Tired of ads?
Join today and never see them again.
The husband acts like he's a little less naïve than the wife—but he still seems fairly confused and uneasy on his feet. The fact that he takes so long to pack their luggage in the compartment is telling—he's avoiding confronting the enormity of their marriage. He remains pretty eager to invite his wife to the party in his pants, though. At one point, about halfway through the story, he seems to put his finger on the crux of everything:
"You know, lots of times," he said, "they say that girls get kind of nervous and yippy on account of thinking about—I mean. I mean—well, it's like you said, things are all sort of mixed up and everything, right now. But, afterwards, it'll be all right. I mean. I mean—well, look honey, you don't look any too comfortable." (42)
On the one hand, he seems to be right. His wife really is anxious about all the unsatisfying sex occurring all over the world at this very minute, and is nervous that they'll both be terrible in the sack.
But she also is genuinely concerned about marriage: her original assumption that they wouldn't ever fight again, after getting married, is looking dead wrong—they've basically done nothing but bicker since they've gotten on the train. So maybe the husband shouldn't be relatively confident that things will be all better once they've consummated their marriage. But that's the attitude he leaves us with:
"Ah, baby. Baby lamb. We're not going to have any bad starts. Look at us—we're on your honeymoon. Pretty soon we'll be regular old married people. I mean. I mean, in a few minutes we'll be getting in to New York, and then we'll be going to the hotel, and then everything will be all right. I mean—we'll, look at us! Here we are married! Here we are!" (112)
But the wife poses her question, "Here we are… Aren't we?" as a reply to this. If here is the un-ending peace and domestic stability of a fantasy marriage, then that probably isn't where they really are. They've still got a lot to figure out, regardless of whether the sex part goes well.
The husband really wants to do the deed, and keeps assuring his wife that "everything will be all right." (112). But it doesn't actually appear that he's giving much though to whether or not things will, in fact, be all right.
Also, while the husband doesn't deserve the full extent of his wife's anger, he is somewhat thick and insensitive. He probably could've handled the Louise situation more skillfully, and he probably could have realized that when a bride asks the question "How do I look," you should probably just respond with some version of "Like the most beautiful woman that ever lived. Ever."
When we bid this couple adieu, we have almost no idea how their marriage will turn out—most people might venture a negative guess, but it's all really in the eye of the beholder. We leave them back where they started, probably to begin the cycle of squabbles over again… or just in desperate need of a night alone.