FEBRUARY 8, 1944
NEW YORK, Monday—Saturday night we went to see Katharine Cornell and Raymond Massey in a play called "Lovers and Friends" by Dodie Smith.
The reviews have been none too good on this play and so I wonder whether the fact that I liked it so much was because the people seemed to me real people and behaved somewhat the way they would have behaved when I was a young woman!
I confess I thought the husband lacked a little subtlety in announcing his love affair, but the rest of the play was full of subtle meaning to me. While perhaps one should not expect evenings of entertainment to teach one any lessons, there is one in this play which men and women would do well to learn.
It is obviously true that the first flush of being "in love" always changes into something deeper and calmer, or more superficial. I have known only a few very happy marriages. By that I do not mean just people who get along together and live contentedly through life, but people who are really excitingly happy. These people are those who have somehow preserved the ability to recapture the romance of the early days and rejuvenate their love so that neither the man nor the woman need wander off to find the romance they long for somewhere else.
The play shows that it is not the people who happen to attract each other temporarily who really matter. It is the lure of romance— finding someone new to tell about yourself, someone who will give you a feeling that what you say is important and that they have never heard it before, someone who will give you the feeling that you are more important and alluring than a previous engagement, or a book, or people, or perhaps even a career. This may be a lesson worth learning or perhaps you think I'm wrong. In any case, Katharine Cornell and Raymond Massey give you a pleasant evening and some very fine acting.
Incidentally, I noticed one thing in going around with the Army and Navy last Saturday. This war is giving an opportunity for men who might never have met during the course of their whole existence to know each other and to know each other very well. Jimmy O'Hara from Massachusetts and Johnny Jones from South Carolina will know a great deal more about how and why certain things happen in their respective states. General Jarman, who has a great interest in human beings, can almost invariably pick out the state from which a man comes and his occupation by looking at him. He made only one mistake in a whole morning!