Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Miss Duncan Goes to Washington, Part 3 of 7

February 10, 1941 

Dear Mother --, 

Perfectly blissful weekend - absolutely nothing to do. All of Q Street [group of single men, many of whom are Jewish and work for the federal government] has gone home to celebrate the Passover, so I am left in pleasantly Christian solitude. Yesterday after meeting Rosalind at the Allies Inn for lunch in my new suit, I went back to the office and worked until after six all alone.

We have been quite swamped these last few days. The State Department doesn't know whether it's coming or going and we have to keep straightening them out. We finally got the complete list of all Americans waiting in Lisbon for passage to this country - about 300 of them - and we are trying to get together all possible information about them to send on to Sadie. This entails no end of red tape with the Passport Division, Division of Account, Special Sections, and various other parts of the Department of State. Quell mess. 

My suit is a Constant Joy. I have worn it twice without a top coat; it has been that warm down here. Rosalind is still faintly green. The other two are all hemmed, pressed, and put in a dark corner to await the real heat. I haven't got around to the cherries yet, though.

Nancy's Friend, Harold Leaventhal, 1941
Saw Blossom Time with Harold on Thursday night. It seemed a bit tacky, or maybe I am developing Harold's sophisticated attitude, or maybe our seats were too good. Fun, though. Friday night dancing at the Madrillon with a boy named Mauer who works in radio somewhere. All I really know is that he isn't a lawyer. A couple of very pleasant luncheons with Frank Newman of the R.C. Practically all in my suit. 

Rosalind and Dick have left for New York and the Salant residence today, the ultimatum having had some effect. I am on the old pins and needles to hear the results. No word on his being drafted yet. 

I have been so industrious this morning. I washed all the Venetian blinds for the first time in the history of Robduncanbuck Digs. Also all shelves, the kitchen, and the icebox. Then I made orange jelly and poured it into the egg shells that I had blown empty for my scrambled egg. Or did you see that stunt in the Ladies Home Companion too? I kept some of the extra juice so I could taste it when it jelled, and just had it for lunch with - I blush - whip cream. 

A really marvelous letter from Donald: "and then when they hear that they must go to Washington for the duration to work on defense housing and defense and bombs and bomb shelters - they say oh hell and they are a little torn because of other things - then they loose the chance on account of they were too slow to chuck their ideals into an anti-aircraft shell." (I guess that he’s been reading a lot of Dos Passos again.) Lord, I hate to think what his setting up residence in Washington would mean. . .
Harold and Nancy, 1941
Rosalind has finally decided that if she's going to get married she ought to know something about it, so she went and borrowed a Marriage Manual from one of her friends who's already practicing amalgamation of the races. Silliest book I ever read. It says it's for beginners, so we thought it was the right one for us, but ye ghads, where do they think we have been all our lives? "Since the female is more slowly aroused than the male, she must be stimulated by the loveplay, which should precede intercourse. (No!) The erotic senses are centered in the lips, the lobes of the ears--" Blah, blah in ten easy lessons. But we didn’t know all about contraceptives, except that nothing is as good as it's advertised, and the diagrams are lovely. 

I am enclosing $6. The other $5.50 which I still owe you will come after pay day next Tuesday. I haven't a penny to bank this month, but at least I'm holding my own. Also the communication, I mean commutation, ticket. Your India scarf will arrive shortly, too. 

Well, have a Happy Easter and think of my Venetian blinds. 

And Harold liked my suit. (He just better!) 

Love and kisses, 

Copyright 2005 by Curt Taylor

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