Letters to Charlie

Letters to Charlie #14: August 3, 1909

If I was around back in 1909, and Dora and I were pals, I’d pop into the future, get a copy of the book He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt, hand it to her, and tell her to wake up. Okay… I probably wouldn’t be quite so blunt, but I would try and gently get her to see the truth.

Seriously, Dora. If he’s making excuses, and not coming to see you, and putting it back on you…

Oh wait. you haven’t read the letter yet, have you? And here I am babbling my visceral reaction. Go ahead and give the letter a read and see what you think.

People Mentioned in the Letter

Mrs. E is Dr. Eastman’s wife (Charlie and Dora’s employers at the telephone company). DK is the Eastman’s son. Carrie is a telephone operator at Bradford with Charlie. Clara… I still haven’t fully defined who she is, even though she is mentioned a lot. My hunch is that she’s an operator with Dora in Woodsville. Christie and Zena are Dora’s sisters. Dora writes from Benton again, where she continues to convalesce from whooping cough.

Letters to Charlie #14

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Benton N.H.

August 3, 1909

My dear Charles:-

Pardon me for saying it but really I was not a bit satisfied with a part of your last letter. I don’t know what reason you can have for saying or even thinking that I don’t want you to come here. How many times have I tried to have you come where I was? Even when you were in town you made some excuse for not coming and surely you have not forgotten how I felt at that time. Sometimes one gets discouraged. If there was anything I could do to make you come here I would gladly do it, for no one would love to see you more than I.

If there has been any coldness or formality in my manner lately I surely did not intend it to be so. There is no one that I think of or try to please as I do you. I always think of you as my nearest and dearest friend. Please don’t think I am deceiving you for I am not.

I love you and you alone from the bottom of my heart. Can’t you believe me?

We are having beautiful weather here now. It seems as though anyone could be happy here. Everything is lovely. There were two newly married couples came this afternoon to stay a week I guess. I haven’t seen them yet.

I suppose Carrie is back to work again. Do you know if she ever hears from Clara now?

Did you feel bad because Mrs. E did not come in and see you when she was down? I suppose she’s in Newport now with DK.

Mamma and I are planning to go home the 29th of this month. Mamma is obligated to go on account of getting Christie ready for school. I guess Ma will go to Claremont and stay a few days with Zena and then take Christie home with her.

I don’t much expect to take in the Fair this year. Do you think they can have it without me? I’ve tried to have Mamma think she could go home a week earlier, but she thinks a week here is better for me than one at home, so I’ll have to stay.

What was it you heard on your line 7 that discouraged you? Be sure all that you hear is the truth. I can’t imagine what it could be. Don’t get discouraged again, will you dear?

When you feel one of those melancholy spells coming on just remember that I love you.





Well, she’s finally done it. She’s come right out and used the L word. I love how after the first drop, she immediately switches the conversation to the weather.

Letters to Charlie

But then she gets brave, and says it again.

When you feel one of those melancholy spells coming on just remember that I love you.

Come on, Dora. Like I said, read the signs. If he was in town and made an excuse not to come visit you, HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU. There  is no other reason. Whatever this whole melancholy thing, and the feeling discouraged, or calling her manner cold or formal is just an excuse. Try as you might, you likely won’t change his mind.

Understand this, Dora, when a man is in love, he’ll move mountains to be with you. Even after twenty years married, Brian often forgoes an extra day in the desert—even though he loves it—because he wants us to be together. If Charlie was into you, he would come see you. Period.

Oh, Dora, you get me riled up sometimes. When are you going to learn and move on??


But wait!

We have an opposing opinion. While proofreading my post, Brian threw out this possibility: What if the reason Charlie isn’t going to visit Dora is because he’s afraid he’ll catch whatever she has? Whooping cough is very contagious, after all. Something to ponder, especially since we have only one side of the conversation.

What do you think?

Until the next letter, dated August 18…

Later gators!

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