Thursday, December 1, 2011

12/1 - DP Bachelors

Well, I was just a bit premature in predicting major DP interest at Feministe. Two lengthy threads have emerged from the Monday chat. The first OP looked at the out-calling granddaughter and the breastfed-at-table 5-year-old. I rather gather that, if, as I said to my protege ten years ago, ninety would be the new fifty by the time he reached that age, that five is now the new three. (When I was five, I won the New York Lower Elementary Chess Championship and walked nearly half a mile to and from school unaccompanied as a matter of course, and now a majority of women seems to take it as entirely normal for a five-year-old to go to his mother, say, and I quote one such woman, "Mama, i tirsty," and get a quick zap from the maternal source.) In that thread, one poster wished for a discussion of Cut-off Husband of Formerly Abused Wife, and a new thread was created. Amidst all the proliferation of heat as it exceeded the quantity of light, I did find it interesting to see how quickly many posters jumped at the chance to label and assume about Other People's Marriages. It was not until post #256 that someone pointed out that the LW was not necessarily male, which made me think with enjoyment of the old Fray days. It will be food for thought, though, whether it was a good thing when there were a good many assumptions that will be borne up by almost every marriage one encounters.

On to Thursday, which is not a promising set of questions.

L1: This is a technical question. I almost always punt on technical questions. I'll say that LW1 irritates me. Even with a flimsy amount of justification, her obsession is grating. It might be interesting to know what her mother could say about the constant badgering, especially combined with the reticence observed with her father. And, as for the Prudecutor, what is up with nagging about finances? While financial preparation is all to the good, the case is not so extreme that daring to bring a child into the world in poverty is a capital offense. Oy.

L3: While gaining greater insight is all well and good, LW3, it might help to be certain sure that your affair was hurtful to his wife rather than just assume it. But what sticks out here is a considerable quantity of knowledge and remaining informed about him and his life. What is all that about? All right, you occasionally saw each other, and good for you that you could keep up the way you did. But why seek information about him on line? May be innocent; may be eerie. And what good might come to the wife instead of to yourself I've no clue.

LW3, if you really want to provide some comfort to W3, work out some anonymous way to send her a decent little chunk of money. She'll almost certainly need it. As for your not being able to contact and comfort his wife, just understand that this time It's Not All About You and accept it as better than a great many consequences that might have arisen from the affair.

L4:  Now, here I consider that LW4 gets hoist with, as it were, the Prudecutor's own petard. Who on earth invites the fiance of a close friend to a large holiday party out of looking forward to getting to know him better? That is exactly the sort of moronic drivel the Prudecutor is constantly pulling out of her wig and suggesting that people actually attempt to say with a straight face as if it were an accepted given that society only functions when people tell each other lies that are so blatantly obvious. This one is so obvious that even the Prudecutor picks up on it.

LW4, you clearly have no interest in getting to know your friend's fiance better, or you'd have invited him to a function conducive to the process. Do your friend a favour and dump her as disgustingly as you know how, so that she can be grateful not only to be relieved of the obligation to have to keep declining distasteful invitations all the time, but that she won't regret losing you as a frenemy.

L2: Surprised? Not that L2 has any particular question worth asking or answering, but there is a distinct parallel here. H2 is Walter Pret from Muriel Spark's novel The Bachelors, which concerns a large set of young or youngish or even not-so-young men in London, many of whom find themselves engaged from time to time, but almost none of whom want to get married, even the marriage-obsessed journalist, Matthew Finch. Walter Pret is a sort of enfant terrible. He sits around in bars, crashes parties or overstays his welcome at hostess' homes, rambling on about his invented upper-class and artistic past, cadging "loans" or asking waitresses to cash checks against policy, taking great offence at imagined slights and making out how terribly uncivilized all bachelors are. Despite his snow-white hair, one really has no idea how people put up with him. He has, however, one great advantage. He is unmarried. H2 is not. Think about it.

Moral: "We all pee in sinks and break women's china cups!"


  1. Spot on, as always, and your advice to LW4 was the most insightful of anything I've read in weeks.

  2. Thank you.

    By the way, I have just noticed that, while I am notified of attributed responses, such as the one just above this, it seems that anonymous comments aren't sent to me. Anyone who wants a reply is advised to make sure the comment is properly attributed.