An Upsetting and Surprising Letter

Postmark Jefferson City, MO

February 25, 1930 10 PM SPECIAL DELIVERY


Dear Jim:
I am really sorry you took such a stand in regard to not hearing from me.  You surprised me Jim and I am sorry it happened.  Please don’t get so worked up next time.

I have had all I could do and more this week.  I just got home from the funeral.  It certainly was sad.  I took two daughters and a son in my car.  I just got so nervous I thought if I didn’t get home I would just die myself.  I surely feel sorry for them.

Mother has been doing a lot of cooking for them and we have been so upset.

I was glad you called me last night.  I sure couldn’t understand not hearing from you either.  Well it is over.  I hope it doesn’t happen again.

Jim, you seem to be rather easily made angry lately.  I think you are tired and nervous.  You may laugh at me but you haven’t seemed yourself for a week.  If anything is worrying you please forget it.

I think of you so often and I am sure you must be mistaken if you think I don’t like you, cause I surely do.  Please don’t get angry at me again.




What in the world has been going on the past seven days? No letters for one week.

Jim is unhappy and upset about this.  Angry, in fact.  It seems that they’ve been giving each other the silent treatment.

This letter is upsetting.

Mary is upset, too.   Upset enough to send this letter special delivery during the middle of the week.  Upset that someone died.  Could it be the boy who had the shoulder operation recently?  Upset enough to think she might die herself. Upset that Jim is so worked up.  She thinks he’s easily angered because he’s tired and nervous.  When I am exhausted and anxious, I can fly off the handle, too.  Just ask my family.  That’s not so surprising.

This letter, however, is surprising.  The tone of her writing is totally unexpected…argumentative and defensive but also apologetic.  What is perhaps most astonishing to me is how she tells Jim that he should just forget about whatever he is worrying about.  Mary was an accomplished worrier.  She worried about the weather, health, what to wear, her family, other people’s families, how many knives and forks to set at each place setting, animals, the state of affairs in the world, keeping your hair out of your eyes (remember the bobby pins?) and driving too fast.  That’s the abbreviated short list of the abbreviated short list. Maybe she suggests that he put the worry out of his mind because she knows the emotions it stirs up and the problems it creates, real and otherwise.  Yet her worry shows her concern for others and for him.  She is not going to let him forget that…”I think of you often and I am sure you must be mistaken if you think I don’t like you, cause I surely do.”

Well it is over.  Thank goodness.  I hope it doesn’t happen again either.

1 Comment

Filed under 1930

One response to “An Upsetting and Surprising Letter

  1. Dad

    Into every marriage, an occasional thunderstorm will fall. Fortunately, most blow over without rermoving the roof.

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