> A Room of One's Own

Is this normal?

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Gertrude Blovius:
Dear Sobbing spouse,

Why your tear ducts continue to flow with salty rivers of desperation has been made abundantly clear to me now, though I am not yet able to provide an oar to help you row to the shores of marital bliss. That will require a journey of discovery for which you should pack a mirror with which to examine your powers of empathy in an honestly critical light.

My dear, your husband is what is known as a "kept man" in most senses of the word. I know this may come as shock to you but it is undeniably the case. It is a role reversal which also often comes as a surprise to males who find themselves, however self-propelled, in this situation.

For true happiness the human soul must be free or perceive itself to be in that state. Tom has surmised the true extent of his captivity and commenced pacing his cage, with predictable results. This is but one of many avenues leading to the same intersection of desire.

It is not my place to dictate how a woman runs her household. However, I would advise that you open the gate to allow your Tom to scamper into the nearby wood. Eventually he will find himself, and in so doing, find you once again, and on your revised terms, which should involve a loosening of the purse-strings and perhaps other ties which bind whilst maintaining a lock on his ultimate salvation and that of your marriage.

While he is away you will have prepared yourself for his return by abandoning a few of your controlling urges. We both know that men require a guiding hand in this life to help them attain the next; it is best if they presume to have discovered the truth by their own reckoning.

I will continue to be your guide. You will find that you see much better once your eyes are clear, and dry.

Yours Truly,
Gertrude Blovius

Dear Mrs Blovius

It would seem that Tom did not require me to leave the gate open.  He has opened it himself, leaving it swinging in the wind, with only this oily fingerprint stained epistle to show he was ever here.

Dear L.

I am leaving.  I know how angry you will be but I don't have any choice.  I finally outsmarted you and the rest of the Adams family.  All that time your dad thought I was researching concealment sites in the Cheviots I was on the Web leaking company information to Greenpeace and being counselled by a reflexologist called Bunty8AR.  I have been customizing a Raleigh shopper I found in the woods and now it is ready I am gone.  Do not try to find me.  If your dad sends those goons from human resources after me it will be a waste of time.  I know how to cover my tracks.  And I have soaked my shoes in diesel so those ruddy hounds of your dad's won't find me either. 

Even though our engagement was unconventional I tried to make the best of things.  I got hold of that secondhand tandem, but you just wouldn't share my interests.  That kennel has no draught proofing and you might at least have let me have a groundsheet.  And as far as the piped-in "Tiffany" albums are concerned, it did not make me strong like you said, it nearly broke me, and if it wasn't for Bunty I would have ended up dumping those canisters of fondant icing in the solent with your dad's other management trainees.  Team building my foot.

And just so you know, I really hate your mum.


Mrs Blovius, it seems he was not the man I thought he was.  My heart is broken at his deceit and betrayal.  I fear there is now no hope for our union. 

Gertrude Blovius:
Dear L.,

Alas, your marriage would appear to be a sham, but all is not lost. The history of matrimony is replete with forgeries which so closely mimic the real thing that perhaps it is much ado about nothing until you both make the acquaintance of St. Peter, who has seen it all and like as not will be in a forgiving mood.

Your husband is clearly a cad and a bounder, words I do not use lightly though they have come close to passing my lips many a time as I have struggled to come to grips with my own choices in life. As you may be aware, my estranged husband Theodore, once the apple of my eye, has proven to be a fruit of a different order. Were our travails to be captured in art I daresay they would be beyond the abilities of a Hieronymus Bosch or a very blue Picasso to convey. In its lighter moments, Salvador Dali might come closest.

I still remember the time he brought a woman of the night home "for sociological purposes only." By this he meant to have sexual congress and report on the experience for a monograph to be entitled Intimacy With The Lower Orders: A Field Report. I made my displeasure known in no uncertain terms. He blithely escorted 'Candy' to his study, which was equipped with a foldaway bed, and they proceeded to fornicate, also in no uncertain terms and with the door open "if you would be so kind as to take notes, Gertrude."

My horror at this situation can scarcely be imagined. It may may have been the permissive 70s; however, nowhere in our nuptial contract had I agreed to hand over my duties as a wife to the hired help, even to further the advancement of science. My shorthand that night was particularly spiky with rage.

Suffice it to say this encounter presaged a new ice age in the Blovius household. The glacier is with us still.

Count your blessings, dear. Your Tom has in the end proven himself capable of honesty if nothing else. Even if one's virtues can be counted on one finger, that is a very good start.

There is always hope, and it is not, as Mr Woody Allen has observed, the thing with feathers.

Yours Truly,
Gertrude Blovius


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