exasperated affection

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
She looked after him with exasperated affection, and the voice that had been surfacing in her mind more and more often –in the shower, while she was reading a book or prepping a class or making her supper for one –came up again, like one of those thirty-second public-service spots on TV: He’s a very nice man and all that, easy to get along with, fun, he never made you cry. But is that love? I mean, is that all there is to it? Even when you learned to ride your two-wheeler, you had to fall off a few times and scrape both knees. Call it a rite of passage. And that was just a little thing.
Source: The Dead Zone by Stephen King
Context: Sarah and John are graduate teachers at high school.

What is your interpretation of the collocation in bold? Is it about being outwardly affectionate while inwardly furiously irritated?

Thank you.
 
  • jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    So, in sum exasperated affection means mixed feeling, right?

    Here”s another instance:
    The way Rose had felt about those three was somehow different from the exasperated affection she had for their mothers, Margie and Laura, those golden-haired Misses with their big blue eyes and sticky, greedy rosebud mouths, who were both in love with their daddy anyway. And it was different again from what she’d felt for their grandmother.
    Source: The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

    Thank you.
     
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