shomer shabbas

Consider how often Edwin talks about Anna. Little things, like how she takes her tea the same way as Peggy. And how she always laughs at his stories about Howard’s shenanigans. How she has not once set foot in an American restaurant because she insists that all food pales in comparison to her husband’s cooking. How she insists on braiding her own challah because she loves the feel of the dough, even though there’s a Shomer Shabbas bakery right down the street from them.

It stands to reason that he’d talk about Peggy nearly as much at home. Oh, he’d make up some story about “Ms. Carver,” one of Howard’s employees, or perhaps a sometimes paramour. But the anecdotes would be true. How she can never wear a pair of stockings more than once without ripping them. How her anger burns silent but fierce. How her laugh needs to be surprised out of her.

Anna asks Edwin to invite Peggy to dinner one day, and he’s hesitant. We only have Mr. Stark in common, he says. We hardly know each other. But Anna wants to meet her, and he can never say no to Anna for long.

Peggy has plans, she says. Every night that week. And of course Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis are happy to accommodate. Next week would work just as well. But oh, what a shame, Peggy has a curfew at the hotel. Edwin avoids her eyes and blushes when he says there should be no need for her to stay past eight.

Still she holds firm, but when she comes by the back door of the Jarvis residence to drop off a file for him to peruse, Anna is there, looking just as lovely as Peggy had imagined.

“You must be Ms. Carver,” she beams, and of course she and Edwin have made more than enough dinner for three, and Peggy must join them.

They get along. Of course they do. Peggy had known they would as soon as Jarvis told her they took their tea the same way. But seeing them together and in love like that, Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis, fills Peggy with horrible loneliness. Because, how could she not have fallen for Anna Jarvis, someone who makes Edwin so eager to sing her praises? How, really, could she have avoided falling for her sweet, stubborn, overwhelmingly British sidekick?

Dinner is delicious (it’s good to see that Mr. Jarvis has been making good use of the ridiculous amount of time he spends at home, not helping to clear his employer’s name) but she goes to grab her coat soon after.

Anna stops her with a light touch on her wrist. “I was really hoping you’d stay longer,” she says simply, and Peggy looks down at the hand at her wrist, and her heart clenches with hope. 

Edwin adds his own hand to cover his wife’s. “We both would.”

And so Peggy opens her heart to two more that night. Well, her heart, amongst other things.