I love reading Margaret’s journal. [link broken] Just wanted to say that.
I have been having a lovely weekend (starting Thursday, lucky me) and it has involved the return of two wonderful friends from not-LA (Ying from Copenhagen and Jackie from up north… yes I realize Copenhagen too is “up north” in the most literal way), lots of delicious food, shopping, and of course, the excellent and hilarious conversations good friends can have. Oh and some ass-kicking Pilates. I have blown my entire clothing budget for this month in one go, and made up for the past two months’ under-budget spending, but I’m happy. Here’s one reason why:
My newest literary obsession is Ngaio Marsh mysteries. Marsh was a rough contemporary of Agatha Christie, beginning her career around the same time and finishing much later, and her books are somewhat similar and yet quite different. Jackie (who introduced me to Dame Marsh) thinks they are grittier, which may be true; Marsh is much more concerned with the intricacies of police work and less so with the psychological twistings and turnings of one’s “little grey cells.” Like Christie, Marsh has a real sentimental streak; both authors are fond of sweet romances and happy endings, though there seems to me to be more underlying Marsh’s love stories than Christie’s. At any rate, from an early-summer obsession with Christie, I’m now completely disdaining Christie for Marsh, and I can’t get enough of her stories. If you’re interested, my favorite as of now is Night at the Vulcan.
Besides falling for Ngaio Marsh, I also confess I’m a little in love with her protagonist, Roderick Alleyn. Chief Detective Inspector or whatever his title is. After he kept me company (in the form of Last Ditch, my current second-favorite) a couple of nights ago when I had an upset tummy, I lay in bed thinking about how wonderful Alleyn is, and why there aren’t any real men like this! This question got under my skin so much I had to get up and turn on the light and write about it. I produced a page and a quarter of scribbling, which I present below as-is because I am much too tired to edit it now:
Friday, 8 September 2006. Very early morning.
What does a strong woman want in her male partner?
Besides the requisite qualities anyone wants in a companion — kindness, patience, honesty, a good sense of humor, etc — what she really wants, and despises a man for lacking, is leadership.
Leadership is a rare quality made up of many others: authority, competence, the ability to command love, admiration, and respect from others. [Edit: Include also integrity, which Jackie added when I expounded this theory to her.] The really strong woman is quite capable of coping with any task — from life-or-death situations to the most trivial everyday concerns — and she needs to feel that her partner is able to step in for her at any given moment in any of these situations. Does a huge life decision need to be made? He should know how to make the call. Is she in need of an outfit for an event? He should be able to choose one that will flatter her. Car breaks down on the freeway? He can fix it. She’s had the worst Monday of her life? He knows what kind of dessert to give her, and her favorite type of flowers. He should be knowledgeable on a wide range of subjects, be capable of leading groups of people, be trustable to make important decisions, and be aware of what’s going on around him. He should be courageous and passionate as well.
Are there men like this? I have no idea. If this ideal man sounds too perfect, yes, he is supposed to be. For I have only the highest opinion of what a good woman is capable of, and that is: everything. So naturally, should she expect any less of her mate? On the contrary, she should expect more, for that is the kind of partner she deserves.
There’s more I have to say on the subject, but it will keep.
For now, I am going to bed.
[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]