And here I thought we had a week off rather than a day less.
L1: This is going to be my one parallel for the week, and a very strong one. LW1's mother is Mrs Boynton from *Appointment with Death*, perhaps almost to a T. Mrs B, who married the late Mr B after being a wardress in a prison because it suited her personality, went on to torment her stepchildren and daughter and warp them to the point that they could not function as adults. She coped with her older stepson marrying, absorbing his wife into the family, and eventually took the little group abroad to Jerusalem out of boredom with her complete triumph at home. There may be posters who think the brother ought just to sort out his own life, even though he's been raised with the specific design of not being able to do so, but he could be much worse off than he is. I am a bit interested in whether LW1, with a very interesting attachment to Mamma, is quite as free as (s)he thinks, but that seems rather a side line.
I'd also rather not get too deeply into home schooling. That it offers parents interested in doing that sort of thing the opportunity to isolate their children, that sort of danger is of the obvious kind. I always think of the passage in *The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie* when the little girls observe for the first time that Miss Brodie and Miss Mackay have political differences which for many of them is the first suggestion that it is possible for those joined together in grown-up authority to differ. I actually rather favour home schooling, but by the old-fashioned means of tutors or governesses instead of mothers, as is typically the case.
But back to LW1 and the brother. My first concern would be to assess how bad he's become. In AWD, Lenox is almost completely apathetic and Jinny is on the brink of madness, but Raymond and Carol are still capable of attempts to rebel, even if quashed, and contemplate doing away with Mrs B to save Jinny. If we can assume that the brother is more or less at Raymond's stage, the solution is to follow the AWD line. LW1 must immediately introduce the brother to someone who will represent Sarah King, the young doctor who, after getting past her initial reaction to his being dominated and warped by Mrs B, provides Raymond with enough motivation to attempt a life of his own.
No time for morals, I'm past bedtime as it is.
L2: SHE'LL have to find a new Best Man? That says more than enough. The only possible line of questioning concerns whether this is an entirely limited illness completely confined to LW2's sister having been elevated to the exalted role of Bride-to-Be, or whether it is any sort of harbinger of Life to Come. If the latter, it is the obligation of the Best Man, even if deposed, to cross-examine the Groom at length in an attempt to determine whether he truly longs for a life of being dominated. If not, do whatever is necessary to cause a break. The old standby of getting the Groom drunk and setting him up to misbehave himself (with the added modern touch of filming the encounter and putting it directly on Youtube) might do as nicely as anything else. As far as the beard is concerned, LW2's best chance there might be to inundate his sister with the writings of Mr (Andrew) Sullivan.
Moral: I am reminded of *Cards on the Table* and Mrs Oliver's annoyance that South American tribes aren't always experimenting with and developing new poisons instead of sticking with what has always worked for their fathers and grandfathers.
L3: What bizarre sort of situation is going on at this company? Is LW3 deluded? Do the bosses simply have no idea how to communicate with the employees? How is this company not bankrupt? Is LW3 about to be offered a different promotion? If not, why train her?
I suppose this letter makes a refreshing change from those letters sent in by young women in business or the law who want to take a possibly awkward moment at work and turn it into means for blackmail or at the very least professional advancement or some other advantage. But one cannot think very highly of LW3's cunning or wits if her reaction is to be shame at being seen crying outdoors instead of considering the unease or guilt the appropriate supervisor is feeling or is likely to feel for having made her cry in the first place. LW3 is too tender-hearted for success in the corporate world. I advise a future as a Benedictine.
Moral: If LW3 is familiar with *In This House of brede*, I just hope she doesn't resemble Dame Veronica.
L4: LW4 irritates me to death, almost more than her husband. He's just extremely jerkily unprofessional, with a high probability of that carrying over into the rest of his life. But are we really to say that there's no part of this the waffling LW4 likes? How clean, as it were, is her own house? I have a little idea that she might be very close to the LW of some few weeks previous who just had to lament the deficient size of her partner's apparatus, a fact which she had almost certainly made known throughout the entirety of her acquaintance. That might make a credible reason for LW4 being insufficiently outraged by her husband's outrageously unprofessional conduct.
And yet she doesn't want to cause trouble for him in his career. She might point out to him in no uncertain terms that trouble will likely find him soon. Indeed, it is hard to believe that he has not been found out already. Perhaps it would suit her self-interest to try giving him as stern a warning as she dares. But she's such a waffler. I am too irritated to continue.
Moral: He may deserve to be divorced, but LW4 has not manifested proof that she deserves to be allowed to divorce him. People who marry jerks of his class really need to show that they have learned their lesson before the first parting, or else, as has been observed by She Who Must Be Obeyed, they will just keep on marrying the same sort of person over and over, only getting slightly worse each time.
Sorry this was so scrappy.