What IS it with all these women who insist on playing coy games with The Proposal? Waiting Around for Him to Ask - my Aunt Fanny! And in the Monday case the Everything-but-the-Ring couple has already experienced what stereotypers would term Lesbian Bed Death. Part of me insists on thinking that it couldn't happen to a nicer couple. Another part of me has been continuing my little discussion about Eleanor Butler with Dr Susan. I used to be very White Richard, backing the Duke of Buckingham as the agent behind the murder of the Princes in the Tower. Recently, however, R3 has reminded me of Macbeth, and I have wandered into the Grey Richard camp.
Today I shall devise a few Operative Questions.
L1: LW1 confuses me somewhat. The tricky part with secondhand letters is that it's not alwas easy to discern what a LW is calling something and what the other person is calling the same thing. One is so inclined to reword things. Which of them called anal a Fetish? It certainly sounds as if he did, but I still want to make it absolutely clear that that is his own thinking and not just her mental association. The F word gets thrown about almost recklessly these days. If it originated from him, my guess would be that he is trying to manipulate her into making it their primary entree on the menu, as it were. If it originates from her, I suspect that she wants to make it into something seen as an exotic activity that is far outside the range of what a Normal Person might Reasonably Be Expected to Do. In a way, this is almost like watching a Cutthroat Defence when one knows one of two accused parties must be guilty and each accuses the other.
Another important question is, How has he presented the matter to her? He seems to have been a bit clumsy about it, not laying the groundwork properly and ensuring his partner's comfort along the way. Is he inconsiderate, just not very good at it, or has he made a reasonable effort and just met with a badly mismatched partner? The dealbreaker matter is sort of a side issue to this. Presumably he does not have to have it that way every time. It seems more a question of reasonable accommodation.
The question I like best is, Why has LW1 written to the Prudecutor instead of to Mr Savage, who is a good deal more expert in these matters? One possible answer is that she might not be aware of Mr Savage, but that seems not the most likely. She might have decided in advance that Mr Savage would definitely tell her to be GGG and that his comments section would, to be punny, savage her. Interestingly, just yesterday or so he pointed out in response to a young gay man that anal isn't automatic. Especially if LW1 pinned the F word on this of her own volition, I suspect she consults the Prudecutor because she knows just what answer she'll get back and she feels confident of a sympathetic reception. And it certainly seems that she got more or less what she expected.
I can go on and cross-examine the Prudecutor a bit. Just exactly when is exactly the right time to introduce a non-vanilla interest? Particularly with somewhat bland partners, advancing in small steps is much more likely the way to go. If anything, ABF1 has jumped the gun a bit or gone too fast for LW1. It likely depends on the exact meaning of dealbreaker (people are so like Humpty Dumpty and expect words to mean exactly what they pay them to mean). Unless the construction of the letter is rather off, he appears capable of functioning without indulgence. If he doesn't require it every time, then isn't it simply a question of whether he can be accommodated, and, if so, how often they should agree to do it?
And how, oh how, does the Prudecutor know exactly what is Standard Operating Procedure in bedrooms where her participation would not be required or welcomed? I would hesitate to spout myself, having Retired from Romance, but I should still venture to think myself a good deal more knowledgeable on this topic than the Prudecutor.
Moral: "What many men desire/That many may be meant/By the fool mutitude that choose by show/Not learning more than the fond eye doth teach"
L2: This time I shall begin with the most interesting question. Just when did The Father morph into My Fiance?
FSIL2 may have a good deal in common with more than one person or character, but the one who comes most definitely to mind is the Prodigal Son's Older Brother. Has FSIL2 basically played by Mamma's rules all her life and been rewarded very sparsely for it? Seems plausible enough to me. This does not justify her attack on LW2, but one can understand resentment on the part of someone who has done The Right Thing for year after year and barely been thanked for it when in swans someone who has done what would seem to be Clearly a Wrong Thing (or at least the Right Thing in the Wrong Order), and off she waltzes with a Big Reward.
There are so many questions one could ask. In many respects, this is reminiscent of the holiday questions we had featuring a LW and her MIL - where oh where has the Little Dog Gone? What is F2's contribution to LW2's decision-making process? It seems a bit much that he should be pushed out of the Family Interaction Prototype or get to check out on his own volition before the pair of them are even legally wed. Has FSIL2 had rather a hard time of it for someone with a rich mamma? Or perhaps did FSIL2 have a similar situation of her own in which Mamma behaved rather differently? Has FMIL2 always favoured her dear little boy over his two sisters (or at least the one who's complaining)? Is FSIL2 just badly behaved in general, greedy-grabby and wanting to keep her hands on as large an inheritance as she can? How is the Other FSIL2 taking the whole situation? Does FMIL2 tend to inject money into social transactions on a regular basis? There is just way too much one doesn't know to be truly comfortable with any particular line. My working hypothesis would be that FMIL2 typically is used to being on the receiving end of a good deal of sucking up - Miss Crawley in Vanity Fair, perhaps? And we all know that regular Sucking Up puts one at risk for turning into Goneril or Regan.
Then again, it is at least possible to look at the proposed gift as a Lovely Gesture. One hardly wants one's first grandchild to be raised by parents who are Financially Insecure. And there do exist young women who become Pregnant on Purpose, taking, as it were, Lucy Steele for a role model. Not that LW2 necessarily seems to be one of this type, but FSIL2 might have reason to think her so that has been Conveniently Omitted from L2. And some people do hold hat it matters whether a future child is the result of a commitment or the cause of one.
My working hypothesis is that FSIL2 has behaved more or less in a manner that she thinks worthy of being rewarded by FMIL2, although I'm torn on the question of whether FSIL2 particularly thought she deserved a bit of assistance, or that it would have been nice, or whether she hadn't had any particular thought about her mother's money until suddenly a large gift to a stranger pops up on her radar. This has the feel of L1 from last week and the ex-wife kept dangling for seven years about a child, and then LW1 got someone else pregnant and was thrilled forty ways to Sunday about everything. I wish F2 had written the letter; then we might know much more about his relationship with his sister. Has FSIL2 deliberately passed up the chance to become pregnant herself because it would have been financially imprudent (or even perhaps terminated a pregnancy for reasons of financial responsibility)? That seems a decent first guess, considering how little we've been given.
Should LW2 accept the offer? I can't bring myself to care either way. I don't really have a sufficient read on whether she'll earn every penny of it, and I cannot entirely settle on how much I dislike LW2. It is very curious that she first describes F2 as The Father, and then later calls him My Fiance without any mention of when the engagement occurred and any pertinent circumstances. I think I'm inclined to hope that the siblings and LW2 will all live unhappily ever after.
Moral: "Edwina said she was d****d if she was going to be Queen Lear."
L3: How on earth did this not all come out at the time of the estrangement? And why on earth would LW3 feel she ought not to tell the truth now? The only reason that comes to mind is that she thinks she might not be believed. But this whole letter just comes across as off. It could be a lot of fun; we have all the requisite characters, but we have the wrong LW. LWs calling a stepmother a total witch are rather a cliche. I think I'd most enjoy the perspective of the stepsister, quite the most original character in the piece. What has she been doing in all of this? Why has she now apparently aligned herself with her stepfather, presumably against her mother? What have her motives been? I so want a different LW that I just can't bring myself to go on with the current one.
No moral deserved.
L4: Well, who died and made her Queen Latifah? Why on earth is the whole neighbourhood so afraid of someone so ill-behaved? After all, it takes a village to kowtow to Hyacinth Bucket.
Moral: "Now, Emmett; if you're rude, she won't invite you again."