Quotes from author Frank Ronan, who I met ages ago at a Calgary WordFest. Many years later, I was attracted to his book, making no connection to the man until I chanced to look at his photograph and a memory came drifting back. The Men Who Loved Evelyn Cotton taught me much and put words to some of my own experiences. A great read; dryly comic. And I’ve pulled some excerpts which stand alone like philosophy-proverbs:
“If someone is to stand up to the closest scrutiny, then you need to be in love with them not to be disgusted. Personal habits and small failings have to be glazed with charm in order to be borne.” And that’s so true. I’m so easily irritated by someone I’m close to if I’m not crazy about him. Reminds me of what I heard at a wedding: “Don’t marry someone who you think you can live with, but someone you can’t live without.” I’ve been lucky? unlucky? to have felt this for a few men over my life, but it’s never been mutual. Hence, I’ve stayed single.
And this relates back to my recent emotional maturity comments. “Perhaps Julius (not Caesar; just a character) was by this time slightly mad. He was certainly…behaving in a fashion which may have been appealing in a teenager, but was grotesque in someon of his age and station. It is possible that love makes one mad, and equally possible that one has to be mad to fall in love. We do not grudge Julius his falling in love. You cannot be too old or too villainous to fall in love, but you can be old enough to know how to behave yourself.”
But, if only he is in love – which is exactly how I’ve felt on a couple of occasions – or if we’ve been single and living alone for too long: “she could only resent the way he intruded into territory that had been entirely her own. …She was used to privacy and the comfort of being taken for granted. … She was unused to living with someone who demanded a right of access to every part of her life, who constantly demanded to know what she was thinking. She felt herself steamrollered by his enthusiasm. …as if choice had been taken away from her. “
And sometimes there’s lust and attraction but no compatibility. In that case: “Waiting for your lover to return is much better than being with him. Only anticipated love is perfect.”
And, “Nothing is true until we discover it for ourselves.”