KEPT HER FINGERS CROSSED, SAYS HER MARRIAGE IS VOID
UNIONTOWN, FEB. 25 -- Because she kept her fingers crossed during her marriage ceremony, Mrs. Mary Frances Wilson of Connellsville, told her husband that she had a right to break her marriage vows, according to testimony given by Davis Wilson, a P. and L.E. railroad conductor, who formerly resided at Newell, but who now lives at Uniontown. The husband, who was granted a divorce, said that when he objected to his wife's conduct she gave him the "crossed finger" alibi. Wilson declared that his wife's goodbye each morning when he left home for work was to hope that he would be ground to pieces before the day's work ended. The husband declared that he became so worried over his wife's actions that he cut his own throat and for a time lingered between life and death. He recovered weeks later and since that time he and his wife were estranged.
Indiana Evening Gazette - Feb 25, 1930
A recent Daily Mail article about a woman who is suing her lawyer for failing to explain to her that "finalising her divorce would terminate her marriage" contains another little nugget of weirdness toward the end:
Just one week after getting married, a woman in Kuwait has filed for divorce after discovering her husband prefers to use bread, rather than a fork, to eat peas. Traumatised by the 'shocking sight', she said she could no longer live with him, owing to his lack of etiquette.
At least he doesn't use his fingers. That would be really barbaric.
In Germany, during mediaeval times, domestic differences were settled by judicial duels between man and wife, and a regular code for their proper conduct was observed. 'The woman must be so prepared,' so the instructions run, 'that a sleeve of her chemise extend a small ell beyond her hand like a little sack: there indeed is put a stone weighing iii pounds; and she has nothing else but her chemise, and that is bound together between the legs with a lace. Then the man makes himself ready in the pit over against his wife. He is buried therein up to the girdle, and one hand is bound at the elbow to the side.'
The images of the conjugal duelists come from Hans Talhoffer's Fechtbuch, 1467 (plates 242-250). [Via Wondermark]
Back in 1955, it caused some controversy when Count William Aubrey Tealdi married Princess Lidia Maria Antonia Carraciolo di Torella, the reason being that he was 74 and she was 14. They had to get a special papal dispensation to allow the marriage. Predictably, he was rich, while her family (though Italian royalty) had fallen on hard times. [google news]
But the strange thing is that despite the huge difference in age, the marriage proved to be a success. A follow-up story that ran in papers in 1966, when she was 25 and he was 85, reported that the couple had three children by that time, and he was hoping to have more. She declared herself to be "the happiest woman in the world."
I don't know when Count Tealdi died, but it's quite likely she's still alive. After all, she'd only be in her early seventies — not yet the age the Count was when he married her!
I just read this book (pictured to the right, with link) which offers a rich and fascinating glimpse of a moment in Chicago when there were several female murderers simultaneously occupying the headlines and jails. This is always prime WU material in any era, and I don't believe you will be disappointed if you read this excitingly written historical account.
Why the video of an old song in this post? It's the tune that one of the murderesses played and danced to, over the corpse of her victim!