"And to this purpose"

"If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble in filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and necessary, I have often wondered at the person's courage that could sit down on purpose to do it." (In other words: rambling analyses, opinions, ideas, views, and comments from an English major, Essay/paper-writing enthusiastic, Austen-loving Master Librarian on, well, Jane Austen...and a whole lot of other things, too.)

"Celebrated Passages are Quoted"

Heidi's favorite quotes

"What is it really like to be engaged?" asked Anne curiously. "Well, that all depends on who you're engaged to," answered Diana, with that maddening air of superior wisdom always assumed by those who are engaged over those who are not."— L.M. Montgomery

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Time with Anne

“[P]lease call me Anne spelled with an E."
What experiences have you had with others misspelling your name? Did you ever get really upset over a misspelling? Have you ever been insistent about your name being spelled correctly?

My name is frequently misspelled. It can be interesting to see what some people come up with. I find it funny that so many forget the “i before e” rule in regular spelling, but they remember in my name. (As in “hie me home.”) I can understand that having a name of German derivation can throw people, but still. Have they never seen the book or one of the movies? Can they not just see that any other spelling besides H-e-i-d-i is, to quote Anne, “simply dreadful?” Some spellings I’ve seen are Hiedi, Hidy, Hidee, Hidey, Heidy, Hedi, Hidi (that was just last week). I once had a school fellow spell my name with a j or k in it somewhere. ?!?! I know!

I’m usually only insistent about my name spelling if it’s something official (driver’s license, certificates, any kind of record). I’m used to it being misspelled, and if it’s something from somewhere that is of little consequence (like a call-in order), I don’t really care. If it is someone whom I would call a friend, I prefer that they figure out how to spell my name. Like that poor Heidi from CP in the BYU days who had a guy propose to her in chalk on the sidewalk all the way up to the JKHB (the same building I had to do to). Over and over “Hiedi, will you marry me?” I was questioned plenty about it. I finally replied, “Look, if it was me, I’d say ‘no.’ By the time a guy wants to marry me, he had better know how to spell my name!”

The only time I was truly upset in any way was when I ordered a pizza for my friend in celebration. It was delivered to his apartment. But the silly pizza people included the receipt. (Uh…gift = usually not knowing how much it cost!) So my friend’s roommate came to return the receipt to me. And I was embarrassed beyond all get out when I saw my name printed on the receipt for crushed-on roommate to see: Hiney.

"Will you please call me Cordelia?" she said eagerly.
Did you ever wish you had a different name? What other imaginations did you have about your life being different than what it was?

You know, I’m pretty sure I did. But it wasn’t that I didn’t like my name. It was because there were other names that I liked and there were only so many girls I would have and female characters I could create whom I could give those names to.

Sometimes while growing up, I wished that I could have some younger siblings. So a few years later when one came along, I was pretty happy! I also used to imagine myself as famous dancer or writer. But I think the only real imagination that I had growing up was when I was the repeated guest star on “The Young Riders.” I was Jimmy’s girl—the one he stayed with and no death happened to either of those.

I’ve had other imaginations, but those were more recent and not while I was growing up. :-)

This was Green Gables and they didn't want her because she wasn't a boy!
Have you ever felt that you were passed over, neglected, ignored, or unwanted because of your gender?

I’ve often been looked at with suspicion that I would not be able to handle something because I was a girl and not a boy. But as a young girl, I showed them. When Dad went to help people move and the guys of the ward showed up, I was right there with them—carrying one end of a table, dresser, or mattress. I’d do it today if it didn’t cause as much pain and I weren’t as unsteady on my feet now. Newspapers? You bet. I was right there all dirty and smelly with the rest of the boys. Sports? Well, I was terrible at all of them, but I still took part. I guess with all my brothers, I just wouldn’t let myself get passed over.

I have felt that a lot of young men during my high school, college, and post-college years have ignored me thinking I’m only a girly-girl when they don’t realize I also have some great assets (brought on by the aforementioned 6 brothers) that a lot of other girls didn’t have. Why wouldn’t they realize that I came already packaged knowing that certain subjects were not discussed in male crowds, and guys were this way, or liked to do that, etc. Oh well. At least one apartment of boys figured it out, and I had one of the best years of my life then.

“I felt that he was a kindred spirit as soon as ever I saw him.”
Who are some of the kindred spirits in your life? How have they affected you and your life?

My sister—a definite kindred spirit. Always nice when that happens. And I have discovered that anyone who shares a love of Austen, Anne, and/or musicals has a kindred understanding with me. Indeed, most of the friends that I’ve held on to since college would be kindred spirits. They are the people who just…knew. And what else needed to be said? They are the people that even though we have changed over the years, the friendship will always remain.

And as I think on it, I believe I was more of a kindred spirit friend person than a whole bunch of friends person. I was never one to hang out in large crowds. I still don’t do well in them. But put me in a small group with people who understand me and I them, and I’m thrilled!

"I never took the brooch out of your room and that is the truth, if I was to be led to the block for it—although I'm not very certain what a block is.”
Were you ever in a situation where you knew you were in the right but were thought in the wrong? Were you ever expected to do something wrong to bring about a right?

Funny. I know I have an experience or two with this. But the memory is just beyond my reach.

“And then, when I was leaning over the bridge, it just slipped through my fingers—so—and went down—down—down, all purply-sparkling, and sank forevermore beneath the Lake of Shining Waters. And that's the best I can do at confessing, Marilla."
Do you have any “creative lies” from your past?

Probably. Luckily my lying days were when I was much younger and I’ve forgotten quite a lot of what I did or said then. Thank goodness. However, one experience always stands out, but I don’t know if it would be called a creative lie. I was supposed to wash my hands—not just with water. My father was adamant, though I don’t think he specifically implied soap. I don’t know why I felt rebellious right then, but I did. So my 7-year old self went to the bathroom and washed my hands with toothpaste instead of soap. When asked if I washed with soap, I flat out lied and said yes. But the minty smell kind of did me in and I had a push-up punishment come my way.

"A bosom friend—an intimate friend, you know—a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul. I've dreamed of meeting her all my life. I never really supposed I would, but so many of my loveliest dreams have come true all at once that perhaps this one will, too. Do you think it's possible?"
Did you have a bosom friend growing up? What were things you shared in common? What were some of your differences? What were some of the things you two did together?

Personal Note: when I think on a bosom friend, it applies only to friends of the female gender. Male friends, especially the close ones throughout my life, are in an entirely different category altogether.

I would like to say that I did have one growing up. But it was not equal. She was a social butterfly and had scads of friends. I had a few here and there, and she was my bestest of them all. We did quite a lot together, at school and church (always a novelty for me). Her mom taught us ballet, we did some school singing things, we had two of the same homerooms during elementary, I actually got to go to her house to visit (rare for many of my siblings). We both took piano, but it was some time before it was from the same teacher. Often she was off doing her own thing and I was left “alone” at home. I think that’s one reason I became as much of a loner as I am. I got used to being surrounded, and yet all on my own. I don’t think it’s anything to be pitied for. I’ve gotten rather used to it!

I definitely had a bosom friend in Junior High. We often had sleepovers at her house where we’d watch Anne (ha ha!) or something JTT while eating pizza! We went to a republican convention where a cleaning lady saw us doing the can-can in the bathroom. Oops. We talked of our love of books, particularly the works of L.M. Montgomery. She introduced me more to the world of ice skating. My interest in musicals was starting to grow and she aided me there. We were in all the singing groups together at school. It was when she went the Journalism route in Freshman Year and I did not that things began to grow apart. We were still friends, but our time was divided as she hung out more with the journalism staff and I ran alone on the long distance track team.

BYU years brought another bosom friend. Another Anne fan. One who I still spend hours talking without either of us ever running out of things to say. While much has changed and we rarely spend any time together now, BYU would not have been what it was for me without that bosom buddy. I have another bosom friend, whose name I won’t mention but I know she knows who she is. We met at BYU, but the closeness did not come until post-BYU—right when I needed it in my life. And it hasn’t left since.

And, though I know it contradicts its definition, I have a second bosom friend in my post-BYU roommate.(I could even argue a 3rd or 4th, but then it seems unfair to the rest. So we’ll have to class them at the very tip top of my kindred spirits list.) I have never clicked with anyone as I have her. And what’s funny is that we share some similar interests, but nowhere near as much as I did with the other friends. Yet we love sitting around talking, and going so many places together. We passed on personal interests to the other while retaining some for our own that we respected the other for. In truth, I think she and I are more the kind of bosom buddies that Anne and Diana (alike but very different were than any of my others.

“Are you ready for bed? Let's run a race and see who'll get to the bed first."
Do you have any jump into bed stories?

Yes. Only it isn’t mine. It was just my bed. Our family friends (they’re pseudo-cousins, practically!) were visiting us. I was moved over to one room while the older girls roomed with my sister. The oldest girl of the family came running in from the bathroom, called out “Superman!” and took a flying leap at my bed. She landed. She didn’t know it was a trundle bed. And the bottom half of my bed came crashing to the floor. I had to sleep on a tilt for a few days before we figured out how to lower the whole thing. Then I was just inches off the floor before we could figure out how to raise the thing. The sad thing of the story was I had to deal with the effects of the partial bed collapse. I wasn’t present for any of the flying part.

I do occasionally like to flounce myself into bed now. It’s a perfect bed for flouncing in.

"Then I dare you to do it," said Josie defiantly. "I dare you to climb up there and walk the ridgepole of Mr. Barry's kitchen roof."
Were you ever dared to do something dangerous/silly/dumb? Did you go through with it?

No one dared me. But seeing the triple dog dare on “A Christmas Story,” I took it upon myself to test the theory that “You can’t believe everything you see on TV.” Was I supposed to believe that my tongue could stick to a pole on a cold day? Well, I found out for myself.

"Yes, it's green," moaned Anne. "I thought nothing could be as bad as red hair. But now I know it's ten times worse to have green hair. Oh, Marilla, you little know how utterly wretched I am."
What things about your appearance did/do you wish were different? Have you ever done anything drastic to change your appearance?

I didn’t necessarily want my dark brown hair to be different, but I did always find red hair to be so beautiful—even before my discovery of Anne. But I love my curls and I’m glad I’m one of the few curly heads who appreciates it and keeps it. I still wish I could at least by 5’4”. And I wish my face were not as splotchy red as it is. But otherwise, I guess I’m pretty happy with my appearance right now. Anything else that I don’t like is completely under my control. So, I try not to complain on that.

My “drastic” appearance changes would be related to the hair chops I’ve done. Some cuts were obvious. Some were excruciatingly extreme. At least 4 times the hair has gone above the shoulders…and it required a lot of inches to go away to become that short. But the haircuts weren’t related to wanting to look different. They were related to that female thing of wanting to change something about one’s self immediately and cutting hair seems to be the only quick and easy thing to do. Just one I usually regretted for months (sometimes years) afterwards. I would say the bangs incident was my most drastic and horrific. I was trying to hide what I thought was a scar and I cut my own bangs. And they weren’t too awful to start out with. But as the (curly) hair got longer, they became more unruly and rather ugly. Well, now I know that the “scar” was the beginning showings of psoriasis. Hiding it with hair wasn’t going to do much. Thus, I’ll just appreciate my “high brow” instead.

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