I have a stack of letters my father wrote to my mother when an Army major in the South Pacific during WWII. Because today is his birthday, I've spent a few hours peeking over his shoulder as he wrote to her from his tent, several years before my birth. He called writing their "date", and the thick stack of onion skin, 63 years later, bears witness to his longing to be home.
The letters are circumspect. My brother and sister were old enough to want to hear hers as well as the ones they received. A few times, though, he slipped in coded references to time they would share together again, "like October 7" (their wedding date).
He wistfully mentioned how "soft and round" she was. I thought as I read these words how few women today would relish being called "soft and round"; some would be insulted.
My mother was never heavy; she had a curvy, petite figure. She got exercise from gardening, housework, and occasional golf and skeet-shooting. At one point she had apparently confessed that she was trying to give up smoking, and he advised her that "if a cigarette helps you relax and feel less worried, why give it up?" (And he was a doctor.)
How times have changed in 63 years!
Women aspire to be much thinner now; sinew on bone is the goal. Dad would have cringed, Mom would have been mystified. They wanted to be trim and attractive, but not "cut".
I'm grateful that he eventually returned home to his family, and I wish the frank admiration for womanly curves had endured beyond Dad's time.
Happy Birthday, Dad!