At the beginning of the year, Doc Goddard learned about his imminent transfer to the Adel Precision factory in West Virginia, to the sale department of the East Coast.
Grace announced him the news one morning, as an accomplished fact, adding that she had wonderful plans for her.
Whatever were Grace's intentions, it was a disaster to Norma Jeane who once again, realized that she was insignificant .
Since this moment, Grace fell in her regard. She felt once again being jilted of her new foster care. Grace had sworn she would never feel again in danger and then, Norma Jeane realized that Grace broke her promise.
The Goddards preparing their moving, Norma Jeane went back to live on Nebraska Avenue, Sawtelle, with Ana Lower, whose health had made a little better.
They made many drives together and the Los Angeles highways hadn't any more secret for them.
For the young uprooted girl whose life had been, until then, a series of wandering, Jim Dougherty's attentions must have been comforting.
At University High School, her behavior changed : she was more noisy, spoke loud and some of her comrades found her badly-behaved.
The interest of a handsome young man, older than her, on her, could only flatter her ego. Her childhood deprived of affection and her unstable present could only strengthen her affective dependence towards Jim, while the Goddards leaving would also take away her new friend, Bebe. To make things worse, she knew she could only stay temporarily at Anna Lower's home, this one having a fragile health.
Ethel Dougherty asked Jim if he wanted to marry Norma Jeane, meaning to him also that with the Goddards leaving, Norma Jeane might go back to the orphanage.The legal age for marriage in California being 16, Jim agreed to marry her.The idea didn't displease Norma Jeane, but she realized only later, the manipulation made towards her by Ethel and Grace. The 2 women had inculcated her the idea that her freedom and subsistence were subordinate to a man. Her imminent wedding also contributed, in Grace's mind, to identify her to Jean Harlow ; actually this one had gave up her studies to get married at the age of 21. Grace achieved her fantasy by forging an ideal destiny for Norma Jeane.
As for Jim, he did his best for her to feel desirable and worthy of respect and admiration. He took her to choose a wedding ring before having asked her officially to marry him, which in this case was only a simple formality, because the decision had already been taken. Like in a dream, she agreed, and the distribution and the screenplay being already decided, a date was taken for the ceremony.
In Spring, Norma Jeane announced to her teachers and comrades that she was about to give her studies up to get married in June. Since this day, she didn't much attend classroom.
This unfinished education would later bear upon her, leading to an inferiority complex that some weren't bother to exploit.
The Goddards left to Huntington, Virginia, in March.
She left University High School before having finished her 10th grade.
Monday, June 1 : Norma Jeane celebrated her 12th birthday.
Sunday, June 7 :
She went with Jim visiting a one-room bungalow in Sherman Oaks, located 4524 Vista Del Monte (San Fernando Valley) :
Despite the smallness of the apartment, they signed a 6-months term lease. They settled the few things they owned.
last preparations were enough significant of the insecurity and
improvisation atmosphere in which this wedding took place.
The invitations () had been sent by "Miss Ana Lower" for the wedding of "her niece Norma Jeane Baker", but on the
certificate of marriage (), the young fiancée signed "Norma Jeane Mortensen", daughter of "E .Mortensen, place of birth unknown" and a woman named "Monroe, born in Oregon". She didn't mention her mother's name.
Friday, June 19 : Norma Jeane got married with Jim Dougherty.
The wedding took place at the home of Mr and Mrs Chester Howell, an attorney, friend of Grace McKee-Goddard, located 432
Grace had chosen this house because she thought the spiral staircase allowed Norma Jeane to make a theatrical entrance.It was Ana Lower who made Norma Jeane's wedding gown : .
The ceremony began at 20.30 PM and was celebrated by Reverend Benjamin Lingenfelder, from the Christian Science Church
member of her family, not her mother Gladys Baker (still
hospitalized), not the Goddards (left in Virginia), not her half-sister Berniece who hadn't be able to come, attended the ceremony.
Marion Dougherty, Jim's brother, was his best man; Norma Jeane's bridesmaid was a comrade from University High, Lorraine Allen.
Lower replaced Gladys and took Norma Jeane to the altar.
The Bolenders, came from Hawthorn to attend the wedding. It was the last time Norma Jeane saw them.
There were a modest reception ini an Italian restaurant in Hollywood, the Florentine Gardens (,
The newlyweds came back to Sherman Oaks at around 4.00 AM.
From all the events and emotions of the day, Jim kept this particular memory : "My young wife didn't drop my arm of the whole afternoon, as if she was afraid I could disappear".
They didn't do a honeymoon but gave themselves a fishing week-end on the Sherwood Lake shores
Jim took her skiing, riding, hiking, swimming and practising canoe.
Norma Jeane Dougherty, having left school, was from then on, considered as an adult by the society and had to get by.
She tried hard to properly play her wife role with this 21 years old partner, with an independent character.
She asked few questions, taking on, without turning a hair, the part of sexual partner and lady of the house to which Grace had prepared her and which, from then on, answered to Jim's expectations. All this threw her far from her intial dream : the one of being a new Jean Harlow. Norma Jeane was deeply disturbed by this changing of perspective; she didn't know any more where she was and what she was supposed to do. Jim Dougherty later admitted she was too sensitive and vulnerable. He was too, not much prepared to take care of her. He knew she was very young and that her sensitibility was easily hurt.
Soon, Jim realized that he was for her more a father than a husband.
He was a sociable guy who had lots of friends, played to all kinds of games and enjoyed going out, telling himself that dancing and flirting with pretty girls didn'ty have much consequences.
As for Norma Jeane, she didn't have friends, few talents in society and felt awkward with her husband in public, terrified by the idea he would abandon her if ever he paid attention to another woman.
He would have preferred saving a part of his salary, but she asked him some money she spent unwisely on expensive gifts : Van Dycke cigars, or new shirts, as if she could buy his love with his own money.
From this first summer, fundamentals differences appeared in their respective sensibilities.
Since her dog Tippy had been killed, 10 years earlier, Norma Jeane was very sensitive to the mistreated animals lot.
It was another common point with Jean Harlow (as Grace had made noticed) who had taken in, throughout her life, a whole menagerie of dogs, cats and ducks.
One evening when Jim had taken a rabbit ready to be cut up, Norma Jeane had made a real fury. The idea of eating the poor animal disgusted her.
Jim complained that she was unable to cook. Not knowing how to cook and not much prepared to the household chores, Norma Jeane was constantly anxious, terrified by the idea of offending her husband, of incurring his anger and maybe once again to be abandonned. But she was also prone to culinary awkwardness like putting salt in coffee, serving some pure whisky in big glasses, presenting the endless dishes of peas and carrots, because once, someone had told her she had to play with colors.
With no doubt, Jim wasn't cruel nor insensitive; but with his youthful enthusiasm, his masculine selfishness and his independence spirit, he wasn't much more prepared to the marriage demands.
Far from feeling reassured with a "Daddy" during her first year of wedding, Norma Jeane realized, at her expense, that she reproduced with this man a scenario alas too many time experienced : once again, she felt useless.
Jim had considered this wedding as a good action towards a pretty girl and a way to give her a houshold at his mother's home when he would leave to the war. But it wasn't on those good intentions, even if sincere, that a lasting union can't be built , an involvement he was anyway too young to assume.
Neither of them seemed aware of all those problems because they agreed in an important thing : they didn't want a child. Norma Jeane was "terrified by the idea of being pregnant....the women of my family had always made a fuss! And I hadn't finished my training as a wife. Becoming a mother belonged to me to a distant future".
Aware of the weaknesses of their union, of his probable next leaving to the Army as long as their conflicting visions of the future, Jim was very intransigent about contraception.
Every Sundays, they attended the service of the Sherman Oaks Christian Science Church.
They lived in Sherman Oaks from June to December.
In winter, they went skiing during a week-end at Big Bear Lodge.
In winter, they went skiing during a week-end at Big Bear Lodge.