Continued from previous post reviewing ‘How to Create the Perfect Wife’ by Wendy Moore: Designer Bride I
If you know what kind of life you want, and you know what kind of spouse it will take to make it happen, why shouldn’t you insist on exactly what you need? Such hubris led our hero Thomas Day to attempt to create the woman he could not find. He adopted a 12-year-old orphan and raised her himself, inculcating her with his doctrines.
Sadly, it did not work.
At the age of 14 she rebelled against the heavy burden of housework he put on her. Also, she wasn’t enjoying being pricked by pins and shot at with a pistol to develop her stoicism. It seems that even meek, grateful orphans have their limits. So he banished her to boarding school.
Lesson 1: You can’t force people to fit your mold.
Day went back to dating women of his social class who were out of his league. One had to be dumped because she was too attached to her earrings. Another returned his proposal-by-contract with a point-by-point rebuttal, saying things like “Equality is essential for a happy marriage,” and “I couldn’t imagine being subservient to a husband in all things.” Yet a third suggested that she’d marry him if he became socially presentable, like by brushing his hair and wearing clothes that fit and weren’t rumpled. (Lesson 2: The most deficient are the most demanding.)
In despair, he went back to his orphan, who was finished school. He gave her strict orders on exactly how to dress for his proposal. But something small was off (record doesn’t say what, but friends agree it was a trifle), and he banished her forever, furious at her disobedience.
Lesson 3: You can’t demand perfection in your spouse. They’re only human.
Unbelievably, lesson 4 is that every pot, no matter how dented and warped, has a lid. There was a woman who wanted to marry Mr. Day. And she did. It was a rocky marriage though, between Thomas Day and Esther Milnes. A marriage full of his tests and trials. A marriage full of verbal spats. A marriage from which Esther stormed off at least twice, moving out of the cottage in the woods and in with her mother-in-law. See lessons 1 & 3.
Which brings us to lesson 5: If you’re pretty sure that the reason you’re single is all the fault of the opposite sex, the fault is probably in you.
Continued in next post: Designer Bride III
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