Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fickle Girl Not So Fickle Anymore

The Harvey House, Valton, WI, 1918 (Mamie's birthplace)
Thank you to my distant cousin, Jeanne, who found my blog and sent me photos.

Ontario, California

Feb. 25, 1919

My own dearest love:

I hope you can ever forgive me for pestering you with my letters after I am supposed to forget you, but if your heart aches like mine, I’m afraid you’d want more than a letter.

Ernest, I am the unhappiest girl in the US. I ought to be the happiest, but never will I be happy until I am Mrs. Ernest A. Detmers. So there! Please don’t think me bold dear, will you? It is just because I love you better than my own soul, and I believe that. You still love me as much, even though you don’t write to me. Dear, if you do still love me enough to be my husband, for God’s sake, tell me! Because there is a chance now for me to go with you, if you still want me. Do you, dear? God knows how I need you! I can’t think of anything else since you’ve gone. I see you all the time, here, with me. I hear your voice always speaking tenderly to me. And I want it all forever! I am most unhappy with Clarence, and he knows it and he isn’t happy about it either. He said, “Mamie, I know you still love Ernest the best, and if you will say the word, I’ll give you up.”

That was Saturday night. I told him you had gone and probably would never come back. He said he was sure you would if I would tell you about it. So dear, I am telling you that here is the chance. We can live over, again, that wonderful Saturday night when I told you I would be yours!

He said that if I couldn’t be true to him six months, I wouldn’t be true to him a lifetime because I don’t love him enough. He said he would give me another chance to show my trust, and if I failed, he would never wish to see me again. We have postponed the wedding indefinitely. Perhaps a year or more. Thank goodness! We’ve had some hot old arguments here lately, and he claims all the time that he is altogether right. Of course, as usual, I am always wrong. I know I have made a fool of myself in most people’s minds, but the majority have a little sympathy. Mable, for instance, still sticks by you, dear, and always will, and so will I. Always!

The folks say lately that it’s absolutely up to me. Pa said he would give his consent to you now, if I felt that you were the one. And I know you are dear. With all my heart. I can always be true to you because I love you. And dear, I feel that I always have been true to you. I chose Clarence against my true feeling, but only out of a sort of duty to him. I wish now that I had stayed by my first choice. I have in my heart, dear. These three weeks have been agony for me, and they have seemed about 3,000 years.

My darling boy, has it been agony for you too dear? I would have spared you all the pain if I had only realized that my love was all for you. I was so upset and so near all in that I wasn’t capable of doing the task set before me dear, and since then, I have realized the mistake. Dear, I love you with all the life and soul and heart in my body, and I’m yours if you want me.


Isn't it always the case that we realize how much we love someone when we understand on a gut level we may have lost him? In Mamie's case, it was a fun little game until Ernest suddenly went silent and had had enough of her back-and-forth nonsense. He made the right move. He backed off. Bravo, Ernest! You really do know how to get the girl after all. Make her sweat a tad. Take the driver's seat. Make her beg for you to come back. That's better than pining for her while she stares at two different diamond rings and acts as though she wants to keep both of them. How long will he make her wait?

Side note: I found out that Mabel is a close friend of Mamie's. I thought she might possible be family, but she's not. Later you'll read a letter Mabel sends to Ernest about Mamie choosing Clarence. It's a great way to get an outsider's perspective on the situation.

Your friend,
The Grammar Nazi

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