Moonlight is all right for young lovers, and women never seem to get tired of it. But when a man gets older he usually thinks moonlight is too thin and cool for comfort. Turley Whitman thougt so. Turley was in his pajamas at his bedroom window, waiting for his daughter Nancy to come home.
With all of Vonnegut’s great satire and cynicism, I’m always amazed when I read one of his stories that doesn’t contain these elements and realize what a wonderful observer of human nature he can be.
“A Night for Love” revolves around two middle-aged couples from either side of the “tracks” who are separately waiting for their kids to return from a date. Each has thoughts about what might have been with their own marriages; however, they also realize the difficulties of any marriage and understand that they really wouldn’t want to change anything. The process by which they come to this realization in one evening is truly inspiring story-telling and ranks this story as one of my favorites of the collection. When I’m finished with this series, I will post a list of a few of my favorite stories from Bagombo Snuff Box.
If I had to make one small little critique it would be that I would have rather not known about what happened with the kids’ date. The “coda” that Vonnegut adds to the story that explains this seems out of place. The date is better as simply a catalyst for the parent’s thoughts. Some of the these stories have changed for this collection from how they were originally published in periodicals (mostly in the 1950’s). I’m curious if this “addendum” to the story is a change or not. Either way, this story is still a favorite.