Fanny spins a colorful yarn for her audience, by recounting in detail the small absurdities and large disasters centered around her more “glamorous” train-wreck cousin, Linda. By comparison, she sees her own self as rather dull, because she’s far more practical and settled. Linda goes out and gets herself a string of men, but Fanny prefers to settle down with just one and live a relatively happy life, even if it lacks the sophistication of her wayward cousin. She is more intellectual than Linda, more interested in books and conversation and discussions, and resentful that “so many interesting thing get said when the women are forced to leave the room.” Fanny carries a lot of abandonment issues and disapproval toward her mother for “bolting” and neglecting her as a child to the care of her beloved relatives, and finds it hard to move past this. When Linda shows many of the same traits, Fanny is understandably upset about it, resentful of her wanton ways, and a tad bit envious that she too can’t throw caution to the wind and do whatever she wants; she feels obligated to behave herself, take care of her own children, support her husband, and be a peacemaker. Fanny is a warm and reliable woman, who always consoles and manages to forgive Linda, but also tries to counsel her away from bad decisions. She can get caught up in things and go along with them, such as when she cuts her hair impulsively on a college trip. She easily shares her feelings, whatever they may be, including her anger and irritation at Linda for her behavior. They wind up not speaking to her for a year, but Fanny becomes so worried about her mysterious absence (she doesn’t come home when she promised she would) that she goes to the continent to find her. Instead of just feeling things, she tries to understand what she’s feeling and why, and put it into words. Fanny loves interesting discussions, but worries a lot about whether her life is “dull and unfulfilling” by comparison to Linda’s behavior, a sign of her inferior Ne wishing for “more” than she has, but not knowing how to find it and not wanting to sacrifice her comfortable life to get it.

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Fanny is far more down to earth than her cousin, and a great deal more disapproving. She felt abandoned by her mother (for good reason) and highly disapproves of her cousin doing the same thing to her own daughter, starting with calling her mean names as a child and ignoring her, leaving her to the care of nannies to read stories to her pet mouse and dog instead. Fanny stifles her anger, though, and doesn’t say much other than to coax her to be a better parent, until she blows up about it later, deeply offended by her cousin’s behavior. She admits to her husband later on that she feels resentful that she has to be the GOOD girl, that she feels guilty for having all these “selfish thoughts and feelings” rather than being a “good wife, mother, and friend.” She judges herself harshly for anything she wants that seems “bad,” and also writes scathingly of how Linda is “wasting” all her talent, good looks, and the years of her life in “frivolities.” When she finds out Linda is a kept woman, she encourages her to come home. But Fanny is always there for her when she’s needed, and willing to forgive her; she admits that it’s hard to accept, but “an hour spent with Linda makes me forgive her.” She goes out of her way to be loving and supportive to her husband and kids, but feels angry about how it prevents her from having her own life and adventures.