Miriam Feder home



Carole was a helluva girl. I’m not saying it was right, how we carried on. I don’t think my wife ever did suspect—so I don’t suppose it really hurt anyone. I guess Carole got her feelings bruised a bit. I know she really fell for me and I was just crazy about her. I didn’t know there were girls like her when I got married.

I married Jenny right after high school. Not too long after that I got the job with Baird, carrying their women’s sportswear line and selling to all the big stores in the New York area. Suddenly I was making good money—I thought. It was good at the time. Almost of my friends got married to their high school sweethearts. We had apartments, sex, pots and pans, card games. I thought I was a grown up. This was 1935 and I was 19.

Within a year we had a baby. Our whole little group started having babies. All of a sudden the wives started to talk about houses and Queens and nothing but baby stuff. We moved into a duplex—that was fun, making a little nest for the new family—just like everyone else I knew. It seemed like a big party.

A few guys I knew went to college. They got really intense—or maybe they always were. They’d come to visit and I could feel how the gap between my life and theirs kept growing. They were talking about Europe and war and Hitler—especially Frankie. He wanted to go to law school. I was just thinking Queens and rice cereal.

A few years later I got together with some of those guys. The girls they married from college were intense like they were. They weren’t in any big hurry to have children. They said things like “Maybe we shouldn’t bring children into such a difficult world.” Geesh, I really never thought about it.

Then I meet Carole—it must have been ’42 and the war is going on and I’m the sole support of my Mother and my wife and kid, so I don’t have to go. Carole was amazing. She was beautiful—curly jet black hair, a luscious little body and a fiery temper. She was smart but she wasn’t all dried up like those college girls my buddies married. She was full of life—really sexy, not just dolled-up. She would talk to me about what was happening in her life. She needed someone to talk to and someone to appreciate her. I’d feel like I could help, like I could be important to someone not just for the money I earned or being a basically decent guy. I felt like this was real love and friendship. I mean, that doesn’t justify cheating on my wife, but that’s what was so attractive to me. All this was pretty soon after the second baby was came and my wife was just one long whine.

I know its hard being with babies all day, especially for my wife. Everyone else in our little group had the second baby two or three years after the first one. We didn’t. Our oldest was 7 when the next one was born. I didn’t think my wife was ever gonna want to have sex again after the first one. I’m not sure she really did—but she wanted that baby. She was the only one who didn’t have a new kid.

I ran around a little when Jenny was doing the no-sex thing—I mean who wouldn’t. And I suppose that taught me about how things were likely to go in the future. But those gals weren’t anything to me like Carole. I couldn’t get divorced or anything. That would kill my mother. I was going to stay with my wife and raise those kids. I didn’t really think there was any choice.

I knew Carole wasn’t exactly delighted being the other woman—I mean who would be. She really deserved a great guy—not a married boyfriend—and she knew it. She would break things off if I missed a date or something. Like I said, she was fiery. I could always get back with her, though. Then she comes up with this crazy idea to move to Hartford. Well, good luck. I’ve been to Hartford. Man, that is one dead town. Foxes is a nice store but Hartford? You can keep that whole Connecticut. Not my cup of tea.

I miss that gal a lot. She’s great and I really fell for her. She’s so interesting. She has a different idea about life and how to live it. But I mean she’s normal; she’s not crazy. I wonder if her family is alive, if she’ll ever find them. I’d like to help her. But I can’t. I’m really up to my ears in it between my wife and the two kids and my Mother and that mother-in-law of mine. They all want a piece of me. Carole’s the only place where I could feel like a whole man with my own thoughts and ideas. She was my sanctuary like I was hers. But it’s also pretty disheartening to know I’m always going to come up short there. I know in the long run there was no future there. So, fine. I wish her well.