Are we thinking of the same Judith Hearne? I don't recall a country house or a groundskeeper. I do recall a drab, creepy boarding house in Belfast and an eventual (and apparently permanent) stay in a charity home. . . .
I don't get the sense that LW1's problem is that she is hung up on her semi-ex. Maybe I'm projecting, but it seems to be more about the obstacles 40-year-old (and older) women encounter when attempting to create that new life that everyone insists could be theirs if they just tried hard enough. As for the way men and women are (in the main) treated differently when they reach the post-40 years, it's a shitty double standard, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
@mattspiegler Years (and by years I mean actual decades) ago when I had recently moved to Boerum Hill, the powerful, unmistakable smell of a gas leak woke me up one night. I fretted for several hours while trying to pinpoint the origin of the stench and finally called 911 at roughly 4 am, convinced an explosion was imminent. The police came by about an hour later, and one of the cops opened the back door of my second-floor apartment, stepped out onto the little deck, and motioned to me. "Come here. Come here. Step out here. Do you smell that?" I sure did -- the smell was *really* strong on the deck. Yes, I said, pleased that my alarm appeared to be justified, that's it! I felt like such a good, proactive citizen. I was saving the whole neighborhood from fiery death. I now imagine that detecting my faint Texas accent only added to the weary contempt the cop had for me at that moment. "LADY. That's the GOWANUS CANAL."
Well, she didn't call you "sweet pea" 500 times, so she must have been conducting the interview as herself rather than as "Sugar."
I try to like her column, I really do, but I cannot stomach the syrupy endearments and blandishments. Every once in a while I start to get into her writing and then wham, that insincerity hits me in the face, and really, unless you're Flo in Mel's Diner, get the hell away from me with the "sweet pea" crap.
Her whole column is presented as "here's a real woman who has had a real life and she's gonna tell you like it is," but I can't relax into that fiction when she is so clearly donning a persona. It's telling that her voice in this interview sounds utterly different from her voice as Sugar. But I like *this* voice, the voice of the real writer, and once I know who she is, I'll probably buy her book.
Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.
::painting a night scene on black velvet, prehistoric bunnies grazing under the super moon, for Alex to hang in the bedroom::