Yes, I said the H-word. I've got another H-word for you; Hesiod. You know? The poet. Never a fan of mine. To tell you the truth, I think he was a bit of a misogynist. Never had any luck with the ladies and took it rather amiss when I refused his advances. Typical macho Greek. You've seen the graffiti in the lavatories? For a good time call...? I keep cleaning it off, but there's always someone with a marker pen, a grudge and a sordid mind. He was a bit classier than that, but his little poem about me, think of it that way.
I was beautiful and gifted by the gods with all of the graces - but that was to entice men and make them feeble-minded in my presence. We were the poor, little women locked away in a special part of the house in order to protect our virtue and the familial honour, so yeah - we were valued for our good looks, accomplishments and child-rearing hips. You know, there was this idea that women could never be fit and fulfilling company for men, we were only there for procreation and comfort. I might not have been educated - picked all that up later - but I could recognize a weasel when I saw one and that was Hesiod.
Apparently I was also gifted by Hermes with 'doglike cunning', which is a roundabout way of saying I was a bitch. Scans better his way, I suppose. A beautiful bitch.
Oh! And I had curiosity too. That's a bad trait? I think I was meant to come across as some kind of hapless, nosy shrew. To say that I unleashed all of the word's evils on mankind is going a bit far in my opinion. Eve did it so I guess Pandora could be made to fit that mould too.
Bloody randy poets and their egos
There was an incident, yes. It wasn't my fault.
I was very young and, being a Greek girl of my times, I didn't know anything of the world. It was right after I got married to my first husband. Epimetheus, his name was. Not as much of a Flash Harry as his brother; he was a bit clumsy too, but that was down to his size. Not sure what he's doing now. Running a bar in Kos, last I heard. Yes, it's funny how many of us end up in the hospitality trade. I think it's because we remember better times, the way things were done in the good old days.
It's a simple enough story. You know how families sometimes don't get on? There were some monster egos among my husband's lot, let me tell you. Wedding present from Uncle Zeus. He'd always seemed all right to me - very jovial, in fact. Bit of a roving eye for the ladies, which caused all manner of problems later on. He was sore at my brother-in-law for having stolen... what was it again? Fire? Are you sure? They were always at loggerheads anyway.
So this big jar arrives with a wax seal on the top and we couldn't work out what was in it. You open your wedding presents don't you? How can you thank the giver otherwise? It wasn't as if anyone told me not to. I wasn't Bluebeard's wife and it absolutely was not a case of my maliciously opening the damn thing, no matter what the Old Greek said. Idle curiosity I will own up to.
What was in it? Hard to say. It all got a bit metaphysical after that. Bloody Zeus. End of the Golden Age and all that. How much of a 'Golden Age' was it really with a spiteful idiot like that in charge? He could have gone off on one at any time. Often did. But it's down as my fault. Oh yes! One girl with a crowbar. Just like one girl with an apple. I heard another one where some Bushmen got the same punishment for building a fire. People need someone to blame always. I said I was sorry.
What did hope look like? A young woman carrying flowers in her arms? Bless you! I suppose you think you're already talking to an anthropomorphized personification. No, my dear. There was always hope and there always will be hope; it just is.
Another pint, dear? Or do you want to hear another story?