Hey everyone! As a favor and treat for all of us, Jenny [The Penslayer] consented to put together a nonsensical interview for me. I wrote up the questions, assigned her a personality, and she answered the questions. Enjoy it! It's rather a masterpiece. ;)
Breaking News: The St. Valentine Post interviews the Hon. Ms. Lavinia Lacklove, chairwoman of The Society of Aged Maidens, on the topic of matrimony:
1. What is your Society's anthem-song?
To God my earnest voice I raise,
To God my voice imploring prays;
Before his face my grief I show
And tell my trouble and my woe.
When gloom and sorrow compass me,
The path I take is known to Thee,
And all the toils that foes do lay
To snare Thy servant in his way.
O Lord, my Saviour, now to Thee,
Without a hope besides, I flee,
To Thee my shelter from the strife,
My portion in the land of life.
Be Thou my help when troubles throng,
For I am weak and foes are strong;
My captive soul from prison bring,
And thankful praises I will sing.
This is taken from Psalm 142 and is to be sung to the pretty if melancholy tune of Rockingham Old. After some long debate among the Society [TM], we decided that the foes were not blackguards and n’er-do-well young men seeking to marry for money, but they could very well be and that the passage is open to such meaning; we also decided that the “prison” is not matrimony itself but, in this instance, could be construed as discontentment, idleness, gossip, frivolity and wanton husband-seeking. We have approached the local canon with this exegesis and he maintains that David was not thinking of matrimony at all while he made this lyrical petition.
2. If a woman were to remain single all her days, what would your sage wisdom and experience advise her to do?
Absolutely do not remain idle, and have as few friends as possible. Idleness and many friends lead directly to gossiping, I dare swear, and I would as soon stick both my knitting needles in my ears as hear a woman go on about His Honour So-and-So of Blankishire who had an affair with the maid and Lady This-and-Such had had enough and—knitting needles!
In general I dislike the term “single.” It sounds like an order at the grocer’s. And even if the other Society [TM] ladies don’t quite agree, when you order a man and his wife at the grocer’s, according to the Scriptures, you seem to get a single package—with the two becoming one, and all that. And if you’ve got to say that it’s neither here nor there, well, I don’t know about there but it’s here now and I might as well mention it. So there it is.
There’s also beginning to be an alarming lack of familial core these days, what with flappers and dancers and women going off and the War and Unemployment. I don’t know what’s come of things. It used to be the sort of thing that was here all the time but now it seems to have moved there so I might as well mention it too. When I was a girl, when my mama was a girl, girls understood their place in society—right below their fathers. And when their father handed them off, they were right below their husbands, not before, not between. And now I’ve got to mention it because it doesn’t go without saying anymore and there are too many flappers and rationing and slang and goodness if I don’t know what.
3. Do you fear, or crave matrimony?
I have never feared matrimony. I see so many women getting into it that I imagine all fear of it has quite worn off. Indeed, women get into it so readily that I wonder if it really ought to be feared a little, like the old witch’s oven that Hansel and Gretel so willingly climbed into. I don’t draw any allusions, but there it is. As for craving such a situation, I ceased caring at the age of eighty-three.
4. What is love?
I dare say it depends on what sort you are referring to. In this case I would call it “sticking to it” without “sticking to it” for the sticking’s sake, but the it’s sake. I think the truest romance is shown, not in flowers, but in smaller, pettier, less agreeable things, like a husband willing to do the dishes. It takes nothing to buy roses. It takes true love to wash the plates. Not that the Society [TM] wholly agrees with me on this.
5. Is love, by your definition, aptly represented in the romance novels your Society indulges in at each meeting?
If it were up to the world to determine what love is based on the sentiments of novelists, then the world is a sad place. And I dare say it is. Novels are all right for a bit of light fun but you would be hard-pressed to find an accurate definition of love in them.
6. Have you ever been in love and had your heart broken?
Wouldn’t it be splendid if I had? There was a shop-boy once when I was young who broke his heart over me, but I never found it out until three years ago when I met his widow over tea and she rattled on about it. What an alarmingly awkward conversation that was.
7. What is a perfect man?
When I find one, I’ll let you know.
8. What is a perfect woman?
Miss Prunella Burgundy thinks she is, but I’ve never seen one.
9. "Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds..." have you, as a single woman and therefore an impartial observer, found Shakespeare to be correct in this?
If that poor man had known his sonnet would be so flouted I wonder if he would have ever written it. I was just telling the Society [TM] the other day, where there is “true love” (as they have it in the books), it does alter, but it alters for the better. Love is not inflexible. Affection and temper may alter, but love does not.
10. As a "maiden" further advanced in age than some, if you were to be wed tomorrow, would you require hair of your husband?
I would certainly prefer it, and a man should have hair if he can possibly help it. But if it cannot be helped, it is no fault of the man’s.
11. How do you celebrate Valentine's Day?
I usually don’t. I’ve never had luck keeping a calendar. I always lose it, lose my place, lose my day, and in a month or two it turns up out of date. Now, if I remembered Valentine’s Day, I would go round to a tea-shop and have myself a nice treat and pretend it was my birthday instead.
12. Have you memorized The Language of Flowers? If so, do you analyze every flower you see to divine a meaning from it?
Well, we had several long sessions on them in the Society [TM], but I was never very good at it. I could recall on demand the meanings of asphodel, hydrangea, and mint, and everyone said that boded ill.
13. Your parting exhortation for fellow Society members?
Don’t lose heart, but don’t let your heart be run away with. Be content but not contemptuous. Be industrious but not ignorant. Moreover, I wouldn’t eat the cucumber sandwiches, if I were you.