My Girl’s delight with her English Country Dance class, and her desire to watch the dancing scenes in the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, awakened in me a wish to reread that novel. And then I had to watch the production from beginning to end, admiring and sighing over all the beautiful scenery, Colin Firth, the lovely dresses, Colin Firth, the magnificent estates, Colin Firth, the gorgeous sets and, of course, Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.
I am not a Jane Austen scholar, but I know enough to understand that she offered, through her novels, criticism of a society focused too sharply on manners, appearances and status. I wonder if part of her continued appeal is that we have moved so far away from that excess of civility. What an oddity Mr. Darcy would be in today’s world, especially if he suddenly appeared in the U.S., during this particular autumn. What would we make of a fabulously wealthy man whose employees and tenants sing his praises rather than write tell-all books about him, who conceals both his own good deeds and the wrongdoings of others, and recognizes that people of different social strata can be worthy of respect? How would we handle the facts that his only “private server” is his valet, he is careful both in his actions and his speech (usually), and he admits when he has made a mistake? Good manners wouldn’t give Saturday Night Live and the late night talk show hosts much material, and wouldn’t that be refreshing! If Darcy ran for president, his slogan could be “Honesty with Discretion; Courtesy with Morality.” People would probably say he waffled on his opinion of the Bennett sisters, and the birther crowd would actually have a point. But you know, if he looked like Colin Firth, I might just vote for him anyway. 🙂
So, I’ve never been much of a Valentine’s Day-flowers-and-hearts type of girl. (Notice I did not say I object to candy or wine….) This year – actually last year, our supermarkets broke out the conversation hearts about 3 days after Christmas. You know, the ones that say things like “Call Me” or “Q T PIE.” Gack. The kids are too old to fall for my “Candy hearts are not ripe until February, you know” line anymore. (Worked for years!)
Anyway, in past years I tried making candy heart-like polymer clay charms. It worked great, and I have a cute little bracelet loaded with them…but it’s not very me.
This year, I had a vision of a different sort of candy heart.s Ones with the kind of messages I sometimes felt like sending back in the pre-happily-married days. Messages like “BACK OFF” or “R U SERIOUS?” Pastels didn’t seem to fit the idea, so I came up with these (available for purchase at my Artfire shop):
I love that my kids make to do lists for me to find and envy. I posted one of my daughter’s awhile back; here’s one I recently came across that my son wrote:
Dressed Pick up Legos
go to shwirch
go to Doctor Mary’s office have Lollipop
go home take out Legos
play with Legos
Put away Legos
Play out Doors
go to sleep
🙂 “Have Breakfast,” “Exercise” and “Get dressed” were crossed out. “Shwirch” is our shortened version of “School-work-church,” since I was homeschooling him at my work, which happened to be at our church. The Drs. office visit was for his sister, so that was really all about getting a lollipop from the snack shop there.
I’m thrilled that he included “put away Legos.” And I’m really going to start putting “play outdoors” on my to do lists.
Ok, I should just never make promises to do anything weekly. Maybe if my to do list looked like one I found recently in my 7-year old daughter’s notebook, I’d be better at getting everything done. Here is her list:
My friend, Tammi, and I were attempting to figure out how to get her daughter’s toy to work, to show my son. The toy in question is a hobby horse with a chip in its ear that makes galloping and neighing noises when pressed. The chip is apparently broken. Tammi squeezed the ear for awhile, then I gave it a go. Finally, her nearly-three-year old came over and said, “I can show him how it works, Mommy.” She took the hobby horse, straddled it and skipped off across the room.
“This is how you make it gallop, Frederich!”
Then she added, “And you can make it neigh, too – Neigh! Neigh!”
My 4 1/2-year old said, “Cool!”
Sometimes grown-ups can be really idiotic. 🙂
“Go wash up for dinner, ” I said.
“Why?” he answered.
“Because you’ve been playing outside and your hands are dirty. And it’s always a good idea to wash up before eating.”
(Off he went to wash up. When he came back, the conversation continued.)
“Let me see,” I said.
(He showed me)
“Ew! Still dirty! Go wash those hands again!”
“But Mommy, only my palms are dirty…I just need my fingers for food.”
I almost couldn’t argue with that.