Monday, September 27, 2010

He's my Friend

Frances stared at her daughter. 'Are you setting out – deliberately – to make yourself unhappy? Do you want to be one of those women who spend their lives hankering after some man they can't have because he's gone off with somebody else or never looked at them in the first place? Is that what you want?'

'No. I don't want that. I want James.'

Frances sighed. 'Are you going to see him?'

'Yes. We're going to meet up next week. We're going to have dinner.'

'And the approach came from him?'

Caroline hesitated. Her mother was watching her. 'Not exactly . . .'

Her mother smiled. 'I thought not.'

Caroline ignored the provocation. 'I phoned him. I said that we hadn't seen one another for a while and did he want to have dinner.'


'And he said he'd like that very much. He's coming to Corduroy Mansions next week. He's going to cook.'

'What's he going to cook?'

'Risotto. He makes lovely risotto.'

Frances rolled her eyes. 'Oh, darling, can't you see? A man who goes round cooking risotto . . . It's just not going to work.'
Read the 11th installment (He's my Friend) and more on A Conspiracy of Friends from Alexander McCall Smith's The Corduroy Mansion Series.

Do we deliberately make ourselves unhappy? Is it some pathological desire to hurt ourselves that causes us to pursue people who don't care or imagine situations which are never to be?
The funny thing is that we somehow tend to justify any shortcomings in our perceived friends and even in any impossible situations to somehow find fault in ourselves! It's disturbing in retrospect but seems so entirely natural at that time... I think we have this masochistic aspect where we inflict ourselves with pain and remorse and hope to find some kind of redemption through it.

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