I was looking at the table of contents in my The Persephone Book of Short Stories today and realized I have somehow missed Here We Are, the sixth short story in the collection! So I started reading it right away!
Here We Are, written in 1931 is a story of newlyweds. The happy couple has been married for exactly two hours and twenty-six minutes and on the way to New York for their honeymoon. In their private compartment on the train, at first, they both are giddy with delight!
So I was expecting a delightful story considering the exciting times ahead of them. But unfortunately, it does not turn out to be so when the bride becomes nervous all of a sudden.
… ‘But I just sort of got to thinking of them, all of them, all over everywhere, doing it all the time. At least, I mean – getting married, you know. And it’s – well, it’s sort of such a big thing to do, it makes you feel queer. You think of them, all of them, all doing it just like it wasn’t anything. And how does anybody know what’s going to happen next?
The bridegroom is quick to try and sooth her. However, the poor man’s attempts fail when he says Louise, a bridesmaid and a dear friend of the bride looked lovely at the ceremony. Things worsen for him when he says he did not get a good look at Ellie, the other bridesmaid and bride’s sister because the bride goes on to accuse him of harboring a secret desire for her friend and not wanting her family around!
‘Well, I’ve seen it,’ she said. ‘Don’t think I haven’t. Lots of people they get married, and they think it’s going to be great and everything, and then all goes to pieces because people don’t like people’s families, or something like that. Don’t tell me! I’ve seen it happen.’
He is incredibly patient and somehow manages to talk some sense into her. The bride apologizes for being angry and after they make up promising each other that they will never fight again. But that truce does not last for long because the bride starts bickering about the bridegroom not liking her hat! And so they go on until the train is close to reaching New York where the story ends with the couple’s supposedly final “make up”!
Here We Are by Dorothy Parker is an interesting short story. Beneath the couple’s fights, you can see that they love and care for each other, even though at the end you might begin to wonder if they will last long if they keep up in going at each other!