He reminded me, in those few words, of a character straight out of Elizabeth Von Arnim. Just so did she skewer her most lovable people--with a comment that revealed far too much of their souls.
She's an author most people no longer recognize, although some would recall the 1992 movie made from her best-known book, The Enchanted April. I sat through it in a dream of sun-kissed scent, but I'm not going to talk about the movie here--the book is so much more rewarding in its acute celebration of human foibles, human hope, and the terribly human need to be loved. The time is the early 1920s; the subject is the dreariness of post-war England and the compulsion to escape; and the alternative is a remote and lovely castle on the Italian coast. Von Arnim sends four women of varying ages and degrees of personal desperation there for a month. Having got them under her writer's eye, she turns each of them inside-out, with a delicacy and finesse unequaled since Jane Austen.
If summer arrived too soon in your town, too, this year--try The Enchanted April. Short of buying a ticket on impulse for Portofino, it's the most delicious escape I know.