The More Things Change …

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife who is cultured and intelligent, and who cares for her health and her appearance.

At least, that’s what Garance Franke-Ruta at The American Prospect is talking about:

“There is something very democratic — even weirdly meritocratic — about our current ideals, in that they can be achieved by anyone with enough effort. After all, in a nation where a third of the women are obese, 62 percent are overweight, and the average college-educated woman — not to mention the average elite woman — is much more likely to eat well and exercise, as well as have the income to purchase decent clothing and make-up, becoming well-educated and self-disciplined provides certain visual advantages.”

***

My Dear Garance,

One of the senior partners introduced me to the most accomplished and interesting young man at the holiday soiree. I was wearing the new blue Galliano dress, the one that matches my eyes. I know he appreciated my looks, because he commented that I looked like a person who goes to the gym regularly. I did not think it inappropriate to open my eyes widely at him. I could tell he was a gentleman of refinement, because his Prada shirt was new and very tasteful.

We had a delightful conversation about his work as a merchant banker, after which he inquired about my profession with the utmost delicacy. I believe he was taken by my lawyerly accomplishments. We had also both seen the Degas exhibit, and I found his comments to be both cultured and perceptive. He complimented me on my knowledge of Impressionist art.

I skillfully balanced my own opinions with my estimate of his preferences. We all know that men appreciate intelligent women who disagree with them in small matters, but of course one defers to them in the important things.

He has invited me to go running with him tomorrow!

Yours Sincerely,

Elizabeth

***

(Link courtesy Alan Bostick via email.)

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