July 1 1934

Grafton July 1, 1934

Dear Thelma,

I was delightfully surprised to hear from you so soon!  Your letter reached me Saturday morning and it acted on me as a tonic.  Talk about an empty, depressed feeling overcoming a body — the best that I can describe it would fall short of the actual condition.  Hearing from you so soon sort of revived me a little.

A report of what I have been doing since you left wouldn’t prove interesting reading matter so we will skip it.  There is one thing certain and that is it will take a whole lot of intensive activity to ease a bad situation.

While I’m sitting writeing this letter Arnold + Rose are playing a piano duet called “Invitation to Dance” by Weber.  It’s funny to watch big her and little him playing.  This coming Wednesday being the 4th I will have another day of rest out here.  Then I will take some snap-shots of everybody (me included) and send them to you providing they turn out alright.

In your letter you speak of your relatives not being able to understand your leaving me, and further on you say that you are somewhat inclined to agree with them.  Further on you say it’s becoming clear to you that it is a bad thing to become so attached to anyone as you had to me.  Now it is not my intention to go into a lecture or to preach morals, but there are some thoughts that have occurred to me regarding these two statements, which I must unload to you or burst.  I’ll treat with latter one first, that is in relation to becoming attached to a body etc, etc.  You may believe me, when I say that I have felt and experienced the same sensations when you left as you did.  But for all of that and that implies a whole lot, I’m not a damned bit sorry of ever being attached to you.  I’d do all over again if I had to.  Of course that’s commonly called foolish, but that’s the kind of a guy I am.  And now regarding your agreeing with your relations in regard to stay in Troy with me.  The way I feel about the whole matter is this.  If your intelligence guided you to go to Washington with your folks then I am contented that you are there.  But if you were moved by sentiment then you have justly earned the empty feeling that you have or are feeling.  Understand me I do not wish to impress you with the idea that I think you a sentimentalist.  But in this case the element was present.

That certainly was good news to hear that you will be able to remain in N.Y. till 8 P.M. when we meet there the end of the month.  Let me know the full particulars of your arrangements as soon as you can so that I will be able to fully utilize all available time that we have to-gether.  If you need any money make sure to let me know early enough.

All First Street has stopped me coming home from work, to find out just how I feel about you leaving.  Most of these “interested souls” of my welfare + happiness have never spoken to me before.  The only way I can figure out the sudden interest in me, is that they have suddenly become students of psychology and would like to study my reaction first-hand.

Well I guess I’ve scribbled + babbled enough so I’ll close this letter anxiously waiting an early reply.


P.S. Regards from the folks + me to your whole family including the in-laws + out-laws.

Editor’s Notes: Summer typically means separation for Izzy and Thelma but this separation is greater than most.  The Steins have moved to Washington, D.C. while the Bickweats remain in Troy.  Intense emotions are felt on all sides and even the neighbors are distressed for the couple.

Thelma made the conscious decision to move with her family while it appears that the option of remaining in Troy was present.  It is viewed as her having left Izzy.  He respects her decision and would rather her do what’s best for her rather than hang around based on sentimentality.  They are both in their 20s now, at an age when settling down was expected but Thelma expresses regret having become so attached to another person.  They are trying to remain practical but neither can ignore their strong feelings towards the other.  

This will surely be a turning point in the young couple’s relationship.

Invitation to the Dance by Carl Maria von Weber, 1819


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