No man can possibly admit this. You like your wife to need you. You want her to be delicate, easy. You want her to stand on her own feet as well. But not too much. You don’t want her to complain and whine. You want her to have ideas and not acquiesce too quickly. But in the end you want her to agree.
You want to watch her from afar as she charms your friends with her quiet humor and quick wit. Her beauty of course, that’s never been a problem with Marjorie. She’s lovely: light and elegant, long-limbed. Her hair is a bit bland, but bountiful with just enough rebellion to get loose from those tight chignons she’s taken to wearing. I guess that’s Renee’s influence.
Renee’s not an especially good influencey. Good in that she’s full of life and doesn’t complain. Bad in that she’s got too much of a mind of her own. I doubt she consults Jacques when she changes Nico’s nanny or orders furniture from Paris. Or decides to take my wife to see the native festivals.
Now I’ve got Marjorie a ball of nerves. I hate feeling like I must handle her with kid gloves, lest she explode in anger or fear or whatever causes her to cry and lash out at me. I don’t want to spend another moment on this. I’ve got people who are misbehaving up and down my command. Not just the native workers, some of my best. Not just the lower workers but the managers. Men who I thought were dependable, at least would follow the company protocol and our plans. Letting a whole team start building another line miles from where we’d designated. Impossible to accept, and yet they’ve begun. What am I to do? Call them off it. And lose the work they’ve done. The metals would be stolen in a fortnight. No, and so I seem weak. I must reprimand the manger in a way that sends a message to anyone else giving favors to their village, their relatives, whomever else they want to pay off.
I must keep up appearances so home office never learns of this. How to write the progress report and hide exactly where the construction is being completed. My secretary must write something for me. He knows how to hide and change the truth.
Marjorie will never understand what goes on, here in the company, here in this country.