Really The Damnedest

by G Goodman

“They are, he thought, the hardest in the world; the hardest, the cruelest, the most predatory and the most attractive and their men have softened or gone to pieces nervously as they have hardened.  Or is it that they pick men they can handle?  They can’t know that much at the age they marry, he thought.  He was grateful that he had gone through his education on American women before now because this was a very attractive one.

When she left, Wilson was thinking, when she went off to cry, she seemed a hell of a fine woman.  She seemed to understand, to realize, to be hurt for him and for herself and to know how things really stood.  She is away for twenty minutes and now she is back, simply enameled in that American female cruelty.  They are the damnedest women.  Really the damnedest.”

– Wilson, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway