Poppets, here am I, insanely busy as I clear all the decks before leaving for Rome. No, Hilary hasn't taken a turn for the worse! This time B.A. and I are going on holiday. As I write and travel and advise and generally amuse myself, he works hard all year long. So I am delighted that at last his holiday is here and that he can see Rome for himself.
Meanwhile, so many of you sounded so worried about the Innocent Traveller (below), that I thought I'd better double-check that the Guilty Traveller did not cling to her life after she cancelled dinner. I am happy to report that when she told him she was too busy to see him (quite true, incidentally), he backed off with a minimum of fuss.
The Innocent Traveller told me that she found your comments very supportive. She was still inclined to feel a little guilty and also to think that he wasn't as bad as everyone who heard about him thought. However, the very fact that so many of her acquaintance, and that we, were so horrified, made her think that maybe she was too close to the situation to see its implications for herself.
Once again I am impressed by the sagacity of the I.T., who is a lot brighter than I was at her age, let me tell you. There is a tendency in some women--encouraged no doubt by such films as Jerry McGuire--to shove their fingers in their ears when their family and friends warn her that a certain man is no good. These women waft on a cloud of "Only I understand him, and see the good in him, and that makes me special." Actually, it makes them--us--me at 21--rather dumb.
I cannot stress the importance of confiding in family and friends when you are in a confusing social situation, especially one involving handsome male near-strangers from abroad. Confiding in professionals, like a therapist or a random priest, is not necessarily the same thing, as I know firsthand.* Family and friends love you and they are not interested in giving handsome near-strangers the benefit of the doubt.
And now I must go. Although I can't promise anything for next week, keep an eye on this space in case I have an overwhelming inspiration. I will probably have some email access, thanks to our gracious hostess Hilary
*One day I will tell you this sad story. Pastoral FAIL. However, I suppose that disaster helped me become the Auntie Seraphic I am, so I shouldn't complain too much.