We had elocution class once a week when I was in secondary school and I don’t remember anything about it except the very final class we had.
The teacher seemed middle-aged which probably means she was in her early 40s and I had always liked her. On that last day she stepped back from how to speak correctly to deeper issues about moving on in life. She said that she had one bit of advice to give us – ours was an all girls school – and we were all agog.
Her words of wisdom were that if we ever got married to make sure that we had at least one hobby/interest separate from our husband. She felt that this was crucial for a number of reasons: firstly, because it would ensure that we had our own separate space that we would always have a clear sense of our own identities; and secondly, that if, for some reason, the marriage ended that we would have time that was not associated with our husbands and, in the event of being widowed, for example, that we would have activities and friends who were not all tied up with our husbands.
Her words never left me all the years and I have arguably taken them overly to heart in that hubby and I have a vast array of different interests and don’t live in each other’s pockets. It was clear from when we met that that would never suit either of us.
I often think of the teacher and wonder how much thought she put into this advice and how wise she was to alert us to matters which, although quite a bit down the road, are of key importance in life.
I know that some couples like to be together all the time, share the same friends and pursue the same hobbies and that’s fine but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and it may well be something they have fallen into rather than given any prior thought to.
There is lots to be said for teachers who are prepared to veer off topic and introduce ideas which get you thinking and keep you thinking years and years after they have planted the seed.