I was thinking of the guy I currently have a crush on. He has more money than me–but then, at this moment perhaps nobody has less money than me–and I jokingly suggested that we have the relationship of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her husband Almanza. According to Wilder’s These Happy Golden Years, Laura fell in love with Almanza’s horses. Though her love for “Manny” (as she would come to call Almanza) would be long and enduring, it was all based on her joy at seeing those horses come to take her home on weekends when she worked as a school teacher that it began. So, too, my dream lover would be the man who I knew had more money than me–but not too much more. He chuckled at the thought: how mercenary to fall in love with a sleigh with six horses. Hopefully, however, our love would turn out like theirs: able to survive anything.
In childhood he never read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Yet, now as an adult, under my tutelage, my beloved has come to love the life of little Laura. I told him that I wish the author of Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder for her unfair depiction of Laura and her family. First, Laura’s daughter, Rose Lane, had Bipolar according to most people who studied the family. Without mentioning that fact, Prairie Fires depicts her in the harsh light of somebody who was primarily selfish and often driven by penury and other unlaudable desires. Second, for all of Rose Lane’s problems, she did appear to have deeply loved her parents, buying them their own house when she had some money. Thirdly, though rather far to the right for my liking, Rose Lane’s politics were not so abnormal that she needs to be stigmatized for them: she was close friends with Ayn Rand and they both had the same mentor. I actually dislike Ayn Rand’s views, but I do not really blame somebody who is mentally ill for gravitating to them.
Finally, if Prairie Fires really wants to make the point that Laura and Rose were hypocritical in their “far right” views, I have no idea why she would mention Ronald Reagan and Sadam Hussein as alike being Laura fans despite the opposite pillars of morality that they represent. Within their cultures, they are both on the right. If I liked something about Reagan, I have no idea why issues like Manifest Destiny would seem that big to me: wasn’t Reagan himself sort of a cowboy in his head? And if Sadam was as bad as only the right believed he was, why care about somebody being about there in the 1800’s. All of my friends who are or were anti-Iraq War would have said Laura was fine. (As for my anti-Laura people, I haven’t met them yet.)
Anyway, enough of the history books… is the man I would like to be “Manny” at all interested in tying the knot? Or am I too unrealistic, too faithful to the myth of what could be? Love always seems to elude me…