We’ve been using the questions from To Our Children's Children by Bob Greene & D.G. Fulford. It’s a handy dandy little book that simplifies writing your autobiography by asking series of questions on things like home life growing up, holidays, your neighborhood, siblings, school, first jobs, etc. There are a few questions here and there that I’ll need to skip - things like “Where were you on VJ Day?” - only because, okay, I’m old but I’m not THAT old. Sheesh. Unless we’re going to get all past life regression, in which case my answer is “I was in Liverpool, kicking a can down the street.”
So, onto the question I’m going to tackle today. Actually, I’m going to choose two from Chapter 13: Romances and Relationships. Two quick ones. I’m almost finished sorting laundry while watching the BBC miniseries version of Jane Eyre. When I left off, Jane had just told Mr. Rochester that she’d marry him, and the wedding was about to begin. I love happy endings! And yet there are seven more episodes to follow. Hmm. I guess that is where they sort out bank accounts and decide whether to pool their money or split the bills down the middle; and then there might be an episode where she gets all
“Mr. Rochester, Sir, I must speak plainly for it is not in my nature to use those fripperies of word or phrase such as might make niceties of difficult truths - “
And he would be all
“And you shall do no such thing! Speak plainly, Janet, my little wife! Criticize me if you must, but you will be answerable for it!"
And she would be all
“Then, Sir, as men and women die; philosophers falter in their wisdom, and Christians in goodness, then I must speak plainly and tell you that in our bedchamber last night, I did suffer in the stale air of your self-made Dutch Oven. And, Sir, it was a much unpleasant thing for me, if I may speak plainly. And I must.”
And he would be all
“Ah! By my word, Janet! There is something singular about you! I shall instruct Mrs. Fairfax to dispense with the minted pea soup, forthwith. It does gas me, but not so much as your brusque manner and plain speaking!”
Bronte makes marriage sound so romantic! First with the plain speaking and the ghosts and the scary Jamaican guy who gets attacked by - I assume! - Grace Poole. Then with the happy wedding and the plain speaking and the fancy way she writes about flatulence, and I just can’t wait for the episode about the toothpaste being squeezed from the bottom, not the middle, and just who left the cap off the orange juice carton.
Maybe that’s what I need to inject a bit of passion into my marriage - more plain speaking and a scary Jamaican guy that gets attacked on the eerie third story of our house. Of course, that would be right after we built a third story onto our house. There’s not enough turrets in our neighborhood, anyway, if you ask me.
Onto some illuminating questions regarding my romances and relationships.
Question 1: Do you remember your first kiss?
Yes, Dear Reader, I do remember it.
I was young, a small girl still wrapped in the world of fairy tales and ballads. And although my feelings were undeveloped and threw me at times into tumults of agitation, yet I was happy in my own way.
I was unaware of the deep and mysterious passions of 9 year-old boys. And it was into this lair of mystery that I walked one winter afternoon in the hallway outside Miss Diane’s third grade classroom.
It happened during the recess before the lunch hour. Having forgotten my red woolen mittens in my book bag, I had returned to the warm, darkness of the school to retrieve them, for the day was cold and the air biting upon my small fingers. I reached into my green satchel and first grasped my afternoon repast of buttered peanuts and grape jam on wondrous bread. The nutty stench evoked pangs of hunger as I had naught but a bowl of cheeried O's upon breaking that morning’s fast five hours past, and for a brief moment, I wavered in a moment of bodily weakness.
Then, in the bleak coldness - wait…I mean stale warmth- of the hallway, I felt a sudden rush of air as a door opened somewhere farther down the black passageway, and there was all at once a presence, the breathing and sniffling audible and endeavoring to move closer toward me.
“Who is there!” I shouted. For a moment, I was beyond my own mastery. I was alone and became frightened at the prospect of this unknown being making its way toward me. Was this a ghost? Or just some trickery of peanut butter upon my famished constitution?
“Why do you tremble so? It is but I, your schoolyard playmate, Jamie.”
I did not at first believe my eyes, but upon closer examination, I did see that it was my dear friend. As he moved into a split of light emanating through the transom above the classroom door, his countenance became clear and I could see that he looked bemused at my evident discomfort.
"I'm trying to find my mittens. I do think I have left them at home."
Jamie came closer and I could smell the scent of Pez on his breath.
"You can borrow mine, if you will. I don't mind."
I regretted to find myself in this position, but the air was cold outside, and moreover the smell of Pez on his lips made my stomach cry out in needfulness.
"Gee, thanks", said I.
Jamie pulled his black gloves from his pocket, and before I knew what was happening, he grabbed me and laid a big Pez-flavored smooch on my lips.
Lime, I think it was.
Oh Reader! We were married!
Wait, no...we weren't.
Oh Reader! How wondrous that afternoon in the playground! Such feelings as I have never felt before! We were ever together all that long recess, at once as free in society as we were in solitude!
Until, I tagged Jamie hard and knocked him over and he took back his gloves.
Question 27: What feeling to you equate with feelings of love?
Love makes me feel exactly like Kate Bush in this video. Except I'm wearing an orange dress, not red.
Meanwhile, my sister has completely lost her mind. In the best way possible, of course. Just remind me to ask before reaching into her freezer for...anything.