Hyperpat\’s HyperDay

SF, science, and daily living

A Negative Aspect

Posted by hyperpat on February 14, 2007

Woe betide the husband/wife who forgets that today is Valentine’s day. Such a transgression is probably good for at least a week in the doghouse. But consider what it would be like if the poor person had an alternative form of marriage instead of the traditional monogamous one, such as that depicted in Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress as a ‘line’ marriage, where there may be both several husbands and several wives, whose age range may be 16 to 90. Now of course in such a group hopefully at least one of the involved parties will remember what day it is, and ensure that all the rest of his/her cohorts of the same gender are reminded, but just think what it would be like to be the only one who forgot out of a group of ten individuals. ‘Doghouse’ wouldn’t quite be adequate – perhaps ‘Coventry’, that area set aside in the south forty for those who can’t abide by the customs of their society, would be more appropriate. A small downside to such living arrangements.


4 Responses to “A Negative Aspect”

  1. Peter said

    I’ll say! Although I have a different sort of pressure. My wife expects me to celebrate ‘International Womens Day’ – on March 8th – it is like Valentines and Mother’s Day all lumped into one. Today – not so important – but Lord help me if I forget March 8th.
    Funny thing – called International – but only celebrated in formerly Socialist countries (the wife hails originally from Ukraine). 😉

  2. caveblogem said

    Do you happen to read the New Yorker last week? There is an article about two philosphers (A husband and wife team) at UC San Diego that have been working on the “mind-body problem” for decades, partially from the perspective of neurophysiology. Anyway, it is an interesting, if rambling article that mentions two Heinlein stories, “Coventry” (although not by name) and “Orphans in the Sky.” Such synchronicity here.

  3. hyperpat said

    Peter: that’s because Americans consistently think they make up the entire world, and therefore ignore what happens in what really is the rest of the world.

    Caveblogem: No, I didn’t see the article. Could you provide a link to it, or is it only available in the print media?

  4. caveblogem said


    Sorry, it isn’t on the NY website, because it’s last weeks issue. And it isn’t in their archive yet either, for whatever reason. It is on lexis-nexus, however. I could probably mail a copy to you if you didn’t object to the idea of pushing the envelope on “fair use,” and if you sent an email to cave.blogem@gmail.com (to which I could reply).

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