There can be no fool for me. Only a heartless wit will do.
By the dubious age of fifteen I’d already decided that “Ever Afters” were infantile pipe-dreams, “Happily” ones especially so.
After all, only a blind idiot could entertain the thought that a living soul might be happy in one paradise forever. And though I was quite clearly a sentimental idiot, I wasn’t blind.
The following quotes capture my applicable feelings of the time. The first sums up the more sober part of my own attitude, the second grasps the essence of the only passion I could have seriously respected in a man:
“If I could love a man who would love me enough to take me for a mere 50 pounds a year, I should be very well pleased. But such a man could hardly be sensible, and you know I could never love a man who was out of his wits.” ~Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen.
“Get thee to a nunnery, go. Farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them.” ~Hamlet, William Shakespeare.
So, when I did meet a man who fluttered my precariously prudent heart, and who my pugnacious mind confirmed worthy of such vivacious esteem, it was a lost cause from the start, obviously.
I, feeble rationality fettered with excessive romance, but only towards the kind of man who could not (by the very nature I love in him) love me back in the same way.
He, requisite freedom placated by my importunate adoration, chained (against his better judgement) into a hapless monogamy.
Both of us have endured our predictable agonies with (barely) adequate dignity over the years.
Nevertheless, I’m still living my ever after. In happiness and despair, in boredom and desperation, in persiflage and diligence, in love and hatred, in sickness and health, and in everything between them: In every mundane pause for affection and in every faulty contrivance which dares to prowl restlessly in the bowels of a marriage.
...It is a multifaceted and whimsically sorrowful delight, to see my fickle and apocryphal fantasies drop into an ocean of lachrymal yearning which breaks, in pathetically apologetic waves, upon his more logical solidarity.
But oh, what the boundlessly foolish youth in me wouldn’t give, for an occasional clash of tides...