Contentment and happiness might be found in front of people rather than in elaborate hopes. “How I Met My Husband,” a short story by Alice Munro, illustrates the infatuation of Edie, a fifteen-year-old girl, for Chris Watters, an itinerant pilot who comes offering paid rides in a close-by fairground. Edie is intrigued by Chris and develops feelings for him. Unfortunately, Chris leaves the farm and does not write her any mail as he had promised. Edie, later on, gets over her illusion for Chris and marries another guy. The personality of Edie is significant because it reflects on how maturity and wisdom come with age and experience. Edie’s three character traits from the short story are naive, innocent, and independent.
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The first character trait of Edie is that she is naive. She did not know how to react when a man flirts with her. Edie is shocked to see a man watching him through the screen door. According to her, “It was the luckiest thing in the world I didn’t spill the ginger ale down the front of me and there” (134). Chris compliments her appearance, but she does not react to his words. “I wasn’t old enough to realize or to say anything back, or in fact to do anything but wish he would go away” (135). She is too young to see the implications of Chris’s flirtatious words; all she thinks of is the fear that he would report her to Mrs. Pebbles for wearing her clothes. She even visits him one day to ask him to keep her secret. Edie does not know how to react to Chris’s compliments or understand the implications of his words.
Another character trait of Edie is that she is innocent. She falls for an older man and believes they were intimate. Though they meet only a few times, Chris enchants Edie. He promises to send her a mail when he leaves. “When we said good-bye I wasn’t at all sad, because he held my face and said, “I’m going to write you a letter. I’ll tell you where I am, and maybe you can come and see me” (142). Edie mistakes kissing for intimacy when narrating her encounter with Chris. “I was thinking of us lying on the cot and kissing. Wasn’t that intimate?” (144). Edie’s innocence is reflected in how she believes she would end up with Chris despite their different social classes and him having a fiancé. She also thinks that the goodbye kiss she shared with Chris was intimate.
The last character trait of Edie from the short story is that she is independent. Edie has the spirit of independence, which makes her make difficult decisions and accept change. Even though she had been raised in a home without a washer and other home equipment, she was open to using them when she started working for the Peebles. “Mrs. Peebles had an automatic washer and dryer, the first I ever saw” (132). She is happy to use these appliances for the first time. Besides, Edie decides to give up waiting for Chris’s letter and marries the mailman. She recounts how she had been waiting in vain and says, “There were women just waiting and waiting by mailboxes for one letter or another…I was never made to go on like that” (146). Edie’s independence makes her choose to let go and take a different path to life.
To conclude, Edie’s narration reflects on the series of events that led to who she became as an adult. She is brought out as independent, innocent, naive, and not well versed with the concept of love, relationships, intimacy, and life. Edie falls for a pilot who leaves her after some time and promises to mail her. After several trips to the mailbox, she realizes that she will wait until she gets old and Chris will not keep his promise. At the end of the story, she decides not to waste other opportunities waiting for someone she hardly knows.
Munro, Alice. “How I Met My Husband.”