My state of mind this week: distracted.
As I’ve mentioned before, my husband and I are self-employed. This week the phones rang from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.-ish. I’ve shelved my regular post this week for better weather.
Let’s distract ourselves then with a story about a widow named Mary Anne Lewis. A plain woman, who often scandalized people with her uninhibited comments, ditzy remarks, outlandish furniture, and bizarre clothing choices.
Her husband died when she was 45. He left her a small fortune and a large home in London, making her attractive to fortune hunters.
In steps Benjamin Disraeli, a politician in his late 30’s, and in need of an infusion of cash to grease his political ambitions. When he first met her, he was unimpressed by anything but her fortune. She was twelve years his senior, by that time in her early 50’s. But something about his manner caught her attention.
When he asked her to marry him, she knew he didn’t love her. And asked they wait one year so she could gage his character and disposition. She was far more shrewd than anyone credited her. At the end of the year she agreed to marry him.
While she may not have known which came first, “the Greeks or the Romans,” she understood the most important thing in marriage—the art of handling men.
She adored her husband. Her frivolous patter when he came home at night helped him to relax, and in turn, home became his haven. She helped him edit the books he wrote, listened to his daily news from parliament, became his helpmate, confidant, advisor.
Whatever he undertook, Mary Anne did not believe he could fail.
He rose from the House of Commons to Prime Minister of England during the reign of Queen Victoria.
He used to joke with his wife saying he had only married her for her money. To which Mary Anne would always reply, “But if you had to do it again, you’d do it for love.”
He was her staunchest supporter. No one dared insult her within his hearing because he would defend her passionately.
They were happily married thirty years until the time of her death.
In the words of author Leland Foster Wood, “Success in marriage is much more than a matter of finding the right person; it is also a matter of being the right person.”
Therefore, I would like to dedicate La Mer by Charles Trenet to the brilliant Mary Anne Disreali—who inspired love.