[About Nuala O'Faolain's Are You Somebody] Lilly Langtree wrote...
Since folks haven't finished reading it yet, I guess I should not comment about one aspect that bothered me. Well, I will anyway.
I don't understand why she could not just come out and directly discuss her long term "relationship" with the woman. It seemed to me that if she was writing a little "here is who I am" sort of book, she would just say "and this was the woman I loved".
I meant to post this ages ago when some thread was on about lesbian acceptance in Ireland. It just seemed silly to me that she had to prance around ... as though she wanted to talk about it, but it was still not safe to do so. It was all by implication and I found that sad. To want to tell, to allude to something, and to not feel able to tell it.
Oh, it's all coming back to me now...yes, I thought this too.
I remember thinking as I read it, is she not saying more because nothing actually happened and they were really 'just mates', or not saying more due to some sort of fear (or much worse, shame). If it was a fear thing, it's very sad that at her stage in life, she didn't feel she could just say 'that's the way it is folks, get over it'. If it was a shame thing, it is almost unbearably tragic.
I suppose we'll have to wait for the book from the other side.
Warning: When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
with a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me,
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we have no money for butter.
And I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick flowers in other people's gardens,
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible suits and grow fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickles for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.
But meanwhile we must stay respectable
And must not shame the children; they mind more,
Even then we do, being noticeable.
We will keep dry with sensible clothes and spend
According to good value, and do what's best
To bring the best for us and our children.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.