Thursday, November 18, 2010

11/18 - Extremely Quick and Crabby

I refuse to justify this week's drivel with lengthy commentary (for me, at any rate). Besides, the answer is obviously Breakup.

L1: Surprise, surprise, the Prudecutor completely misses the point. The minor point is that LW1 apparently feels that she is entitled to issue invitations to gatherings not hosted by herself. This may or may not be of interest. I suppose it seems reasonable to assume that others of her family have been granted the same power, and that somehow the sister in question has never had to accommodate the entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir or every surviving past or present cast member of *The Mousetrap*. I shall allow others to make points about the bizarre behaviour of the hostess (if the report is accurate). The major point is that LW1 seems to have no qualm either way about separating her beau from his daughter and granddaughter for the day. She seems to take it as a matter of course that his spending the holiday in the company of what little family he has is of no importance next to her requirement of a male escort. This couple clearly must part ways at once for the sake of the granddaughter if for no other reason. Her need of a grandfather outweighs LW1's need not to descend inton the depths of her sister's house unarmed or the grandfather's need for the sort of sex life Mr Savage would wish him to have.

Moral: If I were to put up a rewrite, it would dwell at length on the numbers that other sisters have been permitted to invite to family holidays and their inferiour connections.

L2: LW2 has clearly missed the boat here. Perhaps it is not too late. The obvious thing to do would have been to make major family celebrations out of the occasions of Daddy's birthday, the couple's wedding anniversary, and other momentous occasions, as many as possible. At such a celebration it would be easy to explain that poor Herbert would feel terribly out of place so that it would be much kinder to himk not to make him attend. Of course Mamma might feel disinclined to attend herself, but she might well do so if bribed with sufficiently enticing anniversary presents.

One might also wonder whether it could be of use to approach Herbert. The tricky part here is that it's difficult to decide (at least with less than an hour's reflection) whether LW2 has a screw or two loose, her mother is just guilty and defensive, or Herbert is a controlling boor. But in almost any of the possible outcomes, the conversation ought to work, and by whatever path ought to lead to a breakup. If Herbert is a dominating boor, it should come to light reasonably soon, and Mamma can dump him. If LW2 is a bit off, Herbert will pick up on this during their discussion and realize he's better off finding someone without such baggage. And if they are both the reasonable ones and Mamma is a bit off, then they can decide between them whether that is likely to be temporary (aw - no breakup) because of uncompleted mourning or permanent, in which case Herbert can decamp with a clear conscinece.

Moral: if I were putting up a rewrite, I think it would be most fun to go for LW2 complaining about how Mamma made her take down all the life-size portraits of Daddy she's had hanging in every room of her home so that Daddy can keep watch over her, but I might add that Mamma has been asking her to call Herbert Daddy and she does not want to do so.

L3: Does the Prudecutor seriously contend that LW3 could have gotten this particular boyfriend to marry her by refusing to move in together? Highly doubtful. It may occasionally delay marriage, but would an Ideal Husband really be pushed off the Marriage track because the Ideal Wife agreed to cohabit first? And again perhaps the answer is too obvious for the Prudecutor. Why on EARTH is LW3 putting herself in such a ridiculous position? If she really wants to marry this man (and I could dedicate quite a long post to the question of why she might), then what possible reason could she have for not proposing to him herself? She must do so at once. It will almost certainly lead to a breakup, which will be all the better for both of them.

This will be my one parallel for the week - it reminds me of Northanger Abbey. Catherine Morland, in Bath among people who are much more rich and fashionable than she with very little acquaintance, is delighted to meet up again with the attractive and witty Henry Tilney. As they are about to dance, she must converse for a moment with the undesired attentions of John Thorpe, the brother of her new dear friend Isabella. Henry claims that he would have been put out of countenance had Catherine's attention been withheld from him much longer, as he regards a dance as quite a parallel to matrimony, which Catherine cannot follow. Henry then explains that they are comparable in many points - man having the advantage of choice and woman only the power of refusal, for instance. Catherine cannot quite see them in the same light, and Henry teases her by supposing that this is because the traditional obligations of marriage are reversed in dancing - the man's job is to make the experience agreeable, while the woman's is to provide the fan and the lavendar water. He also says that men who do not wish to dance or marry themselves have no business with the partners of their neighbours. Catherine's original defense is that, while she must speak to isabella's brother if he speaks to her, she does not know any other man in the room. Henry's lament about this being his only safeguard lures her into saying that she does not wish to speak to anyone else, much more satisfactory.

Moral: If I were to put up a rewrite, it would make LW3 into a Very Girly Girl and go into her highly sophisticated snooping methods and how much time and energy it has taken for her to determine that he is NOT going to propose to her, and how she has absolutely no choice in the matter and would never ever EVER do such an Unfeminine thing as to propose herself.

L4: LW4 married a man who cannot afford a Smoking Room in his house. Divorce him at once.

No moral necessary.

There - done in less than the hour which was all the time I had for it today!


  1. Intriguing and unique stance on L4. Congratulations.

  2. Well one always reads books about houses with Smoking Rooms. Such a room seems highly desirable. When all one's relatives who indulge have coughed themselves out of being able to go about and visit one any more, it can always be transformed to a Flower Room - after a suitable airing, of course.