restricted access RSVP

From: Sexes

Northwestern University Press colophon
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

64 RSVP “Sophie,” he called, “let’s go.” She’d planned the whole event for months in secret: banquet reservations for classmates of his from sixty years ago, a special cake with eighty candles. “Sophie, it’s late!” To keep it a surprise the guests were sworn to silence. Knowing he hated birthday parties, she described it as a private dinner with a few, close friends. “Why do I need a dinner for everyone to know how old I am?” “Do it for me.” “You’re three years younger.” “So what?” “You don’t know how it feels.” Such arguments went on for weeks, and twice he totally refused to go. “Do it for me,” she pleaded. “Why should I do it for you?” “Because I asked you, Abe.” “Don’t ask me.” 65 The secret burst when the caterer called while Sophie was shopping. Abe answered the phone, listened, and gasped, “Two hundred responses for what?” He waited and snapped, “I don’t care how many guarantees you need!” Later she had to tell him everything. “You mean Morris is coming from Alaska—and Irv and Dave, I thought they were dead.” “Everyone who’s not dead is coming.” “My God, from Alaska!” From then until the final minutes he took charge. “Sophie, for Godssake, hurry up!” She took deep breaths to calm herself, cologned her wrists, and hoped that there was nothing she forgot. “Sophie, we can’t be late for something like this!” Finally, she marched downstairs, her gown not quite adjusted and her lipstick still unblotted. “It’s about time,” he huffed. “You,” she muttered as she passed, “I’m not talking to you.” ...