Bold Fortune

fortune favors the bold

Month: March, 2011

Good girls.

by mollykl

I really, really hate good girls in literature.  This is amusing because, in reality, I’m as good a “good girl” as you’re going to find. I wear argyle cardigans for god’s sake! I put money in the meter, even when I’m just running in to the store for a minute. I pay my bills and clock in to work on time. I don’t wear skirts that are too short, I don’t drink too much, and I always remember what I did at the party the night before (I probably left before 10 so I could get home and get to sleep).

Deanna Raybourn’s post for the day “In which we talk about people I hate” is about the fictional characters she loathes. She mentions Romeo, and I’m right there with her, and Fanny Price, which I’m on the fence about. One comment mentioned Cosette from Les Miserables, and I nearly flew out of my chair in agreement. And that’s when it hit me: I hate good girls.  The too-perfect-for-words good girls are boring, and just plain unbelievable.

Cosette is a whiny twit portrayed as “noble”, when in reality she doesn’t have the backbone that God gave earthworms. The March sisters? Well, Jo manages somewhat, but she still irks me. The rest make my teeth ache. I’m pretty sure that somewhere there are nuns with more moxie. And don’t even get me started on the secondary characters in any Jane Austen book.

I always root for the “not-completely good” girl. Elizabeth Bennett, not-completely good girl (she thinks too much for a good girl of the period).  I’m all for the idea that you can behave well, see Elizabeth, and not be a completely good girl. My favorite books these days all feature “not-completely good” girls. Gail Carriger’s Alexia Tarabotti, not completely good (thinking), Deanna Raybourn’s Julia Grey, not completely good (oh, where do I start?) and Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily, not completely good (thinking, again – sense a trend here do ya?).  Alexia lives in a Victorian Steampunk world populated by vampires, werewolves, the Templars and mechanized ladybugs, and yet she still seems far more realistic than the March sisters, because, brace yourselves: she has faults. She’s not perfect.  She’s not “a good girl”.

I don’t want to read about some paragon of virtue, or somebody’s idea of virtue. I don’t want to read about an unattainable ideal. I want to have some connection to a character, no matter how small.

Look, but don’t touch

by mollykl

I hate being touched. Most of my friends know this, and if I actually allow a hug consider it a compliment. Some friends, like S, take it as a challenge. I think it’s just my personality. I also prefer cold, rainy, gray London in winter to anywhere tropical. (The people don’t talk to you, the food is awful and the scotch is great. Oh, and there are books. To read, while people ignore you. Heaven.)

So it is with the greatest illicit thrill imaginable that I say: I’m getting a massage. Seriously. I booked it today. Oh, and I’m also getting a salt scrub after. Take that!

I blame the weird hippie chanting yoga. I went to John’s class with him (yoga! with other people! and chanting!) and loved it. Now I’m trying all sorts of weird things! First it was microwaving eggs and now this!

Geez, if this keeps up I might actually start, oh I don’t know, smiling and not being snarky.

But don’t hold your breath.

There’s no sense crying over spilled milk

by mollykl

Domino’s been gone for over two years now, I’m still having withdrawal symptoms. I imagine it would be worse if my new house wasn’t already painted perfect colors, and all of our furniture looks great here. No need to decorate as such and god knows that after buying the house we couldn’t afford to do too terribly much. There’s no sense in whining about it but I miss that monthly adventure into Domino-land, and nothing else is as good.

Lonny comes close, however. Bi-monthly, with a nice web presence, it’s my new guilty pleasure. Everything they feature is way too expensive for the likes of me, but it’s a nice read, it’s free, and the photography is lovely. I’m starting to appreciate lovely, just for the sake of lovely. Doesn’t matter if it’s of something I’ll never be able to afford. And I have to say I love, LOVE, their countdown widget.

Probably more of a guilty pleasure would be the nest. This magazine is clearly too young for me – articles on newlyweds (it’s a spin-off from “the knot”) and every couple featured looks like they just graduated from middle school.  It would be perfect for my friends M & J, who are in their mid-20’s and in lurve (yeah, that was snark, sue me). But it’s a cute read and a perfect addition to an afternoon off with a cup of coffee and old Columbo episodes. (And after researching the Russian Revolution, let me tell you I need cute.) Of particular note, the article “just in time for v-day” (apparently, the nest does not believe in capitalizing) featuring “how to buy lingerie: a guy’s guide” and “how to buy condoms: a girl’s guide” made me laugh.