"Too much loving" Mother says. I am getting thinner every day. Today I have been ill. "Too late hours" says Daddy, the curfew echo. All night long I could have stayed with you, John. If you were to go away for five years, would you keep "our" promise - to save my lips for you? Would I, John? A promise is a promise. If we had never met would I be testing out other fellows? You say had you never met me you would be absolutely ruined. I have always thought myself so useless in this world. Perhaps I haven't been after all. Oh God, make him happy. Last night you stole a kiss that you will return on my twenty-third birthday.
A perfect lover! Oh John, you love me. I love you, oh so much. How you showered me with kisses. Five years from now, on my twenty-third birthday, you will ask my mother (and let's hope, my father) if you may have me for your own. If you could eat me, you would save my lips for dessert. Oh, to sleep all night long close in your arms. Sweet dreams? Of you dear. Twelve o'clock - mother is fifty years old. But who would dream it? When you and I are fifty. "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be." How can it?
PHRASES OFTEN MET - XIV: per diem (Lat.) - by the day. per se (Lat.) by itself, of itself. petit (Fr.) - small, little. post mortem (Lat.) - after death. prende conge (Fr.) - to take leave. prima facie (Lat.) - on the first view of the matter. probatum est (Lat.) - it is proved. pro bono publico (Lat.) - for the public good.
My eighteenth birthday. It began last evening with John. How happy I am. Everyone has been so lovely, so kind and attentive to me today. Most of you guessed wrong. I am not yet twenty! Bill, why did you do it? Oh, John, I broke my promise - not because I wanted to but because I could not help it. It was your fault Peb (?) for betting Bill that he could not get a kiss. You were disappointed, John, because I did not call. But you called me. The first and last voice I heard on my birthday (except my family's). The first, last, and only one I live for. John's.
Ed spend two hours with me today. In spite of the unwanted kiss and your disappointment, I feel very happy. Only you could make me happier - to have you right here with me and to know that you would not have to leave. I have wonderful friends, wonderful family, wonderful mother - wonderful sweetheart, lovely gifts - my bracelet, an old and valued cameo. Oh to be eighteen forever!!!!!!!!!!
No one could possibly be happier than I. I was tired, very tired when I came home but a nap and seeing you and a long walk has rested me. Oh John, what a surprise when you handed me that lovely birthday gift. Ten minutes too soon - but it is lovely. All the gifts in the world could not make me happy unless I had you with me. You will be with me every birthday until I die. Five years from now you will not leave me. Yes, the last one is the shortest. They will not seem long - I hope and pray. I will always keep the shell from B.H. The mate to yours.
PHRASES OFTEN MET - XIII: nom de plume (Fr.) - assumed title as of a literary person. non sequitur (Lat.) - it does not follow, it is not a necessary deduction. omnes (Lat.) - all. paterfamilias - the father of the family. pater noster (Lat.) - our father. per capita (Lat.) by the heads, individually.
Wednesday - and you are not here. My buddy - your buddy misses you. I wonder how much you miss me. I have been thinking of you all evening. So many Wednesdays you have held me close in yoru arms and showered me with kisses. I know you love me, John. Je t'aime, Jean.
Your voice again. Just your voice. You are coming around with Walt on Friday? I wonder if that means I will not get one kiss from you? And Friday will be my birthday! I want eighteen kisses and I will be the happiest wealthiest girl on earth. Will I have even one? Just one? The worst of a double date. I wonder if you will remember that it will be my eighteenth summer.
PHRASES OFTEN MET - XII: melange (Fr.) - a medley. menage (Fr.) - household. meum et teum (Lat.) - mine and thine. modus operandi (Lat.) - way of doing it. noblesse oblige (Fr.) - nobility binds to noble obligation.
Yes, it is hard work - bank bookkeeping, pounding on a machine from morning to night. I am tired this evening and worried about you. Why weren't you with Bob, Walt, and Al on "the Ave." tonight. Does your ankle bother you? You walked all away around here on that sprained ankle yesterday too. You would have walked all day on it for one kiss? Would it be worth it? Oh, you say I should not have to ask. And you kissed away my answer. You would like to eat each one of my fingers? John, John, John, Oh! Answer me!
I am glad you did not tell me yesterday about your date. I would have been very unhappy last evening, Harriet.
Every girl you meet makes you love more more? You wish you could sit there all night and just look at me. Oh Hohn, how could I let you go! You were you were that flower to rise and fall with every breath - to always be near me. "Someday - sweetheart." Five long years and then no curfew to take you away from me. Then we can sit and listen to the gently falling rain as long as we wish and you may look at me until you fall asleep. But now tonight you will hold me close to you all night long in your dreams. Dreams - only in dreams. Five years from now I will have you "if I will." Will I? Yes, you said, I will.
PHRASES OFTEN MET - XI: laissez faire (Fr.) - let alone, no interference. lapsus linguae (Lat.) - slip of the tongue. literati (Lat.) - men of letters. mon ami (Fr.) - my friend. ma chere (Fr.) - my dear. magnum opus (Lat.) - a great word. maitre d'hotel (Fr.) - a house steward.
Twelve o'clock and all is - silent. Betty - we did have such fun and such a good time playing bridge in your garden this afternoon. At last you came to see me, Harriet, to spend the evening. You like to play bridge as my partner? I think I really am improving. But the sweetest moments of all were those when you walked home with me, John. Betty liked you very much. I am so glad that she does. But of course she can't help it. I will wait and count every second until tomorrow evening.
This morning I felt as if no one on earth could be happier than I. I have nothing to worry about. Tonight I feel so different and why? John - are you all right? You haven't forgotten me have you? What is wrong? Why do I feel as though I am waiting to hear from you - from someone - ill news. Perhaps I am just tired. The moon is full tonight.
PHRASES OFTEN MET - X: in toto (Lat.) - wholly, entirely. in trans (Lat.) - on the passage. ipso facto (Lat.) - by the very fact itself. ita est (Lat.) - it is so. je ne sais quoi (Fr.) - I know not what, something indefinite. jeu de mots (Fr.) - play on words, puns. jeu d'esprit (Fr.) - witticism. jour de fete (Fr.) - festival or saint's day.
This is the journal of Virginia Lee Scott, my grandmother, written when she was seventeen and first dating my grandfather, John Arnold Wilson. It's a dairy published by Media Drug Stores and includes space for two entries per day, with facts about the era printed at the bottom, which I have included in italics. Following, 1928, is the journal of John Arnold Wilson, my grandfather, at age nineteen and in love with my grandmother, followed by my grandmother's journal in 1931.