...AND THEY DON'T
"Oh I remember... Listen don't hate me because I can't remember some person immediately. Especially when they look like everybody else, and talk and dress and act like everybody else." Franny made her voice stop. It sounded so caviling and bitchy, and she felt a wave of self-hatred that, quite literally, made her forehead perspire once again. But her voice picked up again, in spite of herself. "I don't mean that there's anything horrible about him or anything like that. It's just for four solid years I've kept seeing Wally Campbell's wherever I go. I know when they're going to be charming, I know when they are going to start telling you some really nasty gossip about some girl who lives in your dorm, I know when they are going to ask me what I did over the summer, I know when they are going to pull up a chair and straddle it backward and start bragging in a terribly quiet voice-- or name dropping in a terribly quiet casual voice. There is an unwritten law that people in a certain social or financial bracket can name-drop as much as they like just as long as they say something terribly disparaging about the person as soon as they've dropped his name- that he's a bastard or a nymphomaniac or he takes dope all the time, something horrible." She broke off again. She was quiet for a moment, turning her ashtray in her fingers and being careful not to look up and see Lane's expression. "I'm sorry," she said. "It isn't just Wally Campbell. I'm just picking on him because you mentioned him. And because he looks like someone who spent the summer in Italy or someplace."
"He was in France last summer, for your information," Lane stated. "I know what you mean," he added quickly, "but you're being so goddamn un--"
"All right," Franny said wearily. "France."
If Lane really understood Franny, he would have nodded instead of being so immediately defensive. Franny wasn't really talking about Wally or even guys like Wally, with their top coats and readying to follow in their Father's footsteps to the Ivies. She was talking about Lane and the fact that he was of their ilk and she wanted to be more than just a proto-wife, whose Sarah Lawrence or Radcliffe degree was nothing more than a stamp for her entry into the same kind of bland, formless life that she sees in the eyes of her classmates and, quite possibly, in her Mother.
This selection reminded me of so much that puts me at odds with 'my people'. I can remember arguing about music and how my tastes were not like that of my peers and how much effort that some people went into explaining why I was 'like that'.
Seems like Franny is going through one of those 'moments of clarity' now.
'Wally Campbell' could be a construct for almost any person or kind of person, a caricature of a type. I know that I am loathe to deal with anymore 'Wally's' and their 'Wally stories'.
Franny is frustrated with a lot of things. One of them is her 'Wally', Lane. She thought that she could confide in him only to her dismay, he is 'one of them'.
*sigh* Reading Salinger. Next is Larsson's and his 'Girl With The Dragon Tattoo', for the book club at the library. I thought that this exchange was like too many I have had in my life. Too many.