JILLIAN STOKES

in my own words...

Jillian StokesParties, parties, and more parties.  I think my parents had more cocktail parties in our Manhattan apartment when I was growing up than anything else.  My grandfather had made a lot of money in industrial stocks.  He was a shrewd businessman who took all the money he would make and then invest it in something else.  He wasn't greedy, though, once he had built up his fortune, he only left enough money invested so that he could turn a comfortable profit.  He died when I was very little and since my father was an only child, he inherited everything.  Since my parents could afford it, they wanted only the best for me.  I attended only the best private school and then the best boarding school.  There, they taught me how to dress and walk and talk and behave like a lady.  I think I would have preferred being out running and getting dirty like the other kids, but a lady wasn't supposed to get dirty.  Don't slurp your soup, sit with your ankles crossed, elbows off the table, always agree with the man...who came up with all the rules anyway?

Father seemed absolutely abhorred when I announced that I wanted to go away to college.  He appreciated that I wanted to get an education because he believed a true lady was educated.  He didn't like the fact that I didn't want to go to school there in the city, though.  I wanted to get away on my own and discover who I was without all the rules.  He shouldn't have been surprised.  After seeing my two older sisters into adulthood without even the slightest problem, he had to know that he wasn't going to get out that easy.  Thanks to my mother, I secretly submitted my application to Albanyville University.  I really wanted to go to Berkley, but that was in California and I knew he would never let me go that far away.  Mother is the one who had actually suggested Albanyville.  A lady she regularly had lunch with had attended school there and had nothing but praise for it and the city.

Father wasn't that supportive about my decision.  He told me I was not going off alone all the way across the country.  I couldn't help but remind him that it actually was only half way.  He warned me not to get fresh, but he couldn't help but laugh.  He always told me I had spunk.  Finally, Mother convinced him to let me go, but only with certain conditions.  He refused to let me live on campus in the dorms.  He told me he'd pay for an apartment suite at the Sunset Hotel so that I would have a responsible staff to look out for me.  He didn't trust the school security.  I agreed and we made the arrangements.   I think I might have agreed to anything if he'd let me go.

I must say, college has been the best experience of my life.  I joined the Theta Omega Chi sorority and met lots of wonderful girls who I know will be life long friends.  Because of Father's stipulations, I can't live in the sorority house, but I don't think I'm missing much.  I love all of them dearly, but they can be very giddy.  Always swooning over boys.  I'm not sure that any of them take their studies seriously.  It seems that all they are interested in is finding a suitable husband.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm far from a prude.  I notice the handsome boys just as much as they do.  I'm just not so...not so...blatant about it.  I've dated quite a bit since I've been here, but no one really grabbed my interest until I met Reginald.

Reginald is from one of the finest families in Albanyville and runs the local newspaper.  When we met, he was dating my sorority sister Helen, but she's so fickle that she dumped him and took up with some other guy.  Not long after that, Reginald started calling on me.  It felt a little awkward at first because of Helen, but she told me she didn't mind at all that we were dating.  She and Reginald were basically just friends anyway.  Reginald is so sweet and so romantic, I'm not sure I would have cared if she had minded.  I really love him with all my heart.  I know now why all those girls get giddy.  I think he must be the only man who can make me feel that way.  He was asking me my ring size just the other day.  I've got a feeling that he's going to propose.  If he does, I won't hesitate to say "yes".  I just know my Father will approve of him.  Even if he doesn't, I don't care.  I'm marrying Reginald, Father's not.

March, 1935