Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Prosecution of The Hasty Marriage

via email from Betty JoDee (with my apologies - I couldn't open the pictures she included, so I had to troll google images for substitues - Betty Debbie):

Top Ten Reasons to Dislike The Nasty [sic] Marriage, or Reilof Is a Rat, Run!

10. Ugly cover. If that’s Limp Laura on the cover, it must be her good sense haunting her.

I rest my case:

9. Nasty Reilof has no sense of humor. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Niet. Limp Laura has no sense of humor. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Niet.

Reilof in a Good Mood

8. “Providential head of celery”—impossible; no celery is from Providence; (whispering) it comes from vegetable (looking down ominously and grimacing) somewhere else….serious lack of judgment by Limp Laura right out of the bag (so to speak).

7. Nasty Reilof is never Nice Reilof. Never, Betty JoDee? No, never, Fellow Bettys (I’m channeling Betty Keira). Self-serving posturing is not niceness. He didn’t even look at her coming down the aisle. Ugh.

6. After he has his Dawning Realization over a Fiat (again, questionable judgment!), he rushes to her all hot and bothered and desperately in love, supposedly mad because of his fear for her safety (see Betty Magdalen’s spirited—though the jury is still out—defense of Angry Alexander in A Star Looks Down. He doesn’t even ask or check to see if she is hurt until she’s so ticked that she begs off with a headache. Bah!
See what I mean about his judgment?
5. RDDs don’t agree to Marriages of Convenience when he has reason to believe the other (particularly of a lesser social standing) partner is in love with him when he is not in love with her—not cricket. When RDDs are engaged to Vapid Veronicas they are both playing by the same set of upper-crust rules—using each other for each one’s purposes--bloodless but time-honored and common.

4. Smart-mouthed repartee is only fun when both sides are playing equally, even if not social or economic equals. See Everard and Charity in The Gemel Ring, Araminta and Crispin in The Edge of Winter, Marnix and Henrietta, etc. Even little Hannah spits back against the mighty Uncle Valentijn from the start (you go, girl!). Blind Benedict is huffy with Chatty Cassandra, but she is trespassing while nosing about plus she chucks it back as fast as he can hurl it. Nasty Reilof spews forth venom against a hapless Limp Laura. She doesn’t fire back until well into the book, already demonstrating that Nasty Reilof does not practice fair play; it’s shooting bitterballen in a fryer.

3. Nasty Reilof only likes Jet-Set Joyce for her looks. Irritating but expected in twenty-one-year-old males; unforgivably shallow and immature at his age, especially since he already demonstrated his appalling judgment with Expired Esme. Jet-Set Joyce has nothing else to recommend her to a real man. Nothing. Zippo. Zilch. Nada. Niets.

2. RDDs should notice the unnoticed. The elder sister who hangs out the wash when all the boys are playing football. The staff nurse who catches the brunt of Surly Sister during the night shift. The knitting switchboard operator with an unusual name who treats him as a regular guy. The guardian of small orphaned boys who works in the flower shop through lunch to make ends meet. The Not Pretty but Not Plain Nurses who are the only ones to cook, clean, work, be competent, or even pleasant. Nasty Reilof falls head over dim-brain for Jet-Set Joyce instead—not just for some time-killing dates or even mutually-using-each-other engagements but In Love! Double Ugh.

1. Turbans.

Only Known Example in the History of World Civilization of an Attractive Turban:

HRH Princess Maxima of the Netherlands

Ten Reasons to Read The Nasty [sic] Marriage Anyway

10. It’s a Betty.

9. Limp Laura’s lacy brown dress with low neckline. (Even Betty knew that Nasty Reilof only thought of One Thing, thus if Limp Laura has any chance at all….) Still a rare sighting in Neelsdom.

Limp Laura finally speaks Reilof’s Language

8. It’s a Betty.

7. Got nothing.

6. It’s a Betty.

5. Still working on it.

4. Uh….

3. Did I mention that Betty Neels wrote it?

2. One of the longest declarations of love in The Canon—almost five pages. (Of course, Betty knew she was gonna have to sell this piece of dubious reconciliation with more effort than usual.)

Nice try but no cigar, Mrs. Neels

1. Larry the American!


  1. Betty Barbara here--
    Betty JoDee--Brilliant, just brilliant!!

  2. A+
    And if that Larry was THE Larry, I'd definately ditch Reilof for him. He may not be overly couth, but he'd never treat you like a head of celery. And he's got a killer smile!

    However, I still enjoyed the book for reasons 10, 8,6 and 3. You just can't beat a Betty.

  3. As beautifully written a piece of wrong-headedness as I've ever read. Bravo!

    (Still, I'm glad we can spit and shake hands over the subject of wretched turbans...and presumably 70s era denim dresses.)

  4. That's it? That's all the reaction we get?

    C'mon, Bettys Keira & JoDee -- some of us bought popcorn & are waiting for the catfight to begin.


  5. Betty van den BetsyAugust 12, 2011 at 8:32 AM

    I have not read THM for some time, but my recollection, in refutation of reason #7 to dislike, is that Reilof carries the tea tray at his and Laura's first meeting. That is one of Betty's classic Indicators of a man with his heart in the right place. One might argue, too, that not looking at one's bride when she is wearing a turban is rather chivalrous also.

    It's not much, I agree -- but it's not nothing.

  6. Betty JoDee, you almost had me convinced. But before I read THM, I had read Britannia All at Sea, in which Reilof was a suitably devoted husband to Laura.

  7. Sorry Fellow Bettys I have been All at Sea myself this week (okay, the Outer Banks--watch for a future Betty in the Wild pic) so I'm catching up with the comments.

    I will concede to Betty van den Betsy (I love writing that) that not looking at a turban-headed bride is a piece of gentlemanliness that had not occurred to me before. (One could argue that, not understanding Jet-set Joyce's narcissism, he had the mistaken notion that carrying the tea tray would push him farther to his...ahem...goal with her.)

    I believe that I will accept Betty Lulu's idea that if I ever manage to plough (spelling in honor of The Great Betty) through The Nasty Marriage again I will read Britannia All at Sea (containing the only Betty line known to have made Professor van der Hertenzoon chuckle aloud upon it being foisted on him) immediately preceding it in hopes of seeing Reilof as a wretch who once was blind but now can see (because, let's face it ladies, a Road to Damascus-level about-face is the only plausible happy ending).

    Extra special thanks to the long-suffering Betty Debbie who had to hunt up photos 'cause I didn't send them in the right form.

  8. In Defense of Reilof

    1. Joyce had already slapped “infatuation goggles “ on him before he ever met Laura. He was blind to everything but Joyce.
    2. He was unfailingly nice to Laura while dating Joyce the Undead, offering rides, carrying trays etc. That’s why the sister code required that Laura pretend she was busy all the time. Leisure Suit Larry wouldn’t have thought about Laura. And by then he was also sporting sister-in-law goggles, which prevent you from considering your fiancée’s sister as a potential girlfriend.
    3. He rescued the dog. Stopped, treated it, kept it with him while he lectured, brought it to Holland (even though zombie girl didn’t like it,) and gave it the official Betty-approved name for non-canal rescued dogs “Lucky”
    4. He took her on a “Honeymoon “ (ok, “Holiday “) and didn’t leave her in the hotel while he attended meetings or forget her for hours at a hospital. He actually spent time with her.
    5. He held her hair back when she was sea sick and stayed up all night checking to be sure she was all right.
    Sounds like a pretty nice guy to me. Far superior to Litrik, Jake the Snake from All Else confusion and dreadful Dominick. THM is top 10!

    1. Yessss! ❤️THM❤️ is TOP THREE for me! 😊

    2. He also occasionally holds her hand, stays up all night to check on her repeatedly on the night ferry after he doses her with brandy when she's seasick, and shows clear signs of jealousy once they're in Holland. On a scale of Litrik to 10, I'd say Reilof is at least a 6. THM is Top 3 for me as well!