Are You Mr. Right?
Has love ever existed? What is love? I’ve wonder. I, Lois was once a beautiful and sexy girl in the village, and was admired by men, but I picked him, Tom Bucker. Tom was a young and handsome newspaper worker in the village. One day, someone came to ring my door bell, I looked out the window and I saw a young man standing outside, and his face looked fresh to me.
Tom came to me and offered me to be his newspaper topic. He told me he heard about my music talents and he wanted to write a paper on me. Tom was skinny and his clothes didn’t make him look dull but instead more sexy. I fell for him at once but I told myself to keep it inside my heart. We started our interview, sitting by the riverside. Does that count as “Dating?” Ever since then, he came to interview me almost every day, and that was how we got to know each other.
After three months, he proposed to me. It was a rainy day, and neither of us brought an umbrella. He covered me with his jacket while we walked to the tree, and we sat under the tree while waited for the rain to stop. His action really touched my heart because he was so sweet and considerate.
After the rain stopped, we went back to the riverside and then he suddenly bended down and proposed to me.
“I love talking to you and being with you. I enjoyed spending time with you and I do not want this to be just a moment but instead I want it forever. Lois, would you like to be my wife?” He asked.
I was shocked at this action, he was always so humorous, yet quiet. He had surprised me this time, and I love it because I love him very much. Yes, I have to admit we both fell in love during these three months.
“Oh my lord, I feel the same for you. Yes I will be your wife, if you promise me this. As you know I love my music, and I would like to keep it as my career in the future. Therefore, I do not have time to cook – be your kitchen lady.” I said.
“Oh sure dear, I will be your kitchen man. Don’t worry, nothing is going to change. I’m still going to write my newspaper, and you do what you like. I will love you even though you do not cook for me,” he said.
After a month, we got married. It was supposed to be a happy marriage, but it wasn’t. We were fine in the beginning because everything went as we planned. He went to work in the morning and came home at night and cooked while I stayed home and practiced my music. But everything changed after a year of our happy marriage. He started to complain that I didn’t do the job a wife should do, mainly cooking. He told me that he was so jealous at his friend, because his wife cooked and handled house chores perfectly that his friend didn’t have to worry after came back from work. One night, he said to me.
“This is not the life I want, I thought I’m okay with that but as result I ain’t,” he said.
He had forgot what he promised me when he proposed to me that day.
Now, I understood what kind of man he was. He was sweet before he had me, but after he had me everything changed, forget about the love and the promise because all was a lie.
Ever since that night, we didn’t talk to each other nor sleep together. That relationship didn’t last the month, we got divorced and I got my freedom back and lived with my best friend, Malda.
I see Malda as my past, because she is pretty and sexy and she has her own interests. She was good at art and I was good at music. Malda was young and sexy just like I was in the past. One day, Malda told me that she met a writer and he treated her like a sweetheart. And yes, that was how Tom used to treat me, too. I was worried that she would “repeat my mistakes.”
As her best friend I did not want to see her that happen.
“You are beginning to love Ford Mathews—do you know it?” I asked.
“Yes.” She said.
“Does he love you?” I asked.
“It is early yet, he is a man, he is about thirty I believe, he has seem more of life and probably loved before-it may be nothing more than friendliness with him” She answered.
“Do you think it would be a good marriage?” I asked. We had often talked of love and marriage and I told her my past too.
“Why yes—if he loves me. He has told me quite a bit about his family, good western farming people, real Americans. He is strong and well—you can read clean living in his eyes and mouth. “Ford’s eyes were as clear as a girl’s, the whites of them were clear. Most men’s eyes…
“STOP!” I yelled.
Malda stared at me and I took a deep breath.
“He’s just like my ex-husband Tom Bucker. I know how much you love him. I know what he’s going to offer you when he proposes to you. Just remember one thing “Don’t be foolish, child, this is serious. What they care for most, after all, is domesticity. Of course they’ll fall in love with anything; but what they want to marry is a homemaker. Now we are living here in an idyllic sort of way, quite conducive to falling in love, with no temptation to marriage. If I were you—if I really loved this man and wished to marry him, I would make a home of this place.” I said.
And yet I couldn’t give up my career for Tom, was that because I didnt love him that much like I think I did?
Malda looked serious at me.
“Yes, I’m serious Lois. I know he’s my Mr. Right and I will do anything to please him, because I love him and I’m sure he will do the same too,” she said.
Malda surprised me after our last conversation. She started to cook and although it wasn’t good, Ford started to come by very often, (of course with me there). He came almost every day and had dinner with us. One night, I decided to talk to Ford about Malda and him. After dinner, I talked to Ford alone while Malda was washing.
“Ford, I know you love Malda, but do you love her enough to change the domesticity society?” I asked.
He looked at me with humorous face “Yes, I do not think that’s the problem, because of where and how I grown up,” he said.
“I hope you will keep your promise forever, because as you know she loves arts and you have to admit she’s good at it too. I want her to have the best.” I said in a serious tone.
One year later, Malda married Ford Mathews and I was happy for her. Malda was willing to change herself to give up her interest and be Ford’s kitchen lady. And yet, Ford was willing to switch the kitchen work with her once a while so she can do her art. And me, sitting by the window and watching the rain thinking about what would happen if I willing to learn to cook for Tom. Would we have had a marriage if I wasn’t that stubborn? I’m starting to wonder if I should give myself another chance and seek for my Mr. Right again?
In the short stories The Cottagette and Are You Mr. Right? focus on whether women should be live as in domesticity society, where women must do the kitchen and house chores while men work outside, and how love overcome that. The both stories are in first person character narrator but as in different character’s point of view. In the original story The Cottagette by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is telling from the main character; Malda’s point of view. She is type of girl will give up her interests for her love one. And in the retell story Are You Mr. Right?, is telling from Lois’s point of view based on her failed marriage experience, and to show how she qualify to be a marriage adviser. Lois is type of girl that will not change for anyone, even for her love one.
In the story The Cottagette, the narrator is focus on Malda’s point of view on her feeling and how she fall in love on Ford Mathews. And yet she didn’t know what man expect from woman, until Lois told her, and after she knows, she’s willing to change herself.
Malda and Lois both have their own interests. Malda is good in art, and Lois is good in music. Malda met a writer Ford Mathews, and she fall in love on him that she’s willing to do anything to please him. And Lois work as Malda’s marriage adviser.
“Then Lois unfolded her plan. She had been married,–unhappily married, in her youth; that was all over and done with years ago; she had told me about it long since; and she said she did not regret the pain and loss because it had given her experience.” (27). Lois was married at her youth, but had an unhappy marriage. But she never feel regret because she learned her lesson. Because of Lois past, she understands what man is looking for and that make her qualify to become Malda’s adviser.
Lois told Malda that all men care are their stomachs, they insisted to find a kitchen lady no matter what even though they love you so much. From the story Are You Mr. Right?, “He started to complain that I didn’t do the job a wife should do, mainly cooking. He told me that he was so jealous at his friend, because his wife cooked and handled house chores perfectly that his friend didn’t have to worry after came back from work. One night, he said to me…This is not the life I want, I thought I’m okay with that but as result I ain’t,” he said. Everything went okay until one night Tom came home and complained that Lois didn’t do the job as a wife should do – cooking. He told Lois that he was jealous at his friend because he has a good wife and she’s willing to cook for him. Tom told Lois if she not going to do what a wife should do, then he couldn’t accept it anymore –soon they ended up divorced.
Lois also mention that in the story The Cottagette,“A person might be happy in a balloon, I suppose,” she replied, “but it wouldn’t be a home. He comes here and sits talking with us, and it’s quiety and feminine and attractive –and then we hear that big gong at the Calceolaria, and off we go stopping through the wet woods–and the spell is broken. Now you can cook.” (31). Lois is saying that food is the most important thing to a man, they can leave what they were doing and went for the food. Lois also pointing out that in order for this to be a happy marriage, Malda needs to prepare to cook for him. “This is serious. What they care for most after all is domesticity. Of course they’ll fall in love with anything; but what they want to marry is a homemaker. Now we are living here in an idyllic sort of way, quite conducive to falling in love, but no temptation to marriage. If I were you—if I really loved this man and wished to marry him, I would make a home of this place.” (24). Lois is saying that this is serious since they live in domesticity world. Of course man will fall in love on anything, but the most important thing they want is to marry a woman who can cook. Lois said if she is in Malda’s position, she will build a kitchen inside the cottagetee and learn to cook if she really love Ford.
And yet, Malda has no problem with the domesticity world because she know how to cook.“I could cook. I could cook excellently. My esteemed Mama had rigorously taught me every branch of what is now called “domestic science;” and I had no objection to the work, except that it prevented my doing anything else. And one’s hands are not so nice when one cooks and wash dishes,–I need nice hands for my needlework. But if it was a question of pleasing Ford Mathews.” (24). Malda is saying that she can cook because her mother taught her the skill in the past. But she has her work to do, it was hard to work on one hand and wash dishes on another hand. But she is willing to give up her work if cooking for Ford will make him happy. She feels cooking will not be a problem for her but then she will not be able to work on art. Although, she doesn’t like to cook.
From the story Are You Mr. Right?, Lois asked Tom to promise her something before she willing to marry him “Oh my lord, I feel the same for you. Yes I will be your wife, if you promise me this. As you know I love my music, and I would like to keep it as my career in the future. Therefore, I do not have time to cook – be your kitchen lady.” I said. Lois told Tom a heads of time that she will not cook for him because she’s busy with her music work and she wants to find a job in that field in the future. And at that time Tom said, “Oh sure dear, I will be your kitchen man. Don’t worry, nothing is going to change. I’m still going to write my newspaper, and you do what you like. I will love you even though you do not cook for me,” he said. Tom told Lois that she can concentrate on her work, and he will work and cook. He also said that he will still love Lois even though she doesn’t want to cook for him. But later on, Tom felt regret and they started to have arguments and they divorced at the end.
On the other hand from the story The Cottagette, Ford Mathews doesn’t want Malda to cook for him because he wants her to focus more on her art work. He doesn’t want her to give up her interest just for him. “Yes, I know all about it,” he went on, “Lois told me. I’ve seen a good deal of Lois—since you’ve taken to cooking. And since I would talk about you, naturally I learned a lot. She told me how you were brought up, and how strong your domestic instincts were—but bless your artist soul dear girl, you have some others!” Then he smiled rather queerly and murmured, “surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.” (55). Ford is saying that Lois had told him about Malda and her talent as well, he thinks she should continue doing what she like and don’t give up anything for him, he is proud of Malda’s talent. At here, Ford shows consideration on Malda and he willing to accept her as whom she is and doesn’t want her to change her beauty. He love her as who she is.
In conclusion, shifting from another character’s point of view really made the reader to understand better in another way. In the original story “The Cottagette” we get to understand that Malda was young, pretty and open-mind that she willing to change herself and give up her interest for her love one if she has to. She’s the type of girl that will do anything to please her love one. We get to access to Malda’s mind, however we didn’t get to know how Lois being quality as a marriage adviser. We know Lois was married before from the story The Cottagette, but Malda didn’t mention much about that in detail. And in the retell story, I expanded Lois’ past and shows how she understands man better than Malda based on her background and past, which mades her quality as a marriage adviser. Lois has opposite personality than Malda. Lois was young, pretty but stubborn, she will not change herself no matter what and perhaps that was why she doesn’t have a happy marriage. But after she saw Malda and Ford’s marriage, she starts to think differently.