"You talk a lot about men, Grandfather."
"That's because men have depth to them. Women don't. Women are simple creatures, and should never be trusted to be anything but a woman. That's how I stayed with your grandmother for as long as I did."
"Only because it's gotten a lot better since the Old World died in fire. The women that survived had to clean up and get back in line if they wanted to live, and the girls born since--like your mother--weren't allowed to degenerate into the wretched whores that their mothers were. For all that got lost, what's come in its wake proved to me that this was the best thing that could have happened to Mankind. The natural order is back for good."
The boy nodded, but I knew he didn't get it yet. Fortunately, he didn't have to get it just yet- and I'd be deciding on his wife anyway, so all he had to do was follow orders until he grokked it. It's not like there's a lot of available women around to mess him up in the head or otherwise make a mess of things.
"Enough. Bed. Now."
Jeremy did as I told him, and off he went to bed. Shortly thereafter my son came in with a mug of brew and sat in his place.
"Telling him stories again, Dad?"
I cupped him for his manners.
"Better, and yes- because he asked, and he has a need to know now that he's coming into manhood. He's got to know why things are what they are if he's to rule well when the time comes."
"I don't recall you ever being that dismissive with Mother."
"Because your mother, at the time the world ended, was still a child. Her parents got eaten by zeds, and Ken took her in thinking he could groom her for a mate. He traded her to me in return for taking him in and healing him up after that incident with the witch in the lighthouse and the crazy cult that arose in her wake. When she was ready, I took her as my wife and that ensured that I didn't have to clean out bad programming."
I saw on my son's face that our age difference never crossed his mind. She was born on the cusp of the millenium, and I took her as she came of age. Well, after the end of the Old World no one in their right mind balks at young women married to mature men. Sure, I put three children to her in five years; we needed numbers, and that's why I married her. Love had nothing to do with it at all; I needed a loyal wife who I could train to be a competent wife and mother, and she did just fine.
"Yes, son, when I made that deal for your wife I had the exact same thing going in my mind: getting a young woman that could be readily trained to be good at the jobs needed of her. It helps that she actually liked you. Your mother respected and appreciated me, but that sort of thing never existed."
"Widowers both we are now." he said.