I hate being sick. For about 5 days straight last week and over the weekend (mine, not yours), I was ill with some sort of weird virus(es). Charlie came home the week before with a fever and headache. Then last week, Lola came home with the same thing. The next day, The Mister and I both came down with it: semi-high fever, headache, lethargy. The Mister got better, but I just motored my way on to another virus. Because. Why not? Fever with some mid-night sustenance re-visitation. I cried afterwards because I always cry. What was I most concerned about? “Who is going to make lunch tomorrow?” I’m such a dork.
The nice thing about this virus is that it knocked me down but not far enough down that I didn’t want to open my eyes. This gave me lots and lots of time to really get into my latest reading venture – Gone With The Wind. I went into this novel nearly blind and ignorant to the story. I have never seen the movie. Nor did I read the back cover. I knew that there was a Scarlette O’Hara. I knew that there was a Rhett Butler, but had no idea what a scandalous man he was! Several comedy sketches have exposed me enough to the story to know that Prissy is going to freak out when a baby comes and get slapped across the face, “Ah ain delivered no baby befoh!” (I’ll let you know how accurate that quote is in a bit.) I’m surprised at how delighted and horrified I am by this story. Margaret’s skill with words is superb. She can set the mood just by describing colours rather than saying, “And they knew she was upset because she squinted her eyes infinitesimally.” The story is rich with wardrobe, luscious fabrics that I can nearly hear rustle into a room. The dirt and grime of war makes me feel desperate and anxious. I’m horrified over and over again by calling African Americans “darkies”. I knew people used to use this term (because I heard the stories from my friend about his grandmother still using the term in 2001. Eep!), but to read it repeatedly (and I’m still reading it. She’s not just being culturally clever here) is jarring. I’m also finding it challenging to read about slavery in such casual terms. As if it’s a right of white people to own other people just because their skin is dark. And she doesn’t sugar coat it, either. She blatantly talks about a plantation owner buying two women slaves from another plantation owner. He did this so that his favoured slave would be able to live with his wife and step-daughter. And the slaves were happy about it! They said thank you! Can you believe it? I’m just shocked by it all.
At the same time, I’m delighted with the story. As flawed as the characters are, I find them charming and they draw me back to the book time and again to find out what is happening. Each chapter slips by effortlessly, and I’ve found myself laughing out loud a few times (do you realize how scandalous it is to bid on a widow at a public dance auction? Very! Oh, Rhett, how you play with hearts and cultural niceties. You cut right to the heart of me, Baxter. I mean, Butler.)
So absorbed have I been in the language of the day, I find myself coining phrases that are not of my usual vernacular. The other day, I had a temper tantrum of Miss O’Hara proportions and voluntarily sequestered myself in my room. When I finally got tired of my situation, I sent a text message to The Mister and nearly wrote, “I will stay in here until such time as you see fit.” (I’m not usually so dramatic. *cough*) I also talked with my … father? I think it was my father. And I spoke in high falootin’ language because I can. Not to let myself down, I made a lemon meringue pie today for tea (agan, because I can. That’s why I love Me)
When I stepped back to soak in the finished product I said to myself, “Well if that isn’t just the prettiest little pie I ever did see!”
I’m still looking for opportunities to say “God’s pajamas!” and “Fiddle-dee-dee!” You know it’s coming.