Took Miss Phila, out
and it certainly was the
most boresome evening in
a long while
Jean certainly misjudges me,
Though four days have elapsed since Papa first agreed to go out with "Miss Phila.", his disinterest in her remains as strong as his annoyance with his cousin Jean for introducing him to her in the first place. I'd still like to know whether her last name is really "Phila" or if "Miss Phila." is some kind of abbreviation, though I can't imagine what for. She almost certainly isn't Miss Philadelphia, 1924 (the lovely Ruth Malcomson, who went on to become Miss America) though maybe she's the winner of some other contest geared more toward Papa's community ("Miss Philacteries, 1924," for example). Maybe she actually was from Philadelphia and Papa nicknamed her "Miss Phila." just to objectify her, though even at his most impatient he wasn't that mean-spirited.
Still, his dismissive tone leads me to wonder if poor Miss Phila. isn't just an unfortunate, collateral casualty of Papa's long-simmering dissatisfaction with Jean's matchmaking skills, a dissatisfaction that may, in fact, deflect harder thoughts about his own chronic romantic frustration, itself a symptom of whatever keeps him searching for a perfect woman who doesn't exist, keeps him from accepting anything less than an ideal mate, keeps him, in truth, from exiting the limbo he's lived in since leaving the old country, dispensing with his dreamy attachment to the lost world of his youth, and, at last, seeing New York as the place to find his his wife, build his home, make a family of his own.
Jean misjudges Papa, indeed. He struggles, each day, with the question of why he prevents himself from having what he can instead of living for what he can't. How could she know such a thing about him? And how could Papa know he would one day have his answer, unless I could somehow tell him:
Papa, this is you: