Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Commodification of Love - Now & Then

I read this article in the Telegraph with such sadness. I truly hope this in not an accurate portrayal of modern relationships. It made me think of Thomas Hardy's The Ruined Maid, an exploration of love as a commercial transaction from a completely different era.

The Ruined Maid - a poem by Thomas Hardy

"O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?"
"O didn't you know I'd been ruined?" said she.

"You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks;
And now you've gay bracelets and bright feathers three!"
"Yes: that's how we dress when we're ruined," said she.

-"At home in the barton you said 'thee' and 'thou,'
And 'thik oon,' and 'theƤs oon,' and 't'other'; but now
Your talking quite fits 'ee for high compa-ny!"
"Some polish is gained with one's ruin," said she.

"Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak
But now I'm bewitched by your delicate cheek,
And your little gloves fit as on any la-dy!"
"We never do work when we're ruined," said she.

"You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream,
And you'd sigh, and you'd sock; but at present you seem
To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!"
"True. One's pretty lively when ruined," said she.

"I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown,
And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!"
"My dear a raw country girl, such as you be,
Cannot quite expect that. You ain't ruined," said she.


lizzie said...

Great poem, had a good laugh over that one.
Cant quite take the Telegraph article seriously though.
There have always been loads of older women and not enough older men to go around and at least if you pay you dont feel obliged to jump into bed with these old goats.
Seriously these are the problems of the the living !

Like sunshine in the home said...

I really hope, like you, that this isn't the state of modern relationships.

What happened to romance? What happened to friendship? What happened to the simpler joys of life? These fancy preening men sound like they're not worth worrying about.

If this is the state of relationships and I was single I'd be celibate too! LOL.

And as for Hardy, well you know my feelings about him! :)

Like sunshine in the home said...

I read an equally depressing article in the Sunday Times this weekend about the cavalier usage of the morning after pill. Some teenagers are taking it three times in a cycle.

The middle class girls think it is all fun and right-on mummies are buying the pills for their kids. In the lower classes the girls are bullied into s*x by 'gangsta' boys who think they're 50Cent or Eminem and then bullied into taking the morning after pill.

So the state of romance amongst the young seems to be dodgy too!

Dulce Domum said...

Hi Lizzie
I hope that the Telegraph article was an over exaggeration. Why be obliged to sleep with a man anyway? If he invites you out to a nice dinner - surely "thank you very much" is all he needs at the end of the night. Any bloke who thinks we're obliged to provide a tumble just because he deigns to pay attention to us needs a wake up call. The answer to ego driven competetive, consumerist dating is for woman to say, "no, I don't love you, I don't much like you, I'm not going to sleep with you."

What Ho Sunshine
I read bits of this to the DH. He peered over his Wisden, lit his pipe and declared, "for every (ahem) tw*t who demands a woman to be perfectly preened cash cow, there are three chaps who would invite a lady out to lunch in a nice country pub...and foot the bill because it would only be £30." Oh, the wisdom of the DH. He's like Yoda and Buddha combined. He's Boda.

...as for the romantic lives of the young, urban classes I could tell you stories that would make your hair curl.

Like sunshine in the home said...

DH is indeed wise. I can imagine him with his pipe and beer like CS Lewis in thoughtful mode. :)