Desire & Decorum: Chapter 7, Opera St. James

In the last episode I had a dinner party with Mr. Sinclaire, and learned all about his real wife and the ugly side of the Duke. The two of us have grown closer together, and I don’t mind admitting I’m falling for the Mr. Darcylike man.

In this episode I’m invited to the opera, so first stop the clothing store!

You have the option of buying a beautiful dress, but as I’ve been invited to go with Duke Richards, yuck-I’m not buying anything nice. I’m just going to wear an old dress. He doesn’t need anything special.

The one I bought for the dinner will do nicely.

Poor Miss Parsons, we talk and she discusses a horrid date she had. It is with a gross old man, ugh, the girl can’t catch a break. Too bad my brother died or we could have been sisters.

As I head out of the shop, I run into Prince Hamid. You all remember him, the man who rescued Miss Parsons and I when Mr. Marcastle left us stranded in London.

He’s with the Duke, ugh! Can this guy just get lost!

The Duke

The Duke is planning on taking you and Miss Parson’s to see Handel’s Almira and is surprised to hear that I know of it. Seriously dude, my mama was an opera star.

Princess Almira has inherited the throne from her father, but he wishes that she marries someone from the House of Consalvo. The House of Consalvo has one son, but Princess Almira is not interested in him, and he only wants her for wealth and power. Instead, Princess Almira is in love with a man who has unknown parentage, Fernando. There are a lot of twists and turns in the opera, will it end happily or in tragedy?

So this makes me think of two things: first of all-wow what a crazy coincidence! That’s what’s kind of happening in my life.

And secondly:

Back to the game, Prince Hamid offers to pick you up when we go to the opera, but ugh the Duke is taking you. Bah.

Ugh, this guy!

However, the Duke has other business to attend to-so Prince Hamid offers to take you over early to the opera. Here is your chance to get a closer look at who your mother was!

I’ll get the secrets!

I go into the opera house and feel melancholy as I wished I had asked my mother more questions. I meet an actress who tells me my mother was an amazing singer, she was a big star until she became pregnant. They invite you to stay to watch, and as much as I love to I turned it down.

The stage is no place for a respectable girl, and I need to protect my reputation-I have Mr. Marcastle to deal with. And he is just waiting for an opportunity like this.

When you go home, you have a big surprise. Luke Harper is there with a letter from your father!

The hunt is on,

But which man do I want? It’s up to you to decide! Plus you have to fight the rumors that the Countess is spreading.

For more on Desire & Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 6, An Intimate Affair

For more on Choices, go to Kissing the Blarney Stone: 7 More Irish Heroes

For more on the opera, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

For more ABBA, go to Dancing Queen

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to Book Club Pick: Far Side of the Sea

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I Want to Be Your Ideal Man: Grease (1978)

Most Romantic Moment #4

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I Love this musical. My best friend Carson and I were obsessed with it when we were eight years old. We used to watch it over and over, knew every song by heart, and could do the hand jive in our sleep. Grease was definitely the word.

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So the movie is set in the 1950s, you know one of my favorite decades.

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Sandy is from Australia and visiting the American beach for summer vacation (winter in Australia). She meets Danny is also away at the beach and the two meet and fall head over heels for each other. But Sandy has to back home, with both thinking they would never see each other again.

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School’s back in session, and we see Danny is the hottest and coolest guy in school.

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He and his gang are ready to finish their senior year when he gets the biggest surprise of his life, Sandy is in school. Can this designated bad boy and good girl make a relationship work?

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Throw in a car racing challenge, dance contest, Frankie Avalon, and amazing songs.

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Most Romantic Moment: I Will Do What I Can to Get You Back

So throughout the whole film we see that Danny is all about “his reputation”.

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Sleeping around with girls, not caring about what happens to them but just using and losing…

See ya!

See ya!

However when he meets Sandy that changes. At first he tries to keep to his “tomcattin” ways, but realizes that’s not what he wants; he wants Sandy. But how to win her back?

Hmm...

Hmm…

As Sandy is a cheerleader, he decides to go out for a team sport going from greaser to jock. (Which was a big deal then. Remember Daryl in The Outsiders and how he was able to cross over into Soc territory if he wanted to because of football? Ponyboy too was offered that as well but he wouldn’t give up his cigarettes for track). But Danny doesn’t really mean it, he’s just doing it to try and win Sandy back at this moment. But because he doesn’t put his whole heart into it, he messes up again and again; ditching her for another girl to win the dance contest and giving her his “ring of commitment” in order to make out.

Men

Men

But none of these work, Sandy is a high quality girl and she won’t have some pretender, she needs something real.

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So Danny realizes that if he loves her, he needs to stop the pretending and kidding around. He is going to have to do something really drastic to show Sandy he truly cares about her.

So he decides to quit the T-Birds

OMG gasp

Now contrary to what some bloggers say, he is not just putting a “cardigan on”. The sweater is a symbol that he is completely changing his life. By changing the T-Bird leather jacket to the cardigan with his “letter for track” on it, he’s not only saying that he is giving up the “fast” lifestyle, the parting with all these other women, the reputation of never settling down; but that he is going to be something more stable and trustworthy. Something that she can rely on and that will be there for her.

Grease

As he tells the other boys, he grown out of that, and is instead looking forward to a future with Sandy, not just a “playdate”.

Danny Zuko: Oh c’mon you guys…You know you mean a lot to me…it’s just that Sandy does too. And I’m going to do anything I can to get her 

After all, what’s comfortable, can be worn anywhere, and something that makes you feel relaxed, supported, and warm…a leather jacket or a cardigan?

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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 post, go to Business is Business, But Your Happiness is More Important: Borrowed Hearts (1997)

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For more on Grease, go to Why Were You Driven Away?

For more musicals, go to Marry Me: Gigi (1958)

For more period films, go to I Choose You: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

I Don’t Want to Own You, I Just Want to Be With You: A Room With a View (1985)

Romantic Moment #12
A Room With a View
A Room With a View (1985)
This film is based on the book by E. M. Forster and is a favorite of my mom’s. In fact she had been wanting to own it for years and went on Amazon and ordered it all on her own. So proud of her being tech savvy. Anyways, as soon as she bought it we had to watch it. And I have to say it was better than I expected. You have a young Helena Bonham Carter and the always interesting and expressive Daniel Day-Lewis.
So onto the summary. So the year is 1908, Edwardian time. Miss Lucy Honeybunch (Helena Bonham Carter) is from Surrey but on holiday with her much older, restrictive, and buzzkill (for lack of a better word) aunt. As they visit the sights they meet Reverend Beebe, the two spinster Miss Alans, the author Miss Eleanor Lavish, the nonconformist Mr. Emerson and his handsome, philosophical son, George. Now these men are very forward thinking, with George especially. As Lucy and her aunt had wished for a room with a view, George offers his instead. Lucy’s aunt thinks that it is scandalous!  But they are both convinced to take it.
George and Lucy are attracted to each other, and thanks to a carriage driver’s interference, George manages to score some time with her unchaperoned. While they are alone, he kisses her. As they are kissing, Lucy’s aunt comes upon them and stops it. She warns Lucy that this act could destroy her entire reputation and not only bring shame on her and her family, but also make it so that no one wants to marry her. They agree to keep the whole thing a secret and return home.
When they get back to England, Lucy becomes engaged to an old, boring sod: Cecil Vyse (Daniel Day-Lewis). She’s not super into him, but doesn’t abhor him. But then to her surprise George and his father take a cottage not too far away. As George tells Lucy how he feels, her feelings of interest come back.
By the end Lucy realizes how she feels and breaks off her engagement with Cecil, instead running off to Italy with George.
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For me the most romantic moment is when George tells Lucy what he thinks about Cecil and how he feels.

George Emerson: He’s the sort who can’t know anyone intimately, least of all a woman. He doesn’t know what a woman is. He wants you for a possession, something to look at, like a painting or an ivory box. Something to own and to display. He doesn’t want you to be real, and to think and to live. He doesn’t love you. But I love you. I want you to have your own thoughts and ideas and feelings, even when I hold you in my arms.

I love that moment! He loves her and respects her individualism, thoughts, feelings, and emotions. He doesn’t want to control her, he doesn’t want her as a trophy; and for the early 20th century England? That’s HUGE! HUGE! Women weren’t treated as equals or individuals, but property! And here this guy loves her mind and everything about her.

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I mean when he says intimately he means her whole brain and soul not just body.  Oh George! What a man! What a keeper!

swoon dreamy

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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 I Carry You With Me Wherever I Go: New Year’s Eve (2011)

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For more Edwardian period pieces, go to Fanning All Over the Place

For more on Daniel Day-Lewis, go to I Saw Goody Osburn With the Devil: The Crucible (1996)

For more films based on a book, go to What a Fanatic!

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Marry Me: Gigi (1958)