And just in case anyone was wondering, in 1963, it fell on a Sunday. Jeanette got no sleep the night before and had breakfast at 4:30AM because she was wide awake, went to church, and she and Gene host a “Barbecue for 12” at 6pm, no other details or any special ruffles and flourishes are noted. She got no sleep that night either, ate alone, took a small nap and worked out in the playroom arranging/packing music. Gene toddled off to a meeting around 6 and didn’t come home until 2:45am, drunk (“Hi”). Jeanette had a third sleepless night. He was gone again the following morning, Jeanette’s 60th birthday, where she writes “Happy Birthday alone”. Gene shows up in time for dinner and they have a “big quarrel” about the “same old thing”. No nice arrangements for her birthday. No party, no dinner out, nothing fun. And 60 is a big deal. And Jeanette LOVED birthdays. How many photos are there of her having birthday cake?? Her own? Someone else’s? Dude, if there’s a birthday to be celebrated, the MacDonald is THERE. She made a point of looking at the time all night and telling Gene it was her birthday at the stroke of midnight on one of their early dates. She loved to give birthday parties for other people—there are dozens of birthdays noted in this desk diary. Surely Gene knows that. But it doesn’t appear as though he can be bothered to give a rat’s ass about making something nice for her. But he sure can get stinking drunk the night before and ignore her all day and then fight with her.
Nice guy. Really. He proves what a nice guy he is over and over throughout this diary.
What did you expect to find? That everything was hunky dory peachy keen and then she just mysteriously kicked the bucket at 61? Oh, well, yeah, she did have that heart thing…….
Please don’t ignore and gloss over the facts. Her last years were not happy and her husband of record did not treat her well, but he was happy to continue to ignore her and be business as usual while she wasted away to nothing. To continue to pretend otherwise is simply out of touch with reality.
Jeanette was a gorgeous bride on that day in 1937, and I’ve always thought it rather fabulous that Ginger was one of her bridesmaids, along with Fay Wray. That’s her sister Blossom as the matron of honor.
Too bad she and her party look like they’re at a funeral.