You Cannot Think That I Will Leave Off Match-Making

So I have written before how much I like Emma, and that in quite a few ways we are alike. One of which is matchmaking. Emma loves trying to match people up, I used to to; but both of-our matches do not end well.

When I was in high school, I tried setting a friend up with another friend-she was kind sweet and charming. The guy was more outgoing, fun-loving, and I thought the two would balance out.

Did it work out?

It failed. He just ignored her the whole time and ended up dating another girl.

I tried another time with a different friend. She was smart, into some nerdy things (not too much but enough), loved reading, and having fun. I had a guy friend that was intelligent, interested in the same things as she was, and just her type of guy in build.

Did it work out?

It failed. And to make things even worse, they guy ended up liking me! And telling me he had feelings for me!

Just like Mr. Elton

Later on I tried again to get a friend paired up with another friend-football star and just her type.

Did it work out?

Yes, every time I tried to match people it failed, and it failed horribly. The girls were hurt, I was hurt, no one ended up happy. I therefore swore off match-making altogether. Never again.

But then I met my co-worker’s single son.

He would be perfect for a friend of mine! He’s great with children, nice to his mom, interested in the same movies and things as her, and exactly her type in build.

It’s perfect!

But every time I try-even move to do matchmaking-I have to remind myself that I am Emma.

And that it won’t turn out well. Yep, sometimes it is better to leave it to the professionals.

Well, at least for now.

For more on Emma, go to A Visit to Highbury: Another View of Emma

For more matchmaking, go to Baby Jane Austen

People Have to Snatch at Happiness When They Can in This World. It is Always Easier to Lose Than to Find: O Pioneers!

Day 21): U is for Unhappy: Choose a book with an Unhappy ending

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O Pioneers! (Great Plains Trilogy #1) by Willa Cather

I was first introduced to the work of Willa Cather when one summer I was trying to read through a list of classics provided by Barnes and Noble. (The same list that lead me to read Uncle Tom’s Cabin.) Of course I never finished it:

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However, two of the book I read during that time were My Antonia and O Pioneers!. I read O Pioneers! second, not knowing it was the first book and while I enjoyed My Antonia I loved O Pioneers! more.

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And it makes me really upset that no one knows about this book.

Say What

I KNOW! It is a fantastic book but no one knows about it. It is hard to even purchase as I wanted to buy a copy for my friend, but amazon didn’t have it or Barnes & Nobles. Crazy! So why is this book fantastic? Let’s take a look.

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So the book is just under 200 pages and divided into three parts.

PART I: THE WILD LAND

The story takes place in Nebraska, the Bergsons are a Swedish family of six who immigrated to America for a better life, but found the prairie not as promised. The father, John, went into serious debt, but was finally able to pay it off. He owns six hundred and forty acres of the original homestead, and three hundred and twenty acres given to him by his brother when he pulled out. Just as it seemed he might be able to tame the land, he becomes ill and at age 46, is going to die.

Why?

Why?

For weeks he has been thinking what to do next, when he decides that everything must be left to his daughter Alexandra to control.

Whattheheck

This book was published in 1913, but takes place in 1883. And even though he has two sons who come before Alexandra he recognizes in her his own spirit. While his sons Lou and Oscar are hardworking they just don’t have the business acumen.

“It was Alexandra who read the papers and followed the markets, and who learned by the mistakes of their neighbors. It was Alexandra who could always tell about what it cost to fatten each steer, and who could guess the weight of a hog before it went on the scales closer than John Bergson himself. Lou and Oscar were industrious, but he could never teach them to use their heads about their work.” pg. 15

On his deathbed, John calls all the kids together and makes them promise to keep the land and listen to Alexandra, there will be no quarreling. When each wishes to marry they can divide the land, but until then they must follow Alexandra.

Wecandoit

Even though the boys do not like being put under their sister, they agree to their father’s wishes.

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Six months later, the Bergsons invite their friend and neighbor Carl Linstrum to visit “Crazy” Ivar. Lou and Oscar make fun of him,

I'm crazy

He’s crazy

But Alexandra values his advice and knowledge of animals.

Topthorn War HOrse

Ivar suffers from some kind of mental affliction, one not stated as most likely at that time they had no name for it. Sometimes he spouts wisdom, other days nonsense. He likes to live as far away from people as he can. While he suffers from these eccentricities his knowledge of animals is without competition. He has a pond where all kinds of birds come to visit, as they know he will not shoot them, as he has an aversion to guns.

Now one of the reasons this book is so good is the character of Alexandra. While others see the craziness of Ivan and brush him off, she listens to his advice and follows it, it turning out very well. What a person looks like, or acts like doesn’t matter to her; she values their hard work, their wisdom, and their heart. And she doesn’t care what others think of her.

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After their father’s death, the Bergsons clan did well.

Double double yay

But then the drought came, an with it three years of nothing but failure.

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It is at this time we see a divided family as to what to do next. Many people have left the “promises” of the prairie to follow the “promises” of St. Louis, Chicago, San Francisco, Alaska, etc.

Good-bye

Good-bye

Carl Limstrom comes to tell Alexandra that his family is leaving to St. Louis. This is heartbreaking, as Alexandra and him have fallen in love. Alexandra doesn’t want him to go, but Carl won’t have him and his family be a drag on their finances, after all, Carl is no farmer. But Carl promises that he won’t forget her but will work hard for her.

“I’ll write as long as I live…And I’ll be working for you as much as for myself, Alexandra. I want to do something you’ll like and be proud of. I’m a fool here, but I know I can do something!” pg. 34

you deserve better

This is the first part of what makes this book so sad. Alexandra doesn’t care about that Carl, she just wants you! But Alexandra understands how you feel and how you don’t want to enter a marriage being a drain on your wife, you want to be equal.

And even though you really want Carl to stay with Alexandra, you respect him for not wanting to use her inheritance and enter the relationship having her take care of him. He knows Alexandra is the greatest thing in the world and wants to show her he is worthy of her love.

Fredrick Wentworth

But poor Alexandra

[To Carl’s retreating form] Since you have been here, ten years now, I have never really been lonely.” pg 35

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

The boys are worried about what will happen next with the sweet potatoes seeming to be the only thing really living on. They want to sell out and move to the cities, where opportunity really is. Or trade their land for the river as that land is much better than the kind they have.

We need to get out of here

We need to get out of here

Alexandra of course doesn’t go on feelings, whispers, or what others tell her to do. She thinks on it long and hard, researching into what would be the best decision.

Thinking Hmm

She and her younger brother Emil travel to the river to examine the land. After reviewing everything and thinking on it; she decides that the thing to do is to mortgage their land with the bank and buy up as much land as they can. The boys of course are skeptical of this plan. Six more years of working off a loan? And what if the land prices don’t soar, what if the drought continues on, what if, what if?

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But Alexandra sees the way to go:

“The men in town who are buying up other people’s land don’t try to farm it. They are the men to watch, in a new country. Let’s try to do it like the shrewd ones and not like the stupid fellows.” pg. 43

The boys know this will be going against all the others and they don’t want to be viewed by others as crazy.

But Alexandra is certain, and they follow her. Alexandra is pleased as she watches the land knowing that the future is stirring.

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PART II: NEIGHBORING FIELDS

It has been sixteen years since the death of John Bergson, now being 1899. In the years that have passed, his wife has passed on as well. The land is producing much, telephone wires zig zag the prairie, and the area is thickly populated as more have arrived to stake their home there too.

Emil has achieved Alexandra’s dream and gone on to attending the university and doing well in sports. He is tall, handsome, charming and all the girls in the area wish for a moment with him, as brief as it could be.

swoon dreamy

But he isn’t interested in any of them.

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Their old friend Marie Tovesky, now Mrs. Shabata, a Bohemian, has moved back to the prairie she used to visit as a young girl now a neighbor to the Bergsons.

And how are the Bergson’s doing? Any one could tell you that they have the richest farm on the Divide, and that was all due to the woman farmer, Alexandra.

Alexandra

Alexandra, that is.

One of the things I like about Alexandra is that Cather created a character that is intelligent, strategical, yet still feminine. With today’s modern works it always feels like an either/or situation. Either they are pretty or smart. They are intelligent and masculine or an airhead and feminine. Alexandra has extreme intelligence but also enjoys doing housework, baking, and as beautiful as she is brainy.

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The older brothers are married and have their own sections of land as they began families, but Alexandra has the most of land and wealth. Emil comes back and forth between Alexandra’s home and school; and there is one more addition.

Carl and her married!!!

Carl and her married!!!

No not Carl.

Oh darn!

Oh darn!

He is still out trying to make his fortune. No, when Ivar lost his land, Alexandra opened her home to him. Such a compassionate person, not caring what others think of him or her for having him live in the home; all that matters that there is a soul in need.

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Ivar comes to Alexandra one day, afraid that people will send him to the asylum for being different, but Alexandra doesn’t care. She knows what it is like to be talked about because you do things differently.

“Don’t come to me again telling me what people say. Let people go on talking as they like, and we will go on living as we think best. ” pg. 60

A lot has changed in the sixteen years with modernity. A lot of the old ways of living and being are no longer accepted. In the family, Oscar’s wife will not allow any Swedish to be spoken in the house, so when they visit the relatives only English can be spoken.

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Alexandra has not married, her heart still pining after the only one who ever truly understood her, but enjoys being an aunt and looking after her brother’s children. But as she is the wealthiest of the whole clan, she often becomes caught in a game between her scheming brothers and sister-in-laws, as they all desire different things.

One day she is with her nieces in the flower garden when a tall, handsome stranger comes on the prairie. It is Carl!

Carl and her married!!!

Carl is on his way to Seattle and then to Alaska to go gold prospecting. He stopped by to say hi and Alexandra is thrilled as she has missed him so much. The brothers aren’t as they are worried that instead of a gold prospector he might be a gold digger and after Alexandra’s wealth.

money money money

Carl admits that he had hoped to present himself as better, worthy of Alexandra, but he has nothing.

“You see…measured by your standards I’m a failure. I couldn’t buy even one of your cornfields. I’ve enjoyed a great many things, but I’ve nothing to show for it all.” pg. 77

That doesn’t matter to Alexandra of course, but Carl must prove himself.

I think Carl and Alexandra are just the cutest couple. Carl is so sweet to her and pretty much understands her (except for the having to prove himself thing because she does not care) and doesn’t find any measure of her odd or not right.

“I wonder whether I should ever be able to tell you all that I was thinking up there. It’s a strange thing, Alexandra; I find it easy to be frank with you about everything under the sun-except yourself!’

‘You are afraid of hurting my feelings, perhaps.’ Alexandra looked at him thoughtfully.

‘No, I’m afraid it would give you a shock. You’ve seen yourself for so long in the dull minds of the people around you, that if I were to tell you how you seem to me, it would startle you. But you must see that you astonish me.” pg. 83

How sweet!

How sweet!

Carl and Alexandra are just perfect:

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I want them to get together!!!!!

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Carl and Alexandra go to Marie’s and spend time with her being interrupted by her husband. No two people could be more horribly matched.  Marie is light and fun, while her husband Frank is jealous, depressing, and unfriendly.

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They meet when Marie was at school and she thought Frank was handsome, brooding, and romantic. Her father did not want them to marry, and nothing makes two people “fall in love” faster than when they are forbidden to.

Not good

Not good

She was sent to a convent, but as soon as she turned 18 left it and married Frank. Her father bought them the farm and they’ve been unhappy ever since. Marie realized that the Frank she thought she loved was one that was not real, but created in her mind.

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Emil and Marie spend lots of time together, as he often helps out with the farm, taking care of things that Frank is too lazy to. But that friendship must end. Emil can’t pretend anymore. He is in love with Marie and wants to be with her, but of course she is married.

Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

Carl and Emil head off to a Catholic fair, where Emil runs into his newly married friend, Amédéé. While they are gone the brothers come to talk to Alexandra about Carl. They wanted Alexandra’s land to be willed to their children when she dies, but Alexandra will not be bullied and will do what she wants with her land.

I don't think so

You have to read what they try and use to talk her out of it. They tell her things like she’s just a woman, she didn’t really do the work “even though she had the ideas”, the property always belongs too the men, she is too old at 40 to think of marrying, Carl is four years younger than her too young.

Those guys

Those guys

But Alexandra holds her ground. She tells them that she owns her land and, she was the driving force that created their wealth, and they can stuff it or go to their lawyers but nothing will come of it.

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Alexandra tries to talk to Emil about it, but he is too heartsick he begs her to send home far away, to Mexico.

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She agrees and is sad that no one really understands her. She has no one, Marie and Carl being her only friends.

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Meanwhile Lou and Oscar go to talk to Carl and convince him he is worthless.

“What a hopeless position you are in, Alexandra!’ [Carl] exclaimed feverishly. ‘It is your fate to be always surrounded by little men. And I am no better than the rest. I am too little to face the criticism of even such men as Lou and Oscar. Yes, I am going away; to-morrow. I cannot even ask you to give me a promise until I have something to offer you. I thought, perhaps, I could do that; but I find I can’t.’

‘What good comes of offering people things they don’t need?’ Alexandra asked sadly. ‘I don’t need money. But I have needed you for a great many years. I wonder why I have been permitted to prosper, if only to take my friends away from me.

‘I don’t deceive myself,’ Carl said frankly. ‘I know that I am going away on my own account. I must make the usual effort. I must have something to show for myself. To take what you would give me, I should have to be a very large man or a very small one, and I am only in the middle class.’

Alexandra sighed. ‘I have a feeling that if you go away, you will not come back. Something will happen to one of us, or to both. People have to snatch at happiness when they can in this world. It is always easier to lose than to find.” pg. 114-115

In one day she loses all the men she cares about.

right in the feels broken heart

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PART III: WINTER MEMORIES

Winter never feels as cold as when you no longer have those you care about. No longer will Alexandra see Oscar or Lou because of how they treated Carl. She gets letters from Emil and Carl, but it is not the same as having them near.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

Mrs. Lee, Lou’s mother-in-law and one of the old timers, loves to visit Alexandra where she can follow in the old ways of living and not be judged. Even though the brothers are no longer welcome, Alexandra still opens her home to the rest of the relatives.

Alexandra brings Emil’s letter for Marie to read, never knowing what interest lies in Marie’s light and happy heart. Marie also gifts Alexandra with a scarf she made for Emil. Little does Alexandra know how Marie really feels on the inside.

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

Marie’s life has grown exceedingly unhappy. She realizes that she and Frank are not suited for each other at all. She becomes more and more unhappy and folds into herself.

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PART IV: THE WHITE MULBERRY TREE

Emil has returned from Mexico at last, and just in time for a big carnival at the Catholic church. Emil runs into his old friend Amédéé, now a father. All the girls flutter around Emil, and when he gives one of his turquoise stones to auctioned it starts an even greater flummox.

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Marie is just as crazy about Emil, but he smartly keeps his distance from her.

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Frank is angry as he is jealous and wants someone to blame for Marie not caring for him any longer. But the only one who drove the wedge was him and his cruel nature.

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When the lights go out, every girl is kissed by their sweetheart and Emil does the one thing he has wished for so long, kisses Marie.

OMG gasp

Emil is heartsick  and finally asks Marie what has been on his mind for so long, why would you marry Frank? Marie tells him she loved him. Frank was the same now as then, but as a young girl she saw him differently. And now she pays for her heedlessness, stubbornness, and naivety.  She begs Emil to leave as she doesn’t want them to sin and she can’t go.

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Emil is preparing to leave for Omaha to train as a lawyer, then going on to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Before he departs, he stops by to see his friend Amédéé. Amédéé. is in awful pain, completely sick with appendicitis. The doctor tries to take care of him, but it is to late, Amédéé is gone.

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Emil stays on for the service and is to set off, but goes back to Marie’s to get one thing of hers to hold on to. When he gets there he discovers her lying in the grass.

Frank comes home and sees Emil’s horse in the barn. He then goes into the field and hears something. As he comes closer he sees two figures in the field and shoots. And then streaks off.

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Ivar finds Emil’s mare the next morning all worn out and not taken care of. He knows Emil would never do anything like that unless he was hurt or injured. He goes next door to get help and finds the bodies.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

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PART V: ALEXANDRA

Alexandra has become so sick with grief she cannot do anything without being instructed. Her boy, her best friend…gone.

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

She feels horrible for always throwing them together, never thinking what would happen. She feels so cold and alone.

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Alexandra goes to see Frank Shabata, but feels no anger at him. Only pity.

Strange Sad Have My Pity Toy Story

But one bright spot arrives, as soon as Carl gets Alexandra’s note on the death he hurries over.

He isn’t as important as he would have wished, but he does have a good buisness starting in the West. The two plan to marry, going West but eventually returning home to the prairie. At last, Alexandra will no longer be alone. A bittersweet ending

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I love this book but it is sooo sad. Just full of feelings:

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But I love it anyway and read it over and over.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

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For more on Sarah Dessen, go to I’d Spent Some Time As a Kid Wishing My Name Were Ashley or Katherine, if Only Because It Would Have Made Life Simpler, But My Mom Liked to Tell Me That My Name Was a Litmus Test: Along for the Ride

For more on An Affair to Remember, go to Anything Can Happen: An Affair to Remember (1957)

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For the Christmas Carol I choose Silent Night otherwise known in Bohemian as Tichá noc. This song was written in 1816 by Father Joseph Mohr when he was visiting Mariapfarr, Austria.

Two years later, Father Mohr approaches Franz Xaver Gruber, a schoolmaster and organist, and asked him to set it to music. Together they performed it during Christmas Eve’s mass.

In 1859, Pastor John Freeman Young translated the song from German to English. Since then the song has been translated into over 140 different languages.

I chose the version by Celtic Woman as I really enjoy that group.

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For more on Celtic Woman, go to I Finally Read Moby-Dick

For more Christmas Carols, go to Each Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

Why Everyone Should Read Gone With the Wind

B is for Best-Selling Novel

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Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

When it came to look for a Best-Seller to put on the list I decided to start first with 1916, as that book would be celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Double double yay

But I didn’t see any I was a very big fan of so I went to 1926. Nothing there as well.

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I decided I would then check 1936 and if I couldn’t find a book I was a fan of I would try 1896, then 1886, then 1876, and then go back to 1946 and on and on until I finally found something.

However, I stopped at 1936 with Gone With the Wind.

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Gone With the Wind was published in 1936 and at time sold 176,000 copies. It was a best seller in 1936 and 1937, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1937, and by 1938 sold a million copies. In 1939 the film came out and the book sold two million copies.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

My first introduction to Gone With the Wind was when I first watched the film when a friend and I were going through AFI’s list of the best films. We made it to #15 before we became too busy and haven’t finished doing it since.

Oh well.

Oh well.

Anyways, I watched it and thought the movie was really good. The cinematography was absolutely stunning, it was full of good quotes, and Clark Gable was just amazing as Rhett Butler (funny thing is Margaret Mitchell didn’t want him as she thought he wasn’t handsome enough to be Rhett).

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I didn’t care for Scarlett as I thought she was a…

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And thought she was just horrible, not Vivian Leigh’s performance but her.

Then three years later, as it was on my reading list, I decided to read it, borrowing my mother’s copy. And when I read it I was amazed at how it was a truly fantastic book!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

And I believe that everyone should read it at least once.

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So the book is a huge epic! It follows the Irish O’Hara clan from the father’s immigration into the new world and settling in the South, the radical changes from the Antebellum period, to the Civil War, and the Reconstruction era.  At the heart of all this chaos is the story of the beautiful, ruthless Scarlett ‘O’ Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler.

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So let’s list off why one should read this book:

A) Shows How the Irish were Viewed in America

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So we start off with Gerald O’Hara, head of the clan. Back in Ireland he was a part of a Catholic Emancipation group, like the Ribbonmen or such and ends up having to flee because of his political activities. He comes to America and isn’t always treated very nicely, as the Irish weren’t. Often they were made fun off, not allowed in certain areas, and thought to be taking over jobs. He starts working in his brother’s store but what he really wants is land, the very land that was denied him back in Ireland as no Catholic Irish could ever own anything.

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He eventually wins a plantation in a poker game and spends a long time building it up and having it be one of the richest ones in the area. He then decides to marry, but while these Southern families enjoy his wealth and propsperity; none could ever think of marrying their daughter to an Irish immigrant who’s family is unknown. The only thing for him to do is try to find a woman somewhere else, as he returns to his brother for help in finding a bride.

Yes, most don’t realize this but the wealthy South wanted to be like the old manors of Europe. Be the master of the land with pure bloodlines of other wealthy families, not bringing any low class in, and very racist against any that weren’t established in their group. This kind of racism against the Irish and Catholics went much farther than the South and was seen all over the country. Many times Irishmen and women had the lowest class jobs, found it hard to get land and keep it, and found themselves competing against African Americans who would work for lower wages (in the North). While Gerald O’Hara does extremely well, a lot of Irish weren’t able to ever reach that, especially in the South at this time.

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B) Scarlet O’Hara

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Scarlett is a Southern women in the Antebellum period and has very little schooling. All that is expected of her is to marry well and have plenty of children. But Scarlet has always felt different and out of touch with the time she lives in.

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She is extremely intelligent and has great business acumen. In fact it is often remarked that if her brain had been born into a boy she would have been able to go far.

Scarlet doesn’t have life easy either. With the Civil War she finds herself becoming a nurse, a midwife, and eventually has to take on the plantation or risk starvation. Because of those experiences it makes her hard, as with the book we see how she is constantly worried if things will turn out alright, if they can make it, or if they will be back to starvation; everyone looking at her to take care of everything.

I don't know what to do

That is an incredible burden to be laid on a teenager (as she is about 17 or 18), let alone one who’s education was “how to look her prettiest”. She becomes tough because if she doesn’t, none of them will survive.

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When the home is attacked, she defends it shooting the deserter and protecting the home and people.

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Now she does steal her sister’s boyfriend, so she has faults, but she does it because she has foresight none of the others do. He has a hardware store, but when Scarlet takes over she also creates a lumber mill, triples the money, and is able to provide for everyone. Even though she accomplishes all this everyone still tells her she isn’t being a lady, running businesses and doing better than her husband. They try to convince her to stop, but she keeps on doing it. Using her “ladies mind” which contains a powerful way with numbers.

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She continues to be this strong, forceful woman throughout the rest of the novel; even though she does make a lot of bad personal decisions. Still, for a woman in the 1800s to have her own business, earn her own money, choose who she will marry (several times), is pretty awesome! She is a powerhouse of a character.

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C) Not as Racist as People Think

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People had slaves and if a book mentions it, that is not racist. In fact in this book the slaves aren’t really shown to be stupid, slow, or other clichés; except Lettie who is mentally disabled (something we understand more now than we did then). There is the house slave who didn’t want to work in the fields, but being a house slave was seen as better than an outdoor slave and slaves on the inside often treated the field slaves as being lower class.

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In fact this book isn’t racist to African Americans, but points out racism and hypocrisy that African Americans faced from those who were trying to free them. It is often remarked that while the North wanted the Southern slaves to be free, that did not mean they actually wanted to work with those freed slaves or have them near. There were plenty of racist people living in the North fighting for African American rights, but if they were near an African American they would still treat them cruelly. Mitchell points this out when the new Republicans brought in by Reconstruction say they would never have an African American nanny their children as they have “diseases” and “uncouth ways”. In fact they would much rather ship over an Irish immigrant than ever let their child be touched by someone black.

What jerks

What jerks

Many say that Mitchell started this “Mamie” stereotype  creating a myth that all Africans were pleased with being slaves; which Mitchell does not do. Like The Help, which by the way everyone loved and praised, she shows that because the nannies lived in the house and raised the children they sometimes became like family. It didn’t happen with everyone, but in this case Mamie was a mother to Scarlet more than her own mother.

Also people are all different and have their own views, even if they live in the same area. Mitchell presents a look at the many ways people regarded slavery; indifferent as Scarlet, necessary as Mr. O’Hara; and how some treat African Americans rudely, cruelly, or like family.

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D) The Person You Love are Not Always True

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Scarlet is in love with Ashley Wilkes, but they could never marry as her blood (Irish) is too inferior for the Wilkes family. He is to marry none other than his cousin, but instead of flat out saying that to Scarlett, Ashley likes how this beautiful woman who everyone wants loves him and leads Scarlett on, trying to make sure her “flames of love kept burning” because it made him feel good. He was such a jerk and a coward! I mean we’ve all had guys like that who say “they would make the commitment”, but their life isn’t quite together yet. They haven’t reached their plans. And then when you try to move on, they always snag you back, bemoaning that if only things were different; trying to get you to wait for them.

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They get their poisonious hook into you and keep you.

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My friend was in the snare of a guy like Ashley for three years. He would go on about how they couldn’t be together, she deserved someone better; but as soon as she started to move on or see other people he would pop in about how much he cared about her. Constantly stringing her along in this cycle.

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Thankfully she finally realized it or she would have been like Scarlett constantly pining after something she thought she needed when the real prize laid before her. It is horrible, and this book really teaches you the errors of being stuck on someones hook.

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E) Stop Looking to the Past

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Like most people, Scarlett gets stuck in the past. All she can do is think of Ashley and wish of Ashley.

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How many of us have had a broken heart and instead of realizing how that person wasn’t right and deciding to move on, we cling to the past dreaming, wishing hoping. How many of us waste our time like Scarlett?

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Scarlett was so consumed with her dreams and thoughts of the past that she was blind to the person who really loved her, that if she had only let her dream of Ashley die and stop mooning about him she would have seen how much better Rhett was for her.

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F) Never Be afraid to Say How You Feel

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Everyone talks about Scarlett’s blindness and how she was unable to see what she has but you know who was a real coward? Rhett! Rhett never told her he loved her until the very end. Maybe if he had not been so afraid to admit his real feelings and told her the truth about how he felt instead of distancing himself for the fear of her breaking his heart or lording over him, then they might have had a chance at true happiness.

Yes it can be hard to be vulnerable, or share your heart with others. Things can go very wrong of the person doesn’t care. But they can go just as bad of you say nothing and let the person you love pass you on by.

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G) Hold On to Tomorrow

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As Little orphan Annie says, “So you got to hang on ’til tomorrow, come what may!” Even after all she’s been through, Scarlett has an optimism that seems to go against everything else about her. She has faith that in tomorrow things can change. Life is hard now but in the flip of a dime it could turn out better. This kind of optimism we should instill in our life as well. Anything could happen tomorrow, don’t give up as things can get better.

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To start the 30 day challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

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For more on Gone With the Wind, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

For more on Margaret Mitchell, go to I Will Survive

For more Ayn Rand quotes, go to The Power is Yours

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Today’s carol is O Little Town of Bethlehem. Phillip Brooks visited Bethlehem in 1865 and three years later wrote the poem, asking his organist Lewis Redner to write the music.

“As Christmas of 1868 approached, Mr. Brooks told me that he had written a simple little carol for the Christmas Sunday-school service, and he asked me to write the tune to it. The simple music was written in great haste and under great pressure. We were to practice it on the following Sunday. Mr. Brooks came to me on Friday, and said, ‘Redner, have you ground out that music yet to “O Little Town of Bethlehem”? I replied, ‘No,’ but that he should have it by Sunday. On the Saturday night previous my brain was all confused about the tune. I thought more about my Sunday-school lesson than I did about the music. But I was roused from sleep late in the night hearing an angel-strain whispering in my ear, and seizing a piece of music paper I jotted down the treble of the tune as we now have it, and on Sunday morning before going to church I filled in the harmony. Neither Mr. Brooks nor I ever thought the carol or the music to it would live beyond that Christmas of 1868.”

Amazing. Now it is famous and such a part of the festive year. My favorite version is the Nat King Cole one.

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For more Christmas carols, go to We Wish You A Merry Christmas

You’re Sad So I’m Making This Day Extra Special: The Bikini in the Soup, Bones (2011)

Most Romantic Moment #9

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So another TV episode? Well what can I say, it just happened that way this month.

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So Bones is about forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel) who gets hired by the FBI as a consultant to help solve cases. Her partner is the amazingly handsome and wonderful man, FBI Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz).

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There is also an amazing secondary cast: wild, artistic, Angela Montenegro who does facial reconstruction; Dr. Jack Hodgins, an entomologist who spurned his family’s wealth and “business” to study science; Dr. Zack Addy, genius graduate student who is unfamiliar with “social norms”; and Dr. Lance Sweets, the young, handsome, FBI psychologist who helps them out; and Dr. Camille “Cam” Saroyan, the head of the Jeffersonian.  It is a great show, that I highly recommend.

So the episode I have chosen, The Bikini in the Soup takes place in season 6 of Bones. In a few episodes previous, Booth asked his girlfriend Hannah to marry him:

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But she refused him, being the second women he’s loved to do so.

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Quick tangent, I don’t know these girls would do such a thing. Booth is perfect, I’d marry him in a heartbeat if he asked me! (And was real).

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Anyways, back on topic. So it is Valentine’s Day:

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And Booth is very unhappy. He keeps going on about how it is a horrible holiday

Something is not right!

Something is not right!

And the only thing memorable that has ever happened on the day is the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.

The team gets called out to investigate the death of a wedding planner found melted in her tanning bed.

EW!

EW!

Meanwhile Cam is trying to have the case solved before tonight so she can have her romantic date with her Doctor boyfriend, Hodgins is trying to find a perfect gift for Angela, and Brennan is turning down dates as she wants to spend the day countercultural.

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Most Romantic Moment: I Know You Are Hurting and I Want to Make You Feel Better

So as Booth is brokenhearted from Hannah’s marriage refusal, and totally hates Valentines’ Day; Bones decides to do something really special for him.

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She finds him at the shooting range and surprises him with Thompson Machine Guns (Tommy Guns) so that they can celebrate the “true meaning” of Valentines Day; The Saint Valentines Day Massacre.

How romantic

How romantic

So I know some of you might feel this is weird but let me explain why it is so romantic.

So this is romantic for three reasons:

1) Booth is angry, incredibly hurt, and just all around feeling bad. The fact that she wants him to feel better and brings him something that he can healthily relieve the frustration is truly dear of her.

2) She is fulfilling one of his fantasies, as he has always wanted to shoot one of those guns; and the fact that it is the actual gun from that time period? Fantastic.

Finally something GOOD!

3) All day he has been going on and on about how the The Saint Valentines Day Massacre is the “true meaning” of Valentine’s Day. Even though Bones has issues picking up social cues and the like from people; she could tell he was hurt and needed something to perk him up. Not only does it show her connection with him, but is just romantic. 

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To start Romance is in the Air:Part IV from the beginning, go to I Can’t Pretend, I Have to Be: Casual Sex? (1988)

For the previous posts, go to I’d Lay Down My Life for You: Pocahontas (1995)

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For more on Bones, go to England Dreamin’ On Such a Summer’s Day

For more Valentine’s Day episodes, go to It’s Not What You Buy, But the Reason Why That Matters: Playing Heart to Get, Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse (2013)

Some Things Never Change

So as I was saying Marianne is not into Edward as a romantic hero.

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Here is a list of Edward’s shortcomings according to Marianne

  • He’s not handsome enough
  • Doesn’t have the right airs or manners.
  • He is tame with no fire (i.e. too much of a nice guy)
  • No taste in music
  • Doesn’t know anything about art
  • He’s not exciting

Now who does Marianne sound like? An average teenage girl.

Say What

Yep, this book came out around 200 years ago, yet it is as relevant as today. Does that surprise you?

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Let’s take a closer look at what she wants in a guy. First of all she doesn’t like Edward because he isn’t handsome enough. Now there are teenage girls who prefer substance over looks, I have to admit I was one as I liked guys who weren’t the hottest ones in school, but most young girls it’s what they see on the outside. I mean think about the guy in your high school that everyone wanted to date? Were they a nice person? Most of you will answer that as no. Nope, they tended to be all about themself.

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Now I’m not saying you won’t be able to find a hot nice guy, I’m just saying that sadly most girls don’t realize until after they have had their heart broken that looks are not as important as what is on the inside of a person.

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Yep, the heart or soul of a person is the most important thing.

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Marianne is also not into Edward because instead of showing fire and spirit, his eyes only show intelligence and virtue. You see Marianne doesn’t want a smart, nice boy. Nope, she wants that bad boy.

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Now having that bad boy can be exciting and all, but when push comes to shove they won’t care about what’s best for you but what’s best for them. Their crazy adventures will end up causing trouble for you, the “exciting” impulsive life will eventually become a bore, and their free spirit will become commitment phobia. Sadly, most young girls fall for this kind of “love” 9really attraction) instead of going with someone who is stable, reliable, and an all around guy good for you.

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And those are the guys that are the best.

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Marianne is also upset at his supposed disinterest in books and music.

“I could not be happy with a man whose taste did not in ever point coincide with my own. He must enter into all my feelings; the same books, the same music must charm us both.”

Now I’ll be the first to say that I love movies, books, and music.

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But is that really what you want to base your relationship solely on?

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Now I’m not saying it isn’t important. I mean I love reading, it is such a part of me:

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And we all know my stance on film:

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And music…well

Music

But that isn’t what I base a whole relationship on. The person has to read, but what they read isn’t as important as the fact that they are doing it. Loving film and having the ability to marathon is definitely needed as I like to do that as well. Having some similar tastes in music, mostly in they have to be willing to listen to my oldies and classics. But all this is superficial. What is more important is how they treat you.

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Do they see you as equal or belittle you? Do they value your opinions or not care what you think about? Are they willing to value you and your time together or do they not care as they could get “any old girl”? Do they share the same values?

Hmm

Hmm

True back in Regency era, they didn’t really care about that. It was more about bloodlines, dowries, etc. But this should be the way it is. As a person of any age looking for the perfect guy, you need to make sure that you push through the superficial, outer layer and look instead at what is underneath. See what truly makes up that person. Or else you will learn the hard way and get your heart incredibly crushed (or worse) in the process.

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Remember:

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So how does this turn out for Marianne?

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You’ll just have to wait and see.

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For more on Marianne Dashwood, go to Sisterly Roles

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to To Edward or Not to Edward?

For more on being old fashioned, go to Treat Her Right

For more quotes, go to Adventure Time

Love Makes You Do Crazy Things: Hercules (1997)

Romantic Moment #8

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Hercules (1997)

Hercules (1997) is based on the greek myths but given a Disneyian twist. This is one of my favorite Disney films as it is fun, hilarious, and has an awesome collection of songs.

In this story, Zeus and Hera are the parents of Hercules. When he is born they have a huge party, give him lots of gifts, like a pegasus, and have everyone come. Unbeknownst to the happy couple, Zeus’ brother Hades, lord of the Underworld, wants to dethrone him and take over Olympus and the world. He meets with the Fates and discovers that his plans will work out in 18 years as he will be able to release the titans. Only one problem…Hercules. If he fights, game over for Hades. So Hades hatches a plot to poison Hercules and make him mortal. Hades’ minions give Hercules the potion, but fail to give him every last drop, making him mortal but leaving him with super strength. Hercules is found by an old couple who were unable to have children. The couple see him as a gift from the gods and raise him.

Fast forward through the years and Hercules is a teenager. He doesn’t have very many friends and people don’t really like him as he doesn’t know how to control his strength and causes a lot of damage, all on accident. After a truly horrible mishap, Hercules’ parents tell him the truth about how they found him. Hercules travels to Zeus’ Temple in order to ask for guidance and discovers that Zeus is his father! Zeus tells him that he was stolen as a child, made mortal, and cannot return to Olympus until he becomes a “true hero”. Zeus sends him to Philoctetes, a satyr, to train him.

Hercules spends a long time training on Philoctetes’ island. As they are heading to Thebes, to put his training to good use, they make a stop to help out a damsel, Megra or Meg. Meg doesn’t want his help as she feels she isn’t really a damsel in distress.

BoyMeetsWorld Topanga Damsel in distress not distress

But Hercules helps her out anyway. After he leaves, we discover that Meg is working with Hades. When Hades finds out that Hercules is alive he makes it his mission to send every kind of creature he can to him in order to utterly destroy Hercules.

After Hades runs out of creatures and as the time is getting close, he decides to try something new. He promises to free Meg from her contract with him, IF she can discover Hercules’ weakness. So Meg goes out with Hercules. Through their time together she discovers that she is starting to have feelings for him, after she said she would never love again.

Hades figures out that Hercules feels the same way about Meg and uses it to his advantage. Hades chains Meg up in order to get Hercules to agree to give up his strength for 24 hours, all the time Hades needs to take over Olympus. Now it’s up to Hercules to figure out how to get his powers back and help save the world.

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********Most Romantic Moment********

For me the most romantic moment happens after Hercules has traded his powers. The trade was that as long as Meg is safe, Hercules is super strength free. So Hercules finds himself a mere man while the whole area is in peril from Titans. Hades especially sends a cyclops to ensure that Hercules is taken out. As Hercules trips the cyclops in order to destroy it, the cyclops accidentally knocks over some columns. As one is heading for him, Meg pushes him out of the way and gets hit with it; sacrificing herself for him and breaking his contract with Hades.

Perfect!

Perfect!

Now I know most people who have seen this movie would think that the scene when Hercules offers his life for Meg or refuses Olympus to be with Meg as more romantic, but I disagree. You see both of those actions were perfectly normal and ordinary for Hercules. He was a sweet and really nice guy. Everything he did, he always did for other people, hardly thinking of himself. That’s the type of person he is.

Now with Meg, her sacrifice is HUGE!!! First, we have to back up and tell her story. So she sold her soul to Hades in order to help her boyfriend. Now we don’t know exactly why, as the writers don’t go into it, but for her to sell her soul you know that her boyfriend has something really bad going down. Death, imprisonment, etc. Had to be some hardcore stuff.

So after she sells her soul to save him he dumps her for another woman!

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I know what a jerk!

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She SOLD HER SOUL!!!!

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So after all that she decided she will never love again.

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Afterwards she became sarcastic, cold-hearted, and uncaring. Set on doing her own thing, no matter what situation she gets into. She thinks that’s the end of the story. No more love and no more heart, but she’s wrong.

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So meets Hercules and he is nothing like she has ever seen. At first she thinks it is all an act and doesn’t trust him, but after encountering him multiple times she starts to like him. And is actually pretty nice to him. She takes him out on Hades’ command and tries to get the dirt on him, but finds nothing. And by the end of it, if she had found out anything she  never would have told Hades anyway.

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By the time she realizes the mistake she made, it’s too late. Hades has used her in his plot. Meg tries to warn Hercules, but is unable to. When Hades reveals how she worked for him, Meg knows that it’s over and she has no hope of changing any of it. She could just leave, she could just walk away, but she stays with him because she loves him and cares for him. She willingly lays down her life to save him knowing they had zero future, but doing it anyway because she loves and cares for him.

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To start Romance is in the Air: Part III from the beginning, go to I Can See Your Beauty: The Breakfast Club (1985)

For the previous post, go to You Look Beautiful Just the Way You Are: How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)

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For more on Hercules, go to Snakes on a Post: Chinese New Year

For more Disney, go to Short But Sweet: Up (2009)

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Shall We Dance?: What Happens in Vegas (2008)

For more on the All-American Rejects, go to I Don’t Wanna Be in Love (Dance Floor Anthem)

For more Boy Meets World, go to Simply Fantastic

For more Home Alone 2, go to 25 More Films of Christmas