Ruth asked Scott to tell her what kind of law he practiced, but he said that it wasn't interesting . . . Then he asked Ruth if she was "seeing anyone." She tried to tell him about Allan . . . Her attraction to marriage was deep, Ruth told Scott, while at the same time her fear of it was stultifying.
"You mean you're more attracted to it than you are afraid of it?" the lawyer asked.
"How does that passage from George Eliot go? I once liked it so much that I wrote it down," Ruth told him. " 'What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life . . .' But . . ."
"Did he stay married?" Scott asked her.
"Who?" Ruth said.
"George Eliot. Did he stay married?"
Maybe if I just get up and start doing the dishes, he'll get bored and go home, Ruth thought.
- John Irving, A Widow for One Year