I think the “What I’m Looking For” section of a profile is more telling than the “About Me.”
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
I just finished a great book called How to Create the Perfect Wife. It’s a non-fictional account of Thomas Day, a Georgian-era gentleman, and his attempt to, well, create for himself the perfect wife.
Thomas Day knew exactly the sort of life he wanted to lead. He wanted to retire from the shallow, frivolous contemporary society and live in a small cottage in the woods. He would spend his day reading philosophy, writing poetry, dispensing charity, and trying to make the world a better place. And he knew exactly the sort of woman he needed as a life partner.
She had to be smart and educated in all the same interests as he, but not so ambitious as to write her own novels or poems. She had to have simple tastes and spurn the frippery of the times. She’d wear her hair loose and unstyled. Her neckline would be high, her sleeves long. She would not own earrings or, preferably, any jewelry. She would be strong and capable, willing to endure his difficult life of privation and philanthropy. She would not engage in trivial pursuits like music and dancing, and she must have plump white arms.
Crazy, isn’t it? I mean, what kind of guy dictates the way his wife does her hair or what she does her spare time? Oh wait…
I once met a guy whose first criteria for a potential date was “doesn’t have Facebook.” His second was “will only cover her hair with a scarf or hat.” It only got more detailed from there. Another guy had a list of acceptable college degrees for his wife-to-be. I asked what he’d think if I found him the right girl, but she came with her own list, like how many times a week he has to learn, and maybe something against the way he asks random girls like me to call him by his nickname. His response was that if their lists didn’t match, clearly they weren’t meant for each other.
This is how many of us date. We have a dating pool of perhaps a few hundred candidates, but we still reel off detailed criteria down to how many years he should want to learn and what he can do bein hazmanim. And heaven forbid he should show up in a pink tie.
But 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.
HT to the Kansasian
HT to O:
I had a teacher who said her mother-in-law picked her out on the F train. But how awkward is a train car where everyone is sizing each other up and Czeching each other out?
Why worry now when you can worry a decade ago?
This story from A Contributor:
Ten-year-old lad successfully negotiates pet as a Chanukah present. But type of pet is up for debate.
The dog gets a double parental veto.
the python gets a single-parent veto.
Vetoer is the Mother. Mother unconditionally refuses to drop live mice into a tank, so son unconditionally promises that he will do all the feeding all the time always no matter what really I promise promise promise pleeeeaaaase?
He gets an okay.
The chatty salesman then recommends that the kid pick out a handsome one, cuz pythons can live 30 years, so he’s gonna be sharing his room with it for a very long time.
At which boy furrows his brown and says, I quote:
“What will this mean when I start dating? I’m going to have to find a girl who isn’t scared of snakes because the snake will still be alive. She will have to be willing to live with a snake. Will there be girls who want to date me if I have a snake?”
This one is so short I can’t in good conscience make you follow the link. But this was a real live exchange on a date. Well, I’m told. I wasn’t actually there. But my friend-in-law was.
He: “So, do you like animals?”
She: “Only ones that are small enough for me to run over with my car without damaging it.”