[LMB] Points that simmer to the surface....

Joel Polowin jpolowin at hotmail.com
Mon May 14 12:57:07 BST 2018

Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Wandering through a few semi-rereads the other day, looking for a
> reference I couldn't find, and I ran across the bit where Ivan is made
> to feel bad about introducing his '...um...stepfather....'
> Ok, so just how is he supposed to introduce him? Alys and Simon
> haven't married, so Simon ISN'T his stepfather. They haven't even
> made any official reveal about their relationship, and technically
> Simon doesn't live with Alys, he has his own place even though he
> never seems to be there. 'This is my mother's lover.... boyfriend...
> gentleman friend....?' Actually terming him 'stepfather' even with
> an um before it is pretty generous, it's recognising Simon in some
> way being related to Ivan, not just being a connection of Alys's.

"This is Mamere's partner, Simon Illyan."  Or whatever term was then
in use for such.  Simon and Alys can hardly have been the first people
that Ivan knows who have been in such a situation, and it's not like
Ivan hadn't had plenty of time to stew over how he would make that

My father and his partner are in just such a relationship: been together
for many years, but only cohabited briefly.  And my own situation is
somewhat ambiguous.  My partner and I have lived together for several
years, which makes us common-law married... but she is not yet divorced
from her ex.  Legally, we're required to declare ourselves as married
for some purposes, including filing tax returns.  For her, it's a kind
of legally-mandated polyandry.

> The whole family have a happy hobby of making Ivan look and feel
> foolish, and inadequate. Really he's amazingly strong to get through
> all that and find his own centre - which he managed a long time before
> Miles did.

Not to excuse, but to explain: the whole family have a firm policy --
a mindset -- of "give it your all".  Ivan hasn't been living up to
his potential.  And in his younger days, at least, it was clear that
Ivan wasn't even thinking through details very well, even allowing
for a desire on his part to avoid taking actions that might expose
him to trouble.  And his treatment of women was somewhat questionable
(to be polite); consider Elena Bothari's "me too" moment.


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