, May 9th, 1940
I spent a miserable night last night waiting for Peaches to get home. I tried not to think about it but couldn’t help myself. Finally dropped off to sleep around 3. And today I just about got through. Felt like dying. I guess I love him too much. He called to take a driving lesson tonight and afterwards we parked for a while. It was wonderful. He came home very late last night. He and the girl talked. He laid stress on the word.
And with this, the fighting between them calms for a while. Commence the usual back, forth, upside down and sideways way love always makes us feel.
Friday, May 10th, 1940
Really, I think something is wrong with me. My heart beats so loudly, I feel it is too big for my body. Sometimes separation from him is unbearable and being with him is unbearable in a way.
Wednesday, May 29th, 1940
Jakey doesn’t know if he loves me and is afraid of marriage. I feel the same way but I don’t think I’d like to be without him.
None of this makes me uncomfortable. These are two kids who think they don’t know if they love one another. I believe they do and they know it, but then rushes in the fear of putting their trust and life and future in the hands of someone who can leave their heart so vulnerable. That got quite a bit sappy but I neither take back nor change a word of it!
This next part was a bit hard to read, and I was left with some slightly uncomfortable questions. Would Jake truly be a good husband? A trustworthy one? Would he cheat? Would he do right by his Emily?
I am going to write more about June 2nd, the day, or I should say night, before this passage. For now, let’s say that they all had a really fun night with a lot of drinking and a lot of friends.
Monday, June 3rd, 1940
Today I feel a lot different about everything, especially this weekend. Jakey has come down a lot in my opinion. I always felt I couldn’t trust him but it’s getting worse. He kissed all the girls goodnight Saturday night. It never bothered me then on Sunday but today I feel ashamed of myself for him. He lowers me that way. I guess they never should have stayed overnight. This love business is all the bunk. Drobe gave me a ride tonight and he didn’t seem to think marriage might not turn out. There’s still hope.
First of all, I transcribed the passage as Babu wrote it so I have no idea if Drobe thinks their marriage might happen or not. What a confusing sentence! That’s besides the point. What is the point is that it hurt reading about how she “never trusted” Jakey and about how he kissed all the other girls. Was he a player, was he playing her, would he play her? This man is a hero to this family so these questions are hard to ask.
It gets rocky again after this:
Tuesday, June 4th, 1940
I wish I could feel like you used to when I was young. You hoped for the time when you’d meet your one and only. Now you don’t know if he’s the one and alternately you’re miserable and happy; but mostly miserable. Jakey seems to get hot up all over me but I don’t know if it’s just cause I’m a girl or me.
Wednesday, June 5th, 1940
And this business stays the same day after day. I wish I could cut out of me that feeling. Maybe it’s the weather but my appetite has been poor for a long time. Jakey’s kisses are sweet but something holds me back. Something stands between us.
Thursday, June 6th, 1940
He doesn’t know if we’re in love and I don’t know.
Friday, June 7th, 1940
Drobe is still very nice to me. Asked me to go out. He passed by the airport and said he’d take me there if he had no respect for me. I think Jake saw me parked in front of the house. Probably won’t come up Sun. Even if he can make it now. Drobe is going to pick me up tomorrow evening. Maybe I shouldn’t start anything I don’t want to but I’ve got to see somebody if Jake and I split up.
Thursday, June 13th, 1940
I wondered if Jake would call tonight. He did and told me about the City Hall party he went to last night. Some party. I bet he wonders how he gets to tell me about some things, like the kind of girls that tried to lead him astray. I had a driving lesson and took him to Hamden Ponds. There we hired a canoe and went out for a few hours. There was a moon, there were stars, there was romance. But the night finished off in a mess because I talked about us coming to some sort of a basis. We even discussed quitting altogether. Jake wanted me to take someone else to the formal. I think it was nearly three when we got in from the back hall but I didn’t look. I just went to bed in the dark.
I wish I could go back to the days and the passages where I thought Babu would never put deep emotion into her writing. This is all so painful to read. All I know is that I need to plan every day around how I will redirect Babu if she goes into a spiral thinking about the loss of her husband. He died 50 years ago and she still thinks of him every day. This is what I see: Jake is a bit rougher than Babu. Remember her claim about his manners? It’s here in this post: March, 1939
I think she is prim, proper, cautious, and he is a bit wilder. Babu cares about reputations and Jake has fun. I think they are different people but there is clearly a passion and a love between them. That is what is going to matter. From what I read here, and from all the stories I’ve heard of him beyond and before these pages, he was a cautious man, too. He made quite a good and respectable name for himself and does not seem to have been the type to rush into bad decisions, either.
These pages show us the work in progress of a successful marriage, aside from its early end. They show us all her deepest fears and insecurities. I’m comfortable with all of this. Love takes work and this is all so beautiful.
I mentioned in part one of this post that I wont know how to handle it if I find a true villain in these pages. Even true villains will have descendants and people who knew them. A dark figure has entered these pages. Not much has been written, and nothing too insidious. However, with what I read, my mind went immediately to a place. I certainly cannot conjecture upon a real person’s, although long since passed, reputation. We will just have to see, and maybe I’ll keep the name out of it for now.
5 Comments Add yours
this is all so intriguing now-goodness “love” is so complicated . . .and especially when you are young.
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Do you know how many time I sigh – out loud – while reading these?!?!
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That means so much to me. thank you so much. Nice comments are so dear. love michele
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The situation may be confusing but what lovely clear handwriting!
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I have to say, she is and always was classy with all that she did!
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