13 November 2007


She has made her mind up, it seems, to marry me off to Sebastian, and was at pains to persuade me of the attractions of the married state: “It’s lovely,” she said, “it’s so comfortable.” She did concede, however - rather wistfully, I thought - that it was not quite as exhilarating as other possible arrangements. “You can’t expect your husband to spend the whole day thinking how wonderful it is that he’s going to have dinner with you - he usually does have dinner with you, so there’s nothing special about it. One does rather miss that sort of thinking - it makes one feel so cheerful, doesn’t it, and so good-tempered and energetic? But men don’t understand that; they like being married - it makes them feel safe and secure. You wouldn’t want poor Sebastian to feel insure, would you?” I suggested that the ideal arrangement might be to have both a husband and an admirer – that being the correct term, I believe, for a man who looks forward to having dinner with one. “Oh, it is,” she said, with more enthusiasm than you might expect from a respectable married woman. “But you can’t make it last, you see. The admirer always wants to marry you and be safe and secure, so you end up with complications and unpleasantness.”

The Shortest Way to Hades by Sarah Caudwell

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