Sunday, 8 August 2010

provinces

I was at a very good wedding yesterday. Here, for the first time in what might be years, is some of the Provincial Lady. She's on a book tour in America:
Conversation with Aunt Eleanor ensues. She does not, herself, write books, she says, but those who do have always had a strange fascination for her. She has often thought of writing a book - many of her friends have implored her to do so, in fact - but no, she finds it impossible to begin. And yet, there are many things in her life about which whole, entire novels might well be written. Everybody devotes a moment of rather awed silence to conjecturing the nature of Aunt Eleanor's singular experiences, and anti-climax is felt to have ensued when small lady in rather frilly frock suddenly announces in a pipy voice that she has a boy cousin, living in Oklahoma, who once wrote something for the New Yorker, but they didn't ever publish it.
The party breaks up and Mrs Walker drives our heroine home, explains that Aunt E's first husband died and the second left her, and says she hadn't expected her and heroine to get along:
Am quite surprised and hurt by this, and realise that, though I am quite prepared to dislike Aunt Eleanor, I find it both unjust and astonishing that she should be equally repelled by me. Rather interesting sidelight on human nature thrown here...

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