Saturday, January 24, 2015


I remember in my Q&A telling you all that I have to choose my battles with my family about social engagements. Well, last night was an example. I've been visiting my friend Alicia lately but haven’t mentioned anything about it to Dad or Elizabeth, since I know they wouldn't be interested. Today I had to mention it because Dad and Elizabeth had, without consulting me, rsvp’ed for me to a dinner invitation from Ms. Dalrymple for tonight. I was not sad to miss the Dalrymple party, but had to explain why I couldn't go. I told Dad I was expected at my old school friend’s place. They were annoyed and asked me who this friend was and upon finding out it was a recently divorced, ill, friend named Alicia Smith, Dad released a diatribe:

Dad, red in the face: Mrs. Smith? And who was she married to - one of the ten thousand Mr. Smiths of the world? You would rather spend your evening with a sickly Mrs. Smith than your own relations? Than with Ms. Dalrymple? Anne! Everything that others shun - low company, bad neighbourhoods, all these things seem to attract you.

They did their best to put off my visit to Alicia to save them the embarrassment of me reneging on an invitation. They tried employing Lacy’s assumed disapproval, but I was able to counter them there because Lacy knows all about my resumed friendship with Alicia and has even dropped me off at Alicia’s apartment building.

Dad: how shocked they must have been, in that neighbourhood, to see Lacy’s Mercedes pull up! Imagine that - a poor, Mrs. Smith, the commonest family name in the country, is preferred by Anne Elliot to her own family connections who have roots in the nobility of England! I’ll wager this Mrs. Smith is busy calculating how she can exploit her lucky connection with you to advance her position in society. Divorcees are always desperate and calculating.

At this point in Dad’s tirade, Clara, who had been in the room for everything so far, thought it best to leave. I was strongly tempted to make a cheeky remark, but managed to hold my tongue and leave it to Dad to realize that Mrs. Smith was not the only young divorcee/widow with a common name and poor finances who is graced with the friendship of our family.

I held firm and we all kept our respective appointments, quite disgusted with one another. Welcome to my world.