Tuesday, December 17, 2019

What To Do When Someone Brags About Their "Affairs?"

It’s actually surprising that Shakespeare doesn’t deal with affairs in Jaques "Seven Stages of Man" speech from As You Like It. In the early years, "affairs" are usually sexual couplings that occur sometimes in or out of wedlock. The connotation of "affair" is often illicit. Affairs can be tantamount to cheating. Graham Greene's The End of the Affair refers to this usage of the word. Later "affairs" tend to refer to business matters. After a man or woman sows their oats they become more concerned with putting their house in order. Though there weren’t IRAs in Shakespeare time, the questions of financial instruments like collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps would fit neatly into such a disquisition. Finally, right before the “Last scene of all, That end this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans Teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything” might come a whole section on the use of the word "affairs" in old age. Sex is now gone and elderly couples find their schedules filled with the kind of "affairs" that involve, weddings, bar mitzvahs and christenings. You've undoubtedly experienced an awkward moment when someone is about to tell you about all their "affairs." You don’t know whether to encourage them or to indicate they’d be better off airing their dirty laundry elsewhere and it turns out that they merely want to describe someone’s 50thanniversary party at The Pierre.

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