Old folk at lunch

Sunday, June 8, 2014

No names


I was for much of my life a great reader of fiction.  And the very English  Somerset Maugham was one of the authors concerned.  And I think it is in his stories that I encountered the phenomenon of the old lady who had a good friend in a young "bachelor" of unstated sexuality.  The old lady was culturally inclined so liked to go to plays, operas etc.  But either the lady was an old maid or old muggins the husband had shuffled off some years back.  So the lady was alone.

And the lady could not happily go to all her cultural occasions alone.  So this bachelor (maybe a friend of her son, a nephew etc.)  could be called on for  such occasions.  The friend was also culturally inclined and was usually ready to accompany the old lady to something and discuss it with her afterwards with proper interest and enthusiasm.  And that arrangement continued for years.  So it was an excellent arrangement that the old lady had with the young "bachelor".

But as Oscar Wilde often said, nature imitates art.  And I know of two real-life people who have a very similar arrangement to what I remember from Somerset Maugham.  Good luck to them!

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