Tea Time Troubles
Daniel and I have settled into married life nicely. I simply adore our apartment near Fort Hill Square, not far from the harbour. Watching the ships come and go is a good way to spend the time.
Which I appear to have plenty of. With Daniel working long days with Father, I find myself rather alone. Daniel encourages me to attend tea parties and make friends. I oblige him on occasion, though I can’t say I enjoy them.
I went a couple of days ago in fact, and left feeling utterly dismal. My new circle of friends are young newly married ladies like myself and older, shall I say, busybodies. (I can be honest, since this is my journal and for my eyes only.) Dreadful busybodies!
“How long have you been married now, Mrs. Gold?” Mrs. Foster asked. Like all of us, she wore a ruffled high neck blouse, a long velvet skirt (some of the ladies wore wool) and a large brimmed hat with a frivolous bundle of fake fruit attached. Fruit, birds, feathers and bows are common hat themes. We all sat up straight—how could we not with these blossom to hip S-shaped corsets—with our spines not touching the backs of the chairs. It makes one wonder why chairs for women even have backs. We might as well all be sitting on bar stools!
“Three months,” I answered politely.
Mrs. Foster gazes about the table with a conspiratorial look. “I’m sure you’ll have plenty to do to occupy yourself in no time.”
The ladies laughed at my perplexed response. As if on cue, Mrs. Long’s baby started to cry and she jiggled it on her knee to sooth it.
“Babies are wonderful,” Mrs. Long said, “you’ll never be bored again!”
That’s when I knew what they were laughing about. I felt myself blush at the insinuation. Not only that they expected babies to come, but the wink between each of them, about the intimacy that would take place.
Worse yet, I wasn’t in the family way.
I sipped my tea in an effort to hide behind my cup.
Mrs. Long saw my discomfiture, and seemed to understand the truth behind my pain. “Babies come when they decide to come.”
“Daniel says it takes time,” I muttered. And that I shouldn’t worry because I was young. But I’m not that young. I’m already twenty-one!
Mrs. Russell, rather hard of hearing, I expect, and obviously insensitive, chose that exact moment to announce the arrival of her latest grandchild.
“He’s two days old and doing well, my daughter tells me. They’ve only been married nine months. Little Oscar is a honeymoon baby!”
I wanted to be the bigger person and feel happy for Mrs. Russell and her daughter, but inside it made me feel like something was wrong with me.
Thankfully, that teatime ended. I confessed to Daniel later that evening that I much prefer the company of men who like to discuss politics and the worry that’s going on in Europe, over babies eating schedules and diaper successes.
He laughed at me and pulled me into a hug. “It’s why I love you, Ginger.”
Besides, I still have my single friends and the suffragettes to keep me occupied, along with Sally, Louisa and Father.
I’m concerned about Father. He fell the other day without provocation. Gained a nasty bruise on his knee.
Oh mercy. I fear this isn’t a very joyous journal entry. I’m sure tomorrow will be much better.