don’t date him girl.
pieces from yesterday afternoon’s very serious research: some reminiscences of h. p. lovecraft’s wife. no idea how “true” they are, but they are poignant. something charming about the naive-freudian tone, too.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft and I met in 1921 and we were married at New York in March 1924. What follows here may to all intents and purposes be called the true story of his private life.
I first met Howard Lovecraft at a Boston convention of the Amateur Journalists. I admired his personality but, frankly, at first not his person.
My neighbor who was so kindly making room for me had a beautiful Persian cat. When Howard saw that cat he made love to it. He seemed to have a language that it understood and it immediately curled up in his lap and purred.
I felt that if he could be made to feel more confident of his genius as a writer and to forget his “awful looks,” as he put it, he would become less diffident and more happy. So whenever an opportunity presented itself I would not avoid giving him compliments.
I would attend to business during the daytime while Howard explored museums, graveyards, old houses and whatnot.
In nearly everything he was the “victor” and I the “vanquished.” I would gainsay him nothing if I thought it would eradicate his complexes.
The man at the marriage bureau thought I was the younger. I was 7 years Howard’s senior, and he said nothing could please him better: that Sarah Helen Whitman was older than Poe, and that Poe might have met with better fortune had he married her.
When we were married he was gaunt and hungry-looking, too much so even for my taste. I used to cook a well-balanced meal every evening, make a substantial breakfast (he loved cheese souffle for breakfast!), and I’d leave a few sandwiches, cake and fruit for his lunch.
He had no conception of time. Even in bitter wintry weather I often had to wait in some lobby or at some street corner from three-quarters of an hour to an hour and a half. He was always late for an appointment, whether it was with me or anyone else.
But, anyway, during our life at Parkside Avenue he became quite stout, and he looked and felt marvelous. He really became a more interesting human being.
He’d never mention the word, “love.” He would say, “My dear, you don’t know how much I appreciate you.”
I told him I had done everything I could think of to make our marriage a success, but that no marriage could be such in letter-writing only. Howard said he knew of a very happy couple whose marriage was kept intact by letters: the wife living with her parents, and the husband because of his illness living elsewhere. I replied that neither of us was really sick and I did not wish to be a “long-distance” wife. I told him it was all but impossible, that he should divorce me and find and marry a young woman of his own background and culture, live in Providence and try to live a happy, normal life. “No, my dear,” he would say, “if you leave me I shall never be happy again. You do not realize how much I appreciate you.” “But your way of demonstrating,” I would reply, “is so unheard of!”