More Of My Favorite Excerpts
Maggie had so many qualities that I admired and that I was looking for in the woman I could fall in love with; one of the most important being “the appreciation of the simple pleasures in life.” I had dated several girls who were interested in guys with money and fancy cars who took them to extravagant restaurants and bought them expensive gifts. That wasn’t me. I never got into the material side of life. Sitting in a park on a warm summer evening just talking to each other or walking in downtown Chicago looking at the Christmas decorations was what I preferred Never cared about getting a job that paid a huge salary and couldn’t care less about carrying a lot of money in my pocket. I never dreamt of owning a big home or going on luxurious vacations. I always believed that those goals took too much of the time and effort I wanted to devote to my wife and children after I was married.
Following are several excerpts from Maggie’s letters in which she shared her feelings about the “simple pleasures in life.” At this point in our relationship I had not mentioned anything about my beliefs. What Maggie wrote was what she felt.
In a letter dated September 27, 1969 she told me about her favorite birthday gift:
My favorite birthday present this past summer was a single, long stemmed rose given to me by our cafeteria maid at work. She is an immigrant from Poland, unable to speak English and making half of what I, a punk, do. She gave it to me with a smile and tears in her eyes. I love that woman more than anyone at that place. She’s like my mother was.
Then in her October 8, 1967 letter she wrote the following (“Marshall Field” was an exclusive department in downtown Chicago).
I don’t need sparkling diamonds, or a closet full of clothes marked “Marshall Field.” I need someone to love.
Nope, I don’t care much for money. Happiness is living and loving without it.
A couple months later in a letter written around December 18, 1967, while talking about the upcoming Christmas holiday, Maggie said:
When I marry, my husband will have it fairly easy shopping of me. For one thing, I like very personal gifts so he won’t have to worry about sizes and then I don’t expect expensive things. An engraved bracelet for $9.98 would mean more to me that a whole new wardrobe.
A dozen roses for ground hog day, or hot dog day, or any day would mean more than a $50 gift certificate…
I’m not so dumb. I want things that no one can ever take away from me - things given from the heart not the pocket - things that nobody else will ever get - because nobody else will have someone feeling exactly the same about them.
That’s the Maggie I was falling in love with. This simple girl who also enjoyed the simple things life offered.