photo: Lesley Grant
Happy Valentine’s weekend! Mélanie and I spent the afternoon making Valentines and Valentine’s cookies with my sister (photo above). Yesterday we took Valentines and cookies to my co-workers at Merola. She’s really getting into the holiday this year – fun seeing it through her eyes.
Last year I posted a Valentine letter from Charles/Malcolm to Mélanie/Suzanne. This year I thought I would post one from Mel/Suzette to Charles/Malcolm. It’s written the Valentine’s Dan after The Berkeley Square Affair, just a few weeks before The Mayfair Affair.
Hope everyone’s Valentine’s Day is filled with treats and delights!
14 February 1818
I’m still not sure if I’ll send this. Dangerous to put feelings to paper in our line of work. Dear God it feels good to be able to say that to you and to know you’ll understand just what I mean. I’m so sorry you’ve been through all of this. But there are moments I fight off one of those waves of panic I’ve learned to live with since our marriage, draw a breath, and feel the tension rush from my lungs because the truth is between us.
I used to laugh at Valentine’s Day. The first year we were married. I was shocked that you remembered it. I knew by then that you took our marriage far more seriously than I had thought going into it, but I didn’t think you were the sort for sentiment. I hadn’t yet quite grasped the gulf between what you’ll say and what you feel. Or that perhaps you understood just how much it means to me sometimes to be fussed over. I don’t think I ever told you how much I grew to anticipate Valentine’s Day. The rose on my breakfast tray. The jewel box under my pillow. The morning I woke to you playing a new piece Schubert had sent you in the sitting room.
The day could never but remind me that I was a fraud though. If anyone had told me we’d ever celebrate it with the truth in the open between us, I’d have laughed in their faces. There were times when I thought you saw the real me, but those lovely, romantic gifts and gestures belonged to someone else. The woman who was half a creation of my acting ability, half of the generous filter through which you’ve always viewed me.
So this year is different. I don’t have a role to hide behind. Hard, with the masks stripped away, to know what to say. So perhaps I should fall back upon the truth. What a novel idea.
I love you, Charles, with all my heart.
Happy Valentine’s Day,