I’ve always been envious of Karen Walsh on page 20 of this paper.
While I only ever receive letters from irate readers, warning me to change my tune, or religious types urging me to change my ways, or worse again, the bank telling me my show is folded, Karen gets letters from concerned rural people seeking her counsel.
Nobody ever seeks my counsel, no matter how troubled they might be. I have often wondered why.
Anyhow, seeing as nobody does, I’d like today to pick up on a recent letter to Karen that appeared on this paper. It was a letter that I took a liking to, for it dealt with the delicate subject of romance.
Seeing as how I don’t get any letters of my own, I’d like to borrow this one and reply to it. There’s no harm in that I’m sure, for ’tis rarely I offend.
Now, the letter writer, if memory serves correctly, was the concerned daughter of this widowed farmer.
No name was given, which is just as well, for I might know one, or all, of the parties involved, and my response could be greatly influenced by local gossip or hearsay. All parties’ identities remain a mystery, which is just as well.
This fellow in the letter, this widowed farmer, was widowed at an early age, and by all accounts, had reared his family singlehandedly, doing a mighty fine job of it.
In fairness to his daughter, she had nothing but praise for her father in this regard. For he had indeed been a martyr to the cause.
Then we came to the main crux of the letter, which was in dealing with more recent goings-on regarding her old man.
The ‘problem’ for want of a better word, was that her father had fallen for the charms of a young woman, and while his daughter, the letter writer, claimed to be happy for pops, her concern lay in her suspicions of the new lady’s motives. Worried she might be some class of a gold digger, she wondered what she might do.
Now, if I may, I’d like to answer this letter in my own way.
The first thing I would advise any daughter worried as to what to do in such a circumstance is... do absolutely nothing. If dad has found love, more luck to him.
Whenever love strikes, a fellow needs to embrace it with both arms. And I don’t care if he’s 59 or 99.
Women are a scarce commodity here in rural Ireland.
If you find one at all, you damn well better try and hold onto her.
If he has found a new flame, he’s a lot better off than the many hundreds and thousands living their lives in a romantic darkness.
This man doesn’t need concern, only a steak for his supper and plenty of onions on top of it. This man needs to be fired up, not cooled down. This could be the makings of him.
And as for the inference, or fear, that the new lady might be a gold digger.
If he has spent a lifetime rearing a family off a farm (as I have), I’m telling you, there will be precious little gold lining the pockets of such a man. Gold digger my arse. She’s with the wrong man, if she is looking for gold.
Really, my dear girl, your father and his new woman are no threat.
They need to be congratulated, not castigated.
Look after your own partner if you are lucky enough to have found a good one, and leave the old fellow to look after his.