Ruth, how I do loathe thee, let me count the ways

Can I say just how much I utterly loathe Ruth? If it was possible to loathe her even more after her conversation with Tom, I would.

Firstly, she tells him he will never get over Kirsty’s miscarriage. Let me quote her exact words: “No. You won’t. You’ll feel better, but you won’t ever forget or get over it completely. I can tell you that from experience.” All with that dreadful delivery the actor treats us to. How does a person dare to tell another person that he will have the same reaction she did?

Secondly, I disliked her for turning the conversation to how the news of Kirsty’s miscarriage affected her, Ruth. “As soon as I heard what happened to Kirsty it all came back.” What an utterly crass thing to say. Imagine if she said it to Kirsty, Kirsty would once more have to apologise to an Archer for miscarrying.

I knew when I saw the spoiler ‘Ruth lends an ear’ that we were in for the ‘caring’ voice but it was far worse than I had imagined. As Ruth’s wise words sent Tom off to Brazil, I can only imagine the writer intended this to show Ruth up in a good light.

It’s not just the poor acting, is it? I mean those were pretty ghastly words. I can tell you how it will be for you because of my experience. Actually, that sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it?


The sad thing about Ruth is that I ought to have liked her. She was a breath of fresh air or something. The trouble is that I never did, and I have never been quite sure why that was the case from the start. Perhaps it was her thinking it a good idea to flirt with Kenton Archer and make David unhappy, when she knew that David fancied her but he had not yet dared to declare himself because she was prickly at him.

These days she is an awful, self-absorbed, grabby, whining person I am very glad I don’t have to know, and your post gives one of the recent excellent examples of her being a person best avoided.


The very poor actor doesn’t help. The breathy ickle-girl ‘sympathetic’ voice doesn’t help. The fact that she spawned Champion the Wonderpip doesn’t help.

She is prurient, dim, self-centred and incompetent at everything apart from whacking cows on the arse and making strange bovine-encouragement noises that sound like gurning looks. Actually, the way Ruth speaks is pretty much ‘vocal gurning’ to my ear.

It might not be fair and it will probably be called sexist, but I despise women who are as incompetent in the kitchen as Ruth is, if they have burdened the earth with children who can reasonably expect to be fed for the first dozen or so years of their life at least.

She is incompetent at controlling her fertility. An ‘accidental’ pregnancy at forty-something? Thank gawd she spontaneously aborted. Her eggs were probably addled anyway.

Which brings us back to Janie’s starting point and Ruth’s equation of the failure of a five-minute pregnancy (that she was too stupid to diagnose herself, remember) and Kirsty’s experience. Clueless and crass. Still, I hope Tom believes her that he will never get over it, decides he is too miserable to go on and does the sensible and decent thing. It wouldn’t make me like Ruth more, but I might feel just a little bit grateful to her. Kirsty might, too.


There is “never forgetting” and then there is “never getting over”, and the two are not the same.

I will never forget that there was a little might-have-been girl two years after our son and two years before the much-loved daughter we did have; but heavens, it was thirty years ago, and I got over it long ago, just as I have got over the loss of my singing voice to a tonsillitis operation or my failure to make a proper go of silversmithing after a five-year try at it.

This does not mean that I expect everyone to have the same reactions as my own, but I admit to having been a little startled when my B-i-L said quite seriously that not a day had passed without his mourning the still-born baby his wife had had ten years and two sons before. I can’t help wondering what the benefit is to anyone of that sort of long-term rememorising; is it good for one somehow? Don’t you eventually have to pick yourself up and get on with things and stop wearing the blacks for someone who (let’s be honest) never really existed as a person to be missed?


‘But’ indeed… there’s the rub. While it’s perfectly true people react differently to similar events, there is a certain type of person who uses genuine grief as an attention-seeking device. It doesn’t make the grief insincere but it is attention-seeking and that’s what they’re having Ruth do. And Jill will be encouraging it with her hushed voice. Ruth was the same about her mother. She was nasty to everyone around her, blamed David for ‘letting Heather down’ because she, Ruth, was unhappy.

Elizabeth is the same. She works into the conversation as much as possible how hard it is bringing up two children on her own. Contrast that with David, who just got on with things when Phil died as did Jill.

But try and say you think Tom’s reaction is excessive and selfish, besides being most unhelpful to Kirsty, or that Ruth is self-centred and you open yourself up to accusations that you are telling people how to grieve or demanding everyone show a stiff upper lip. ‘We all grieve differently’, they’ll say in chorus. Well, yes, but we don’t all go round making everything about ourselves the whole time, I hope.


[quote=“JustJanie, post:5, topic:37, full:true”]‘But’ indeed… there’s the rub. While it’s perfectly true people react differently to similar events, there is a certain type of person who uses genuine grief as an attention-seeking device. It doesn’t make the grief insincere but it is attention-seeking and that’s what they’re having Ruth do.[/quote]When I’ve met this sort of behaviour in Real Life™, it’s usually been from someone who really had nothing to distinguish them before the Terrible Event. Which is a bit depressing in itself.

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How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.
I hate thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when aware of the blight
That Jill attaches to dead Grace.
I lhate thee to the level of the poo lagoon,
With the frequency that Jazzer can pull.
I hate thee high as sales of Shires in the Bull;
I hate thee impurely, like Liilians smirks.
I hate thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, intense as Cathy Perks.
I hate thee with a hate I seemed to play
For Darrington, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if A R do say,
I shall but love thee better after death.

[Previous sonnet mucked around with by C-B]


Oh, very nice!

Welcome to the board. I am unsure what we have as a greeting ceremony here, because we haven’t had much time to settle in and get these things organised, but whatever it is, consider it provided.

(I shall now go and change hats and put on the admin one so I can make you a member of Staff with access to the staff area where the secret threads are kept.)

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I have gone and added you to the staff, so I hope you can now visit that area of the board if you want to. Please let me know if you can’t and I will kick it some more.

Hooray, carrick-bend is here! Welcome. Wasn’t Ruth ghastly today? Though my ears are still bleeding from the caring voice last week with Tom, so it’s hard to judge.


She cares about Pip being important in the village so much that she shows it by being snide and nasty about her elder son.

I thought that you were not supposed, as a parent, overtly to favour one of your children to the discredit of the others?

Or undermine the other parent with his or her children which Ruth does all the time. Pip has learnt from Ruth to speak sneeringly to David.

Given that’s the case, it’s amazing that David also favours Pip over Josh.

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Welcome c-b - great debut post!


Hiya carrick-b. Glad you found your way here. Great way to kick your posting career off, too.