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That option, of blunt refusal, doesn’t even consciously occur to her—she assumes that if she wants to say no she has to do so in a conciliatory, gentle, tactful way, in a way that would take “an amount of effort that was impossible to summon.” And I think that assumption is bigger than Margot and Robert’s specific interaction; it speaks to the way that many women, especially young women, move through the world: not making people angry, taking responsibility for other people’s emotions, working extremely hard to keep everyone around them happy.It’s reflexive and self-protective, and it’s also exhausting, and if you do it long enough you stop consciously noticing all the individual moments when you’re making that choice.
It’s in this context that Margot decides to have sex with Robert.
In order to avoid an uncomfortable, possibly risky exchange, she “bludgeons her resistance into submission” with a shot of whiskey. I do think there’s a hint of class tension in the story: Robert teases Margot about her “highbrow” taste in movies, and repeatedly brings up her college education in a way that (in my mind) suggests the possibility that he hasn’t gone to college himself.
story in this week’s issue, “Cat Person,” is both an excruciating bad-date story and, I think, a kind of commentary on how people get to know each other, or don’t, through electronic communication. The story was inspired by a small but nasty encounter I had with a person I met online.
I was shocked by the way this person treated me, and then immediately surprised by my own shock.
The moment when I feel the most sympathy for Margot is when, after she spends the entire story wondering about Robert—what he’s thinking, feeling, doing—she is left marvelling the most at herself, and at her own decision to have sex with him, “at this person who’d just done this bizarre, inexplicable thing.”I always wanted to be a writer, but I spent most of my twenties doing anything and everything else. at the University of Michigan, and I’m putting the finishing touches on a short-story collection.
I did the Peace Corps in Kenya, and I was a nanny for a while, and then I spent a long time in graduate school, studying African literature.
The point at which she receives unequivocal evidence about the kind of person he is is the point at which the story ends.
I think it’s genuine enough as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go very far.
Our initial impression of a person is pretty much entirely a mirage of guesswork and projection.
When I started writing the story, I had the idea of a person who had adopted all these familiar signifiers as a kind of camouflage, but was something else—or nothing at all—underneath.
In the bar, Margot thinks of Robert as “a large, skittish animal, like a horse or a bear,” that she is taming, coaxing to eat from her hand.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating