I suspect that my mother’s cheerfulness in telling me the old story was because it functioned as a sort of revenge, that permitted her to place in a satisfactory perspective the acquaintance amongst the younger generation that called it to mind. Certainly more than once she drew my attention to the fact that Michael always took the initiative in the relationship, with Nimal obligingly following his lead.
Such patronising indulgence was not to be traced in the tone and the words she used with reference to the relationship after Iris’s letter of confirmation. As I mentioned, though previously it was a detached sort of interest I had felt rather than any form of pride, now I found myself sharing her attitude. The trouble was that it was not simply an isolated issue of different generations having different views about differences in status. If that had been the case I would have had no excuse to intrude my own feelings, if indeed I had had any adverse ones then, upon what was solely the concern of Tara and Nimal and possibly her parents. But as it was, the Old Place was involved. Tara had further responsibilities than simply to herself, and these she appeared to have ignored completely in her present course of action.