George was adjusting his cuff links when it occurred to him that he was becoming a bore. He worried about the thought as he waited for Elizabeth to finish dressing. She wouldn’t be ready for another ten minutes. She was, as George freely admitted, much more efficient and much more organized than he was; however she was always late in getting dressed for going out. George assumed that she felt that it was her duty to femininity to be late dressing.
He had already answered the questions she had asked about what she should wear. She always had questions for him to answer – did this dress make her look fat, which shoes should she wear, and so and so forth. He had learned long ago that his opinion wasn’t wanted; the questions were a formality of the relationship.
Was he becoming a bore? Over the years he had had a variety of interests and a circle of friends. Each had, George thought, provided the seeds of conversation that made him interesting. Common interests provided a focus for conversations. Friendships provided the opportunity for gossip. Now that he thought about it it seemed to him that his interests had narrowed and, frankly, had become less interesting even to him.
Elizabeth swept out of her boudoir, armored for the coming social engagement. George brought the car around and they set out for dinner with Roger and Carol. As he drove George worried about it some more; was he becoming a bore?
It would be of no use to ask Elizabeth what she thought. He was quite sure that she neither knew nor cared. Elizabeth was ruthlessly conventional. She was dedicated to being a wife; George was, to her, a necessary but otherwise unimportant accouterment.
His interests had paled; what about his friends? As he drove he realized that he had no friends; over the years his friendships had fallen away. All of their friends were her friends; he was an appendage to her social life. Their only friends that were his friends were Roger and Carol. He was certain that the only reason that she maintained the connection was that she had had an affair with Roger. He wished she would have more affairs. She was always more passionate and sexually attentive when she was having an affair.
He wondered – why on Earth had Roger married Carol? Oh, they were happy enough together and a man, after all, has to marry some one, but the combination of names was quite uneuphonious. If one is going to be part of a couple one should have names that sound well together. George and Elizabeth, he thought, was a particularly euphonious combination of names. Their marriage may have its faults but at least their names went together.
They arrived at the restaurant. Roger and Carol were already seated. George and Elizabeth joined them; jointly they endured the presentations of the waiter. Menus were passed out and drinks were ordered. When the waiter had disappeared into that obscure hole that waiters disappear into the ladies made the obligatory trip to the little girl’s room to powder their noses.
While they were gone George turned to Roger and said, “Roger, old friend, I have a personal question to ask of you. Please be frank; do you think I’m becoming a bore?”
Roger thought for a minute and then said, “To be frank, old boy, you’ve always been somewhat of a bore.”
George said, “Oh”. Just then the ladies reappeared and the waiter came out of his hole to take their orders. George didn’t mind; his question had been answered. He sat back, well satisfied, and ate his dinner.
On the way home he decided to ask Elizabeth what she thought. Before he could get the words out she interrupted him. “I don’t know what you are going to ask,” she said, “but please don’t ask. I know you won’t like the answer and I do hate to lie to you.”
George let it lie. It really didn’t matter and, after all, the dinner had been very good.
This page was last updated April 20, 2000.