Her voice rose on the last four words, and Colin realized he'd been scolded. Soundly.
Which he found extraordinarily irritating. "I don't know why I thought you'd understand," he bit off, hating the childish tinge in his voice but completely unable to edit it out.
"I'm sorry," she said, "but it's a little difficult for me to sit here and listen to you complain that your life is nothing."
"You most certainly did!"
"I said I have nothing," he corrected, trying not to wince as he realized how stupid that sounded. "You have more than anyone I know," she said, jabbing him in the shoulder. "But if you don't realize that, then maybe you are correct—your life is nothing."
"It's too hard to explain," he said in a petulant mutter.
"If you want a new direction for your life," she said, "then for heaven's sake, just pick something out and do it. The world is your oyster, Colin. You're young, wealthy, and you're a man." Penelope's voice turned bitter, resentful. "You can do anything you want."
[…]She stood, smoothing out her skirts in an awkward, defensive gesture. "Next time you want to complain about the trials and tribulations of universal adoration, try being an on-the-shelf spinster for a day. See how that feels and then let me know what you want to complain about."