Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

P.G. Wodehouse wasn't necessarily known for his deep thoughts, especially on love. Remember the "Ickenham Method" that Uncle Fred always proposed? Grab the lady by the wrist, waggle her about a bit, say something pithy like "my mate", and shower her upturned face with kisses. You have to admit, it's a bit on the short side of romantic. But last night I'm reading along in the first of the Blandings Castle novels, Something Fresh, and there of all places is a description of falling in love that I decide I simply must share. Mostly I wanted to share it with One, who needs to start socking these things away for future reference. A good passage like this may come in handy one day, 10 years from now, when he's wondering to himself: "Self, is it this young woman who I really love? What, then, is love?" And all those other thoughts that my Can I Overthink This Some More child will likely have about such things.

Here's the set up: Ashe and Joan, impoverished writers and neighbors in London, are traveling to Blandings Castle as temporary servants, the goal of which employment is only fully explained by reading the whole dang book (something I highly recommend, by the way). They arrive on the cold, dark, windy train platform, and while waiting for the cart to take them and the luggage to the Castle, Ashe sees Joan smile and has an epiphany:

"He did not wish the station platform of Market Blandings to become suddenly congested with Red Indians, so that he might save Joan's life, and he did not wish to give up anything at all. But he was conscious, to the very depths of his being, that a future in which Joan did not figure would be so insupportable as not to bear considering, and in the immediate present, he very strongly favored the idea of clasping Joan in his arms and kissing her till further notice. Mingled with these feelings was an excited gratitude to her for coming to him with that electric smile on her face; a stunned realization that she was a thousand times prettier than he had ever imagined: and a humility which threatened to make him loose his clutch on the steamer truck and roll about at her feet, yapping like a dog."

Do you think that's a good place for One to start, 10 years hence? Me too.

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