Autobiography of Mary E Wilson (11) – A Broken Engagement – 1932


          I was now 21 and Bob (Boris) had given me an engagement ring and a “hope chest”. My mother and Bob tolerated each other but there was no love between them.

Celso gave birth to a lovely baby boy but she had a very difficult pregnancy and never could have any more children.

I still worked for the G.E. as well as Dr. Nastri and also continued night high school. Boris went to school with me but he finally made one big mistake which made me very angry and hurt. He persuaded his parents to let him take over the second floor of their home in Devon, Connecticut. He really did a beautiful job of remodeling and furnishing it but I did not know anything about these plans. His brother and his family were visiting from Texas and Boris announced what he had done. He said when we married we would live upstairs and he would help his parents financially.

I was shocked because we did not planned any of this together. He took me upstairs with his family to show us the results of his work and purchases. He did not even notice my shock and amazement but I then realized during our married life I would never be allowed to make any suggestions or discussions. He would do it all himself. I guess that was the Swedish custom.

I did not doubt he would be a hard-working, good husband but he would not be a generous one because he was too ambitious and frugal. They were all talking in the living room of the  house so I quietly left, leaving a note for Boris breaking our engagement. I took a bus from Devon but by the time I had reached my home he was waiting for him. He accused me of humiliating him in front of his family but I realized I did not love him and I felt I needed more out of a marriage than he could give me. I did not want to exchange a dominating mother for a dominating husband.

Boris was so angry he quit his job at Medical Opticians in the building where I work for Dr. Nastri and moved to Norwalk, Connecticut, where he lived with Celso’s sister. His poor mother was such a timid lady but she came to my house as she sure wanted me to marry Boris.

I had been dating Boris for two years and even though I was relieved we had parted, I was lonely.

I was attending St. Luke’s church and had joined the choir and started teaching Sunday school for teenaged girls.

My brother Arthur introduced me to a young man, Fred Williams. He was a lace weaver like my brother and Fred’s dad was the organist in the church I attended. We began dating but he was almost 12 years older than me and again my mother became critical. Fred’s dad was great and we got along just fine because he really liked me. Fred’s mother was very unfriendly because my mother was a divorced woman and the two women disliked each other.

Fred and I had a lot of fun but Fred was very reserved and his mother thought he could do better than me. Fred and I used to date with Ted Perkins and my friend, Helen Koger.

My mother worked in the D.N. Read Company and Arthur, Doris and I were living at home but she still ruled the roost.

Bert Harbor had been hanging around all these years as a family friend and he asked my mother to marry him. She refused. I think she made a mistake.

Tomorrow I’ll continue the story of Mary E Wilson and her social life. Next week, I’ll be posting letters from 1945. Dan and Paulette are married but because ships are used to move troops, civilians cannot get a ticket and Paulette cannot get to Trumbull. 

Judy Guion

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