The Past is the Past

Hello to November and to you, friends. Thank you to the new people on my notify list.

I’m sitting here, as usual, working. Various kinds of working, but mainly for-money working. Typing. I do other kinds of work, too, including laundry, meal planning and executing, hoovering the dog furs up off the floor (which is never-ending with two collie dogs), and generally keeping life at Crow Cottage flowing as smoothly as possible. I like a smooth-flowing life.

We were watching a DVD last night, one of Henry James’ plays in a series of his works called “Affairs of the Heart”, and this one was about an American woman, Elizabeth, who sailed to England, round about the early part of the 20th century, when she immediately met up with two men, two friends, who were both taken with her. She was beautiful, in fact, Paul told me the actress who played her was married at one time to Sean Connery. Anyway, both men fell in love with her. But the more flamboyant one of the men (played by Derek Jacobi), moved right in and forced his way into her life and wooed her etc. He got almost to the point of asking her to marry him (he was a Lord-something) but he wanted to know her “history” first, to be sure he wouldn’t be embarrassed when something untoward came up that he hadn’t known about.

He perseverated for quite a while, until he finally decided to make the trip across the Atlantic back to America and search out her history to see if she had any skeletons in her closet that would prove disaster for him in the future. Back in those days, traveling across the globe was quite a long undertaking, and he was gone quite some time. Meanwhile, as you can imagine, his friend moved in, announced his love for Elizabeth, and she for him!, and he asked her to marry him! And she said yes.

But he said only on one condition, that she tell him about her past. She said that after six months of marriage, she would tell him all about her past. She promised.

Six months of married life came and went. On their 6-month anniversary, he hinted all over the place for her to tell him, but he would not come right out and ASK her. So she never told him.

Finally, the other friend came home after a year and a half searching America and the Sandwich Islands for her past and he could find out not one thing. It’s as if she was never born.

He went to her one day when her husband, who was a barrister, was away at work, and he pleaded with her to tell him what happened in her past – he just HAD to know!

Finally, after much wringing of hands and pleading on his part, she broke down and told him.

It was nothing. Nothing at all. She was an ordinary woman with no skeletons. She was not wealthy. She had married a middle class man and he had died, so she sold their little farm and went on her trip to Europe. She was basically quite poor apart from that.

He couldn’t believe it but she finally convinced him. But she made him promise that he would NEVER tell a living soul what she had said.

He promised, reluctantly.

At this point in the show, Paul and I were giggling about it all, Derek Jacobi was quite hilarious in this part, and I said to Paul – this is just like us! Remember before we got married (me for the 2nd time, and he for the 1st) and I asked you if you wanted me to tell you all the gorey details about MY past encounters and shananigans? And you said, no, you didn’t want to know and you only wanted to go forward from that day on, so I said, fine with me! And here it is 23 1/2 years later, and I have never told him my whole story. But he doesn’t want to know. So I never will. (Just for the record, I do have some juicy bits – which some of you know about, but most don’t).

This was a long round-about way of saying that, huh? Oh well. Happy November. How I love the coming of winter here in New England. Oh yeah, the cold, the wind, the snow, the ice storms, the cold, the heating bills, the wet dogs with ice-clumps on their feet coming in from the yard, lovely. I just love wintertime.



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5 Responses to The Past is the Past

  1. sandy from iowa says:

    Great movie review also


  2. sandy from iowa says:

    Yes it is best to keep the past to yourself//cause when you get in a fight it is alway brought up ..been there and had it happen.
    Now my mouth is sealed right till I am in the ground now.


  3. Yes, there is such a thing as telling too much, or not enough. I knew about some things, told him some things, but there was never a need to ‘bare all.’ I guess people have to work out their own right way to handle the past. In short, as an old man once said, “The past is a cancelled check…the future is a promissory note; the important thing is how we spend today.”


  4. Bex says:

    Oh yes, juggling my life has become of major importance these days!


  5. Reenie says:

    What great stories! The movie and yours.

    My former husband and I revealed too much history and it never ever stopped haunting us. We were so much in love, but once we had all those other *people* in our relationship… well, we didn’t make it. You and your husband made the wise choice. Bravo!

    Regarding your post of yesterday (I beleive) I nodded my head throughout. For example, I had two splendid events on today’s calendar, but cancelled one this morning. I’ve discovered that one event each day is my quota – even if it’s just grocery shopping. I choose carefully. This evening I’m making the 45 minute drive to Chattanooga with a friend, which will take us from CST to EST, and it’s my turn to drive. We’re attending a music event at six p.m. It’s a service of remembrance featuring The Faur� Requiem. I know it’ll be splendid, but I also knew I had to eliminate this morning’s plans. I imagine you similarly juggle life. 🙂


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