Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thirties Thursday

Your earliest memories are of you and your mother being treated as the 'poor relations'.

Although you ache to be traditionally pretty, you realize in high school you never will be.

You marry at an early age to a tall, handsome pilot and move across the country to his base. You're thrilled to have your own home and start living your own life.

Your romantic dreams of happily ever after are crushed when you discover you have married an abusive alcoholic. You feel trapped as you know your family will never condone a divorce.

Believing your husband's messages of remorse, you follow him to the Far East, where you quickly discover he hasn't changed.

You head back for home, determined to get a divorce and start your life anew.

You fall in love again, this time with a foreign ambassador.

Your heart is broken when he informs you that his family will never accept him marrying a divorced woman.

You spend several years alone, drifting aimlessly.

You decide to marry again; but this time you choose a quiet, steady man who loves you far more than you love him. You both want to 'get on' in life and climb society's ladder.

You have several happy years with your new husband. You spend your weekends with him traveling in the countryside and antiquing. Slowly but surely, you make new friends and start getting invited to grand houses and attending sparkling dinner parties.

Although you spend most of your time worrying about money (it's a rough economic time and your husband's income has decreased), one of your girlfriend's admirers is one of the world's most glamorous men. Meeting him is the thrill of a lifetime.

This man includes you and your husband in his inner circle of friends; you get to travel in luxury and spend your weekends at his country house. You tell your friends you feel as if you're in Wonderland.

You realize this man is becoming attracted to you and you are immensely flattered. You're not as young as you used to be and his attention and gifts make you feel as if you're finally a success. You know this is only a flirtation as one day he must marry.

You discover this man is more than attracted to you; he's in love with you. In love to a degree which you have never experienced before. He phones you constantly. He wants to be with you at all times. You come before everything; his family, his job, his obligations.

You saw this relationship as nothing more than a flirtation; you're happy being married to your dependable husband, but this man is insistent that you make your life with him. He won't take no for an answer. You know if you leave, wherever you go, he will follow you. Your husband has had enough. He is tired of being the butt of society's jokes. Together, you both accept divorce is inevitable.

Once your other relationship becomes public, you start to receive threatening letters which terrify you. You move into your devotee's country home, where you feel safer.

Soon the public backlash is too large and you flee the country; begging your man to see sense and set his priorities correctly. But to him, you are his only priority.

You realize the situation is out of your control and that your name will become notorious.

Your name is Wallis Simpson.


  1. Elspeth - Wow! What a powerful way to tell Wallis Simpson's story! You've got such a gifted way of giving her history. I had no idea that she was married to a pilot, or about her difficulties with relationships. This is absolutely fascinating stuff and you've got a really absorbing way of sharing it. Thanks!

  2. Margot; Thanks for letting me know you liked it! *blush* I know she wasn't perfect, but I often feel she gets treated fairly shabbily.

  3. Wonderful story, Elspeth. Like Margot, I did not know some of these details about Wallis. Thanks for the enlightenment.

  4. Very interesting. I've never heard her story from her POV.

  5. Maryann; This is another post which could have been much, much longer! I know a great deal about this woman. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Helen; I thought it might be interesting for everyone to see that whole story through her eyes.

  6. Wow. About the time you got to "one of the world's most glamorous men" I started to suspect it was Mrs. Simpson's story, but I didn't scroll down. I was so impressed with your technique. I love it when writers make us look at a familiar story in a different way and you sure did it here. Using second person can be very powerful in creating empathy, can't it?

  7. Anne; Thanks for letting me know when you started to suspect who it was! I could have been more cryptic, but I don't think it would have served the same purpose. I agree, second person is a wonderful vehicle for getting people to step into another pair of shoes.

  8. I love different perspectives on stories.
    Thank you.

  9. Al; It can be fun. Thank *you* for reading it!

  10. You did a fantastic job with this. And it's also an instant lesson in how to concoct a 3-dimensional character, even though we know this one is real. Kudos.

  11. Carol; Gracious; thank you! You've made my day.

  12. Great post -- too bad my history teachers couldn't be this interesting. (And thanks for the reminder that it's Thursday. I thought it was Friday already!)

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  13. Terry; I've always tried to remember that even though the date may be different, people aren't. I'm glad I helped you realize it was Thursday; although I'm sorry to burst your Friday bubble.

  14. I love your approach here! This story has always been fascinating to me and I've not thought about it from Mrs. Simpson's POV. Very nice!

  15. Wow, you really had me hooked. Before this, I'd really never thought of her as someone with a life before she married Prince Edward. Much more sympathetic in this POV.

  16. The whole time I'm wondering, "How could she have lived this life? THIS is Elspeth?!?!" What a beautifully told story, Elspeth. I didn't know all of these things about Ms. Simpson. Wow!


  17. My goodness. I had no idea.

    There is always another point of view, certainly when the most known point of view is the judgmental public one.

    Thank you for this other perspective. This is why writing is important. The illumination of the whole of the story.

    Well done.

  18. What a fantastic story. I thought I knew about Wallis Simpson, but now I realise I knew nothing at all about her.


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