When Albert proposed to Fiona, most of us her single female friends regained hope in getting married. This hope was quickly snatched away from us when Albert broke off the engagement following his mother’s advice against marrying a woman of semi-advanced age.
Now in a shattered state, Fiona goes on and on about how Albert’s mother sabotaged her chance at happiness. I cannot express my opinion out loud for fear of being excommunicated from this group of friends which, in its true nature, is a support group for single women of a certain age. Misery loves company.
So my opinion (which I am going to keep in my head) is that Albert couldn’t have possibly changed his mind at the last minute due to his mother’s advice. There is no way.
I base my opinion on an observation that I made at the start of my adult life; most people do not act on advice. This is because some people do not like to be advised in the first place.
If you want to test this, correct someone’s grammar. Tell someone that their opinion about something is wrong. Try showing someone a better way of doing their work. The person on the receiving end will get offended. Their ego will swell until it explodes into defensiveness. It’s human nature.
Even when people seek advice, they are not really asking you to tell them what to do. They already know what they want. By the time they ask, they have already made up their minds.
If your advice is contrary to what they want, they will either defend their decision or they will pretend to listen but in the end, their decisions will not be a reflection of your discussion.
I have a friend who used to come to me complaining about his girlfriend’s bad behavior. A couple of times, I was stupid enough to tell him to dump her. He would relay my advice to his girlfriend and she’d send me nasty messages. I gave up.
Eventually, he left her. He said that he had followed my advice. But I knew better than to flatter myself because his decision had nothing to do with me. If indeed he had followed my advice, he would have dumped her the first time I told him to.
In Fiona’s case, I think she wants to believe that Albert’s mother is responsible for the breakup. Maybe it makes the pain easier. But the truth is that she was in fact rejected by Albert.
He had always known her age. He knew it before asking her out on the first date. He knew it before asking her to be his girlfriend. He knew it when they visited each other’s family, and when he was throwing a lavish surprise engagement party for her.
So the only acceptable explanation is if Albert’s mother suddenly uncovered new scientific information about how her age would affect his health. Otherwise, the truth is that he was already looking for a way to break off the engagement and luckily for him, he was able to cower behind his ‘mother’s advice.’