Essay: Disapproving of Ruth

Oct 2, 2020

Disapproving of Ruth

“Have you heard what Ruth is up to now?” my mother said.

“Craziest thing I’ve ever heard of,” my father said.

My grandmother just shook her head.  Ruth was her sister and she’d been doing crazy things forever.  Why, she didn’t get married until she was past thirty and then she married a much older man.  He was wealthy but still—he was 46!

And they went all the way to Alaska on their honeymoon—in 1919, for heaven’s sake!

Then, after being widowed in her fifties, Ruth married again at age 73.  And this time she married a younger man.  Worst of all, Ruth enjoyed having a cocktail every evening before dinner!

Well, I was just a kid so I made no comment—but the Great Aunt Ruth I knew was the most loving person in our family—even though she had suffered more than any of the people who criticized her.  Her only child died at age eight and Ruth’s first husband became an invalid and lost all his money in the Depression.

“Craziest thing I’ve ever heard of, “ my father said again. “Now they’re selling apartments and Ruth is going to buy one.  They’re calling them “condominiums.”

Condominiums!  Can you believe it?”